In 1953, Archbishops in the Church of England appointed a special commission to investigate divine healing within its ministry, in response to a growing interest in the topic among the British public. Four years later the commission issued a report. This month Seekers and Scholars looks at how the commission undertook its work. We also explore what that meant to Christian Scientists, for whom spiritual healing is such an important aspect of their faith. Our guests discuss the implications of the commission’s report and what it forecasted about a surge of interest in spiritual healing in the decades to follow. They include Dr. John Maiden, a scholar of global evangelical and charismatic movements, and Robin Harragin Hussey, the author of a related article on The Mary Baker Eddy Library’s website.
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Robin Harragin Hussey currently works with the Christian Science Committees on Publication in the United Kingdom. She gained a masters degree in theology and church history from King’s College, London, and is a past Fellow of The Mary Baker Eddy Library. Her main research focus now is the development of Christian Science in the United Kingdom and Ireland. She recently wrote “The Faith that Motivated Nancy Astor” for the Astor100 project, run by the University of Reading, UK.
Dr. John Maiden is Head of Department and Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University in the United Kingdom. He holds a PhD from the University of Stirling in Scotland. He has published widely on global evangelical and charismatic movements and is most recently the author of Age of the Spirit: Charismatic Renewal, the Anglo-World and Global Christianity, 1945–1980 (Oxford University Press). He lives in Manchester, England.
Dr. Michael Hamilton is executive manager of The Mary Baker Eddy Library. He came to the position following ten years in the Religion and Philosophy Department at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. Prior to teaching, he served for 20 years as an active-duty US Navy chaplain, ministering to units in both the navy and marine corps. He holds a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research and writing focus is on American religions.