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Christian Science
Science Fiction

Mainstream Science Fiction and Fantasy with Christian Scientist Characters and References to the Church of Christ, Scientist


    The realm of the real is Spiritual, not Material... All disease is illusion; Jesus established this fundamental fact when he cast out devils and made people well.

- Piers Anthony
Vision of Tarot (1985)
This annotated bibliography list, a subset derived from the Adherents.com Religion in Literature database, is intended as a resource for literary research. It lists mainstream science fiction and fantasy novels, short stories and movies (speculative fiction) which contain references to Christian Science. These include references to Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy, references to the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, and others. This list is certainly not comprehensive, but does list all Hugo-, Nebula- and Campbell-winning novels with Christian Science references.

This list does not necessarily include every reference to Christian Science within each work. Each novel or story is listed only once, with a brief explanation or sample quote. Most works include only one reference, which is given. If a work contains multiple references, this is noted in the listing.

Although Christian Science is mentioned relatively infrequently in science fiction and fantasy, it is interesting to note that out of 66 novels which have won the Hugo or Nebula awards, 6 of them mention Christian Science (9%).

In the mainstream science fiction literature surveyed, Christian Science is mentioned more often than most all other specific religious bodies (except the Catholic Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Eastern Orthodox Church). Christian Science is mentioned more frequently than denominational families much larger than it, including Methodists, Presbyterians, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc. Espousing a fairly unusual worldview, and with followers among America's cultural icons (Marilyn Monroe, Jim Henson, etc), it is not surprising that this faith shows up at least occasionally in popular literature.

Rendezvous with Rama novel
The fictional "Church of Christ, Cosmonaut" in Arthur C. Clarke's award-winning Rendezvous with Rama is partially based on the Church of Christ, Scientist.

Current number of novels, movies and stories in list: 29.



Related pages:



Author Title Approx.
year
Sample Quote and/or Description
Piers AnthonyGod of Tarot. New York: Berkley Books (1979) 2075Contains very large number of references to Christian Science, including a character named "Mrs. Ellend," meant to embody Mary Baker Eddy.
Piers AnthonyVision of Tarot. New York: Berkley Books (1985; 1st ed. 1980) 2075Contains many references to Christian Science. Example (pg. 236):
"But the Pyramid is Matter," Mrs. Ellend protested. "The realm of the real is Spiritual, not Material. Matter is an error of statement. All disease is illusion; Jesus established this fundamental fact when he cast out devils and made people well."
Piers AnthonyFaith of Tarot. New York: Berkley Books (10th printing 1986; 1st ed. 1980). 2075Contains multiple references to Christian Science. Pg. 227
He had to form a new self-image within her to make her believe that her illness was an illusion to be banished, that she, like Christian Scientists, could conquer--if she had faith.

And--she healed. Her fever dropped, her tension eased, and she awoke.

John BarnesKaleidoscope Century. New York: Tor (1995) 2003Pg. 172:
...the Ecucatholic Movement [Pope Paul John Paul] had launched [2003] was the kicker... By canonizing practically every Protestant leader since the Reformation... PJP had somehow gotten millions of Protestants to come back under the Roman umbrella. Realizing that there was now a Saint Brigham Young and a Saint Mary Baker Eddy gave me an idea of how far things had gone.
Alexander BesherMir: A Novel of Virtual Reality. New York: Simon & Schuster (1998) 2036Pg. 217:
Dorje replied, "We're just here to say a prayer or two. We won't interfere, I promise."

"Last time we had some Christian Scientists trying to sabotage the equipment. We had to call in the police and the fire department to make sure everything was okay. It's a strict city ordinance. This is an FTZ--a fundamentalist-free zone. No monkey business allowed or we get busted, got it?"

Alfred BesterThe Demolished Man. Garden City, NY: Doubleday (1953). (Hugo winner.) 2301Pg. 117:
There was a faithful reproduction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in the center of the cemetary. It was painstakingly labeled: Ye Wee Kirk O Th' Glen. From the mouth of one of the gargoyles in the tower, a syrupy voice roared: "SEE THE DRAMA OF THE GODS PORTRAYED IN VIBRANT ROBOT-ACTION IN YE WEE KIRK O TH' GLEN. MOSES ON MT. SINAI, THE CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST, MOHAMMED AND THE MOUNTAIN, LAO TSE AND THE MOON, THE REVELATION OF MARY BAKER EDDY, THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD BUDDHA, THE UNVEILING OF THE TRUE AND ONLY GOD GALAXY . . ." Pause, and then a little more matter-of-factly: "OWING TO THE SACRED NATURE OF THIS EXHIBIT, ADMISSION IS BY TICKET ONLY. TICKETS MAY BE PURCHASED FROM THE BAILIFF."
John BrunnerThe Sheep Look Up. New York: Harper & Row (1972) 2010[In one passage that spans many pages, a character writes a very negative letter to the Christian Science Monitor in response to a pro-environmental editorial that they published. This character is angry toward the Monitor, but his viewpoint is opposite the pro-environmental position of the overall novel. So, the Monitor is actually views positively, because it is in agreement with the Brunner's views.] Pg. 81:
"To the editor of The Christian Science Monitor: Sir . . .

..."One is dismayed to find a journal with an international reputation echoing the cries of what I have no hesitation in calling scare-mongers--people who apparently would have us revert to the wild state without even the caveman's privilege of wearing furs."

