Talk:Christian Science

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Good article Christian Science has been listed as one of the Philosophy and religion good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
February 20, 2013 Good article nominee Listed

Request edit on 21 June 2015[edit]

Yes check.svg DoneCpiralCpiral 00:13, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

To state that "Eddy placed little emphasis on marriage and family" is wholly incorrect. Mrs. Eddy was in fact an advocate for harmonious relationships in both the community and the home. Her seminal work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, includes an entire chapter on Marriage.

After reading this chapter, it will be apparent that the above statement is false, and should be removed from the article.

Thank you.

2605:E000:2247:2500:5472:D0DD:CF33:5AB7 (talk) 20:45, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

I see the author of that removed statement twisting some religious scholars intentions, possible out of an innocent ignorance about New Testament Christianity (1Cor7), but certainly out of complete ignorance of Christian Science doctrine. — CpiralCpiral 00:13, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
This is sourced to a high-quality, independent academic source, so please don't remove it unless you have an equivalent source that suggests it's misleading. Sarah (talk) 18:33, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
The citation did not appear to cover the parenthetical removed, which was a interruption of a sentence covering a different subject that was cited. The "equivalent sources" that qualified the removal were stated above. — CpiralCpiral 19:18, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what that means. The source is Stark 1998. Have you read it? Sarah (talk) 20:12, 26 June 2015 (UTC)
I wish I could reference Stark easily. But wait, it simply cannot be said. Does CS have little or lots of "emphasis", i.e. doctrine? Lots, unless what does Stark mean by CS "emphasis" is not CS doctrine. Avoiding having children if possible, is pure Christian doctrine, but I doubt that causes religious decline. — CpiralCpiral 00:46, 27 June 2015 (UTC)
Agreed the Stark ref is solid and should be left in. Though his point is mostly quantitative (re: frequency of marriage in CS), while in our summary it sounds mostly qualitative (re: friendliness toward married couples in CS). Perhaps that can be tweaked. His point is mostly quantitative, but supported with a qualitative reading, so the summary as it stands fairly represents his views (and is actually moderately stated compared with Starks's wording). So the info below becomes quite relevant as a counter view.
We do have a few equivalent sources (at least on par with Stark in terms of independent imprint and weight) contrary to the summary as it stands. No one seems to disagree with relatively low reproduction rates, rather the implication that CS denigrates marriage, sexuality, and/or family life:
  • Robert David Thomas 1994, 250, states MBE was “not at war against human sexuality” and generally had a realistic view re: earthly marriage, including her own (having married three times).
  • Gottschalk 1973, 241-242 states MBE taught “sensual indulgence…must be overcome” eventually as a spiritual ideal but “at the same time,” in the human realm she “explicitly rejected asceticism” and taught “marriage must continue” and its sexual aspect fulfilled.
  • Peel 1977, 439n30, seems to acknowledge what Stark is getting at while also showing a fuller view. He says MBE’s comments on marriage “are apt to have two levels of application.” On the one hand, she sometimes seemed to hope promising students had reached a point where “they could find fulfillment by giving themselves wholeheartedly and singlemindedly to Christian Science.” OTOH, she warned against forcing the issue and clearly supported her students’ marriages. Peel cites several letters in which she warmly congratulates people on marriage ("I am glad that you are married to him you love. It was the right time to do so,” etc).
There are others. But that’s surely enough.
Anon IP also brings out that CS teachings and a primary text by Eddy (her chapter on marriage in S&H) apparently disagree with the assessment here. We need not favor primary texts, but for balance it seems the adherent text/view should be acknowledged in some way. Perhaps not necessary, though, if we take more secondary sources into account.Ath271 (talk) 06:17, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
PS: If needed or of interest please note changes at Ath271. Ath271 (talk) 06:54, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Decline numbers[edit]

Shouldn't the table under "decline" have an "in thousands" or "in millions" reference? Or am I to believe there are only 965 of them out there? ( and "per million" doesn't cut it) 03:13, 10 July 2015 (UTC)~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

That is problematic. 1,820 total practitioners in 1995 and 6.9 per million people in the same year suggest 264 million people in the US in 1995, which seems about right. But these numbers might seem inconsistent with those in other parts of the article because "practitioner" a technical term here that does not refer simply to followers of the religion, whereas readers who skip to this section will not know that. For instance, the first paragraph of this section states that there were around 2098 Christian Scientists per million people in the US at the peak of the religion, whereas the numbers in the table never get anywhere close to that high. This will seem contradictory to a casual reader.Rscragun (talk) 19:53, 22 July 2015 (UTC)