Magazine article The Christian Century

Accord Reached on Christian Science Book

Magazine article The Christian Century

Accord Reached on Christian Science Book

Article excerpt

Two years ago the Christian Science Church decided to print a controversial book some critics labeled heretical. That decision could make the church $50 million richer under the proposed settlement of a longstanding lawsuit filed when the book was published. If the settlement is approved, the church would receive 53 percent of a fortune estimated at more than $100 million that had been left to the church by the author's wife and her sister on the condition that the book, written earlier this century, be published. The remainder would be split evenly between Stanford University and the Los Angeles County Museum, which the sisters had named as beneficiaries if the church failed to publish the book in the way they outlined.

Terms of the tentative settlement were filed October 12 in Los Angeles Superior Court, but the settlement faces two challenges--one from a relative of the sisters, who claims the deal violates the terms of their wills, and another from 17 Christian Scientists who charge that the book's publication violated church bylaws against publishing "incorrect literature" about Christian Science.

The hotly debated book, The Destiny of the Mother Church, was written by Bliss Knapp, and as early as the late 1930s the church was considering publishing it. …

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