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What’s in the name “Christian Science nurse”?

From the April 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal


We all want to be known and understood accurately for the good we do, and a name or title can foster that understanding. There are many instances throughout the Bible where names and titles reflect the spiritual vision and enlightenment of an individual. Jesus’ divine title is Christ, based on his expression of the highest type of divinity reflected in a human form. His disciple, Simon Barjona, was renamed Peter (from the Greek petros, meaning stone) for his recognition that Jesus exemplified the Christ—the Son of God, the Savior of the world. It was on this spiritual foundation that Jesus said he would build his church. And Saul was renamed Paul when, in humility, he became a follower of Christ after the misguided premise on which he had previously persecuted Christians was revealed to him.

In our society, job titles often tell us something about the individuals holding those jobs. For example, if someone is a nurse, this would give some insights about them. It would likely give a sense of someone who cares about humanity and is dedicated to the well-being of others. In most instances, there would probably be an assumption that the individual was trained and credentialed as a licensed professional in a conventional health-care setting.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, provided a title, standard, and job description for the function of a “Christian Science nurse” in the Manual of The Mother Church, where it states: “A member of The Mother Church who represents himself or herself as a Christian Science nurse shall be one who has a demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science practice, who thoroughly understands the practical wisdom necessary in a sick room, and who can take proper care of the sick” (p. 49).

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