Frequently Asked Questions

Annotated Bibliography of Christian Science

Academic and Other Literature


Here are some answers to common questions about the Annotated Bibliography. Questions specifically about search functions are answered on the search support page.

Who are the creators of the Annotated Bibliography book and online application?

The Annotated Bibliography project is produced by Scholarly Works on Christian Science, a charitable non-profit corporation under US tax code section 501(c)(3). Shirley Paulson (PhD), Helen Mathis (MA), and Linda Bargmann (CPA) are the original founders and current officers of the corporation. All three are Christian Scientists with broad backgrounds and experiences. Literature on Christian Science is beneficial and insightful not only to scholars, but to Christian Scientists themselves.


Learn more about the ABCS project here.

Is the Scholarly Works on Christian Science nonprofit associated with the Christian Science Church?

Scholarly Works on Christian Science is an independent Missouri corporation separate from the Mother Church and its Mary Baker Eddy Library. The Annotated Bibliography has benefited enormously from the resources and resourcefulness of the staff of the Mary Baker Eddy Library.

How can I get involved in the Annotated Bibliography project?

If you are moved to help foster scholarly research into the multiple dimensions of the life of Mary Baker Eddy and her Church, there are several ways to get involved in the ABCS project.

  • Donate to support the project financially.
  • Make resource suggestions.
  • Help spread the word.
  • Donate a book to a church or academic library or send a copy to a friend who is a scholar or researcher.
  • Make media connections.

Learn about all the ways you can support the ABCS project here.

What is the process for determining which resources are included in the Annotated Bibliography?

As compilers of An Annotated Bibliography of Academic and Other Literature on Christian Science, we combed through books, articles, dissertations and other mainly academic references that would be helpful to researchers. To be included in the book, publications had to contain a sufficient amount of information on Christian Science or Mary Baker Eddy and the corresponding social, historical and religious contexts.


The web app allows us to broaden the scope and depth of useful research materials. We are especially eager to include new content that reflects modern scholarship and original approaches. Our scope is wide-ranging, focusing on research of issue or substance.

How often are new annotations added to the website?

New titles are considered whenever they are presented. When new resources are made known to Scholarly Works, each one is considered either for immediate annotation or for retaining in the files for future consideration. After we read and annotate each resource, it is added to our online search application.


If you would like to suggest a resource for annotation, please notify us here.


Click here to view the 30 most recently added annotations.

I keep coming across the phrase "Independent Christian Scientists." What does this mean?

‘Independent Christian Scientists’ refers to people who sincerely found value in Christian Science and later moved on in some way that conflicted with the trajectory of the Christian Science Church. The volume and wide variety of their writings indicate a history of tension within the Church between the need to conserve the integrity of Mary Baker Eddy’s vision and the wish to provide creative space for its members to innovate—to offer alternative interpretations of the Bible and Eddy’s writings.


Click here for links to websites featuring some of these independent works.

What does "NRM" mean?

“New Religious Movements" (NRM) refers to a distinct field of new religions studies developed within the academic study of religion in the 1970s. The category of NRM religions was defined in the mid-1900s and "includes both the innovative [19th -20th centuries] religious groups and the older alternative groups, which, taken together, form a spectrum challenging both mainstream religious traditions and secular society" (New Religious Movements: A Documentary Reader, 2005, p. 4).

What is a ‘polemic’ in literature and why are such writings included in the Annotated Bibliography?

A polemic is a strong verbal or written attack on someone or something. Ever since Mary Baker Glover (Eddy) began to write and teach the discovery of what she termed the Science of Christ in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, her words and works have been controversial. The writings of antagonists and the response to them comprise part of the history of Christian Science. Before the opening of the Mary Baker Eddy Library, researchers and authors relied heavily on these recycled polemic writings because they were denied access to the Church archives and had little else to rely on. The compilers of the annotations for the ABCS website have assembled those polemic writings that were most influential in public thought.

How can I find older resources with no ISBN, ISSN, or DOI?

Some of the resources we've annotated are very hard to find, especially ones that are decades old.


Many books published before 1970 do not have ISBNs.


Many other resources that were published years ago may not have standard identifying numbers either (like a DOI or an ISSN).


If a resource is redily available, we've tried to provide you with the information you'll need to find it.


If you are looking for an older book that is difficult to find, we recommend starting with BookFinder is a very useful online tool that we use frequently.


If you are looking for old articles, pamphlets, papers or similar, try a Google search or check out the Mary Baker Eddy Library.

Can someone from Scholarly Works on Christian Science help me with my research project?

We are happy that you have come to this website for your research, and we know you will be surprised to find sources you wouldn’t have expected. Although we are unable to help you directly with your research, we recommend you avail yourself of the services of the Mary Baker Eddy Library and Longyear.

If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to contact us and let us know. Click on the appropriate button below.

Please consider donating via PayPal to become a part of this “great service to future religious historians seeking to understand the status and role of The Church of Christ, Scientist on the American religious landscape.” (Gordon Melton, Distinguished Professor of American Religious History of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University)