There have been a number of serious studies of Christian Science since its founding by Mrs. Eddy in 1879; yet almost all of these were based upon the perception of Christian Science exclusively as a sociological rather than as a religious phenomenon. Professor Gottschalk argues that when examined in relation to the whole of American religious life and Christian tradition, Christian Science must emerge as an essentially and distinctively religious teaching. Thus, the book focuses on the formative years of Christian Science, from 1885 to 1910: its encounter with rival movements, the development of its institutional structure, the reaction of traditional Protestantism to Christian Science, and the impact of the movement on individual lives. The concluding section examines the broader question of the relation between Christian Science and American culture in terms of the pragmatism common to both. This is perhaps the first book to do justice to Christian Science as both a religious and a distinctively American phenomenon. As such, it is worthy of attention at the historical and sociological as well as the religious levels.