BOSTON — A SERIES of worldwide meetings focusing on "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," Mary Baker Eddy's primary work, is taking place under the sponsorship of the publisher of Mrs. Eddy's writings, The First Church of Christ, Scientist.
In "Science and Health," Mrs. Eddy set forth her vision that the Bible reveals God's spiritual law, which can be understood and applied to heal disease as well as social and personal problems. The volume is the textbook of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy's name for the religion she founded, and serves along with the Bible as an impersonal "pastor" in all Christian Science churches.
Since its first publication in 1875, "Science and Health" has sold about 8.8 million copies, says Virginia Harris, publisher of Mrs. Eddy's writings and chairman of the Christian Science Board of Directors. Long a bestseller, the book sold more than 80,000 copies last year. Sales this year are "up considerably over last year," Mrs. Harris says.
The purpose of the two-hour meetings, which are open to the public, is to "acquaint any reader of the book with its relationship to the Bible and Biblical prophecy; the importance of the author's life work and `Science and Health' as a significant contribution to mankind; the healing impact the book is having on mankind and world thought; and what each individual can do to share the book," Harris says.
Harris says there "appears to be a growing search in human thought for spirituality." She notes the large number of books on spirituality now available in bookstores and cites a growing enrollment in university religion and philosophy courses. Current concerns with health care and the question of what constitutes health are another motive for the meetings, Harris says: " `Science and Health' is central in helping to think about the whole concept of health."
For Christian Scientists and other readers, "Science and Health" does not replace the Bible, Harris says. "Mrs. Eddy couldn't have written `Science and Health' without being a student of the Bible. She discovered the laws of God in the Bible." Referring to the book's subtitle, Harris says "Science and Health" is a "key to the Scriptures. It opens up an understanding of the Bible."