Malinda Cramer in an undated photo.
|Born||12 February [O.S. 12 February] 1844
Greensboro, Indiana, United States
|Died||2 August 1906
San Francisco, California
|Known for||Co-founder of the Divine Science|
Cramer was born in Greensboro, Indiana, the daughter of Obediah and Mary Henshaw Elliott. Hoping to alleviate a persistent health problem, she moved to San Francisco in 1870, where she met Charles Lake Cramer, a photographer, whom she married in 1872. Despite the move, health problems continued to plague her, making her an effective invalid.
In 1885, perhaps under the impetus of Christian Scientist Miranda Rice, Cramer had what she described as a divine revelation after an "hour of earnest mediation and prayerful seeking" and "that hour was the beginning of my realization of the oneness of Life, [and] a gleam of its Truth flashed across my mental vision". Within two years she was healed.
In 1887, she began taking classes with Emma Curtis Hopkins, an important teacher in the New Thought movement, and began to practice faith-healing herself. In October, Cramer inaugurated Harmony, a monthly journal. In March 1888, she and her husband opened what would become the Home College of Divine Science. The term "Divine Science", however, was not coined by Cramer, but had been used earlier by Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science, as well as by Wilberforce Juvenal Colville, who had published a book by that title that year.
In 1892, Cramer helped form the International Divine Science Association, a forerunner of the International New Thought Alliance, which would interconnect the various New Thought centers. In 1893, she helped open the second Divine Science College, in Oakland, and undertook several cross-country missionary trips.
In 1898, Cramer trained Nona L. Brooks, ordaining her as a minister in the Church of Divine Science. Brooks returned to Denver and, with sisters Fannie Brooks James and Alethea Brooks Small, formed a church there, one which would eventually become the home church of the denomination.
Malinda Cramer was the author of several books, including:
- Divine Science And Healing.
- Originally published as Lessons in the Science of Infinite Spirit, and the Christ Method of Healing by C. W. Gordon (San Francisco) 1890.
- Revised edition was published as Divine Science and Healing C. L. Cramer (San Francisco, CA), 1902.
- In 1905, published as Divine Science and Healing: A Text-book for the Study of Divine Science, Its Application in Healing, and for the Well-being of Each Individual, Home College of Divine Science (San Francisco).
- In 1957, published as Divine Science: Its Principles and Practice, Fannie B. James, ed., Divine Science Federation Int'l, (Denver), 1957.
- Hidden Harmony
- Published as Malinda Cramer's Hidden Harmony, Joan Cline-McCrary, ed., Divine Science Federation International (Denver), 1990.
- Basic Statements and Health Treatment of Truth: A System of Instruction in Divine Science and Its Application in Healing and for Class Training, Home and Private Use, 1893.
- Eighth edition, 1905.
- "Malinda Cramer", Gale Contemporary Authors Online.
- Contemporary Authors Online
- Cramer, p. 16.
- Cramer, p. 19.
- Satter, p. 98.
- Satter, p. 98, although "Malinda Elliott Cramer", Religious Leaders of America states that Harmony was launched in late 1888.
- "Malinda Elliott Cramer", Religious Leaders of America.
- Albanese, p. 316.
Miller, p. 326.
- Keller, p. 758.
- First Divine Science Church of Denver.
- "Nona Lovell Brooks", Gale's Religious Leaders of America.
- Information in this section largely from Contemporary Authors Online with additional material from Amazon.com and Google Books.
- Albanese, Catherine L. A Republic of Mind and Spirit: A Cultural History of American Metaphysical Religion. Yale University Press. p. 316. ISBN 978-0-300-11089-0.
- Cramer, Malinda (1923) Divine Science and Healing, Colorado College of Divine Science, Denver.
- First Divine Science Church of Denver, "Centennial", accessed May 2008.
- Keller, Rosemary Skinner; Rosemary Radford Ruether, Marie Cantlon (eds.). Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America. Indiana University Press. p. 758. ISBN 0-253-34687-8.
- Miller, Timothy. America's Alternative Religions. SUNY Press. p. 326. ISBN 0-7914-2397-2.
- Divine Science page on Malinda Cramer, accessed May 2008.
- Gale Publishing (2008) "Malinda Cramer" in Contemporary Authors Online. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. Accessed May 2008.
- Gale Publishing (2008) "Nona Lovell Brooks" and "Malinda Cramer" in Religious Leaders of America. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC. Accessed May 2008.
- Satter, Beryl (2001) Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-22927-3.
- Spiritual Enlightenment.org, accessed May 2008.