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Christian Scientists and universities: exercising a privilege

From the August 1992 issue of The Christian Science Journal


Universities and colleges have a profound influence on world thought. As the president of a major university commented: "Universities shape citizens. Citizens determine what kind of national values and purpose a country embraces. National values and purposes shape global priorities."Brian Segal, "Universities and Canada's Future," Canadian Speeches/ISSUES: Informed Thought, November 1990. Dr. Segal is president and vice-chancellor, University of Guelph.

Mrs. Eddy was keenly aware of the influence of institutions of higher learning. In 1904, after the idea had been suggested to her by a university student, she inserted a By-Law in the Manual of The Mother Church.See Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Authority (Boston: The Christian Science Publishing Society, originally published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1977), p 440, note 31. This By-Law—Article XXIII, Section 8, entitled "Privilege of Members"—allows Mother Church members at academic communities to form Christian Science organizations and to sponsor Christian Science lectures for their university or college.

But should the application of this By-Law be limited to the Christian Scientists who are in academic communities? Should its benefits be confined to a few? If so, its positive effects would certainly be limited. Maybe we should consider the underlying spirit of this By-Law, and how Christian Scientists, through obeying it, can help themselves, as well as a very thirsty world, find an even greater flow of blessings from the Manual.

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