...Having read once more through the editorial in the Monitor that had so offended him--it might, in his view, have been written by that bigot Austin Train himself--he sharpened the next barb of his reply.

John ByrneWonder Woman: Gods and Goddesses. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing (1997) 1995The main villain of the novel is Rebecca Chandler. She is described specifically as an Evangelical preacher and a televangelist. She stirs up anti-Wonder Woman sentiment and her theology is expressly Evangelical. Yet, somewhat inexplicably, she is described as working in a Christian Science Reading Room in Chicago immediately prior to the events which led to her rise to prominence as a nationally-recognized Evangelical. The book never says that Chandler was a Christian Scientist. Neither the Church of Christ, Scientist nor any of its history or teachings are ever mentioned. It seems likely that the author was simply mistaken in thinking that Christian Science reading rooms are associated with Evangelicals.

Example, pg. 89:
She remembered how they met. Two years, yet it seemed like two centuries. She had been working in a Christian Science Reading Room, filing mostly, sorting the books. She lived in a tiny room, a single room with a shared bath in a boarding house on the South Side of Chicago. her life had been drab, colorless, and she would have been the first to admit she was, herself, very much like her life.
[See also pg. 28.]
Arthur C. ClarkeRendezvous with Rama. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. (1973). (Won Hugo, Nebula, and Campbell awards for best novel.) 2130The "Church of Christ, Cosmonaut" is a fictional religious group distinctly different from Christian Science, i.e., the Church of Christ, Scientist. But some characteristics of the members and certainly the naming convention (including "the Mother Church") are derived directly from Christian Science. There are many references to this fictional church in the book, only a couple are given here. (Main Adherents.com "Religion in Literature" database has more.)

Pg. 76:

As indeed he was, being a devout member of the Fifth Church of Christ, Cosmonaut.

Pg. 132

"...Is this a personal emergency?"

"No, Commander. It is much more important than that. I want to send a message to the Mother Church."

...He had never known Rodrigo to lose control, to be other than completely self-assured. All the Cosmo Christers were like this; it was one of the benefits of their faith, and it helped to make them good spacemen.

Jack L. ChalkerThe Cybernetic Walrus (Book One of The Wonderland Gambit). New York: Ballantine (1995) 1995Pg. 32:
"...You're all a delusion, the whole town, the whole country, the whole world, the whole universe! I dunno--it just kinda feeds into my natural paranoia at a time when I'm down, I guess."

"I had an aunt who believed that, you know."

"Huh? You did?"

"Yeah. She was a Christian Scientist. Thought the whole universe was an illusion, and all pain and misery and even death were fakes, too."

"Did it work?"

She shrugged. "I dunno, but I always had this funny feeling when I saw their reading room. It was always filled with real old people, so maybe there was at least something to it."

I laughed. "Or Darwin was right and they've bred themselves into a high state of immunity! Heck, I'd still figure you would find that one attractive."

"How's that?"

"Only major denomination I can think of founded by a woman. Only major one of anything in that area, at least the respectable religions, anyway."

Brendan DuBoisResurrection Day. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons (1999) 1972Pg. 50:
He recognized the reporter and photographer each from the Boston Herald and the Christian Science Monitor, and a couple of radio reporters.
William GibsonNeuromancer. New York: Ace Books (1984). (Hugo and Nebula winner) 2030Pg. 77:
Case shuffled into the nearest door and watched the other passengers as he rode. A pair of predatory-looking Christian Scientists were edging toward a trio of young office techs who wore idealized holographic... on their wrists, wet pink glittering under the harsh lighting. The techs licked their perfect lips nervously and eyed the Christian Scientists from beneath lowered metallic lids. The girls looked like tall, exotic grazing animals, swaying gracefully and unconsciously with the movement of the train...
Robert A. HeinleinStranger in a Strange Land. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons (1961). (Hugo winner) 2089Pg. 135:
If people must go to church, why the devil couldn't they be dignified, like Catholics, Christian Scientists, or Quakers?

Pg. 235:

L'Unita and Hoy published identical denunciations of Short's elevation, l'Osservatore Romano and the Christian Science Monitor ignored it, Times of India snickered at it...

Pg. 290:

She came back to their flat one day to find him doing nothing, surrounded by books--many books: The Talmud, the Kama-Sutra, Bibles in several versions, the Book of the Dead, the Book of Mormon,... the Koran, the unabridged Golden Bough, the Way, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, sacred writings of a dozen other religions major and minor...

Pg 348:

Bishop Oxtongue, at the New Grand Avenue Temple, preached on the text (Matt. XXIV:24): "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." He made clear that his diatribe did not refer to Mormons, Christian Scientists, Roman Catholics... nor to any fellow travelers whose good words counted more than inconsequential differences in creed or ritual... but solely to upstart heretics who were seducing faithful contributors away from the faiths of their fathers [i.e., the Church of All Worlds].
Aldous HuxleyBrave New World. New York: HarperCollins (1999; c. 1932, 1946) 2546In this future society, Fordianism has replaced Christianity. Hence, the name of the Fordian Science Monitor is based on the Christian Science Monitor. Pg. 258:
...four other reporters, representing the New York Times, the Frankfurt Four-Dimensional Continuum, The Fordian Science Monitor, and The Delta Mirror, called that afternoon at the lighthouse and met with reception of progressively increasing violence.

From a safe distance and still rubbing his buttocks, "Benighted fool!" shouted the man from The Fordian Science Monitor, "why don't you take soma?"

...the Savage... picking up a thick hazel switch, strode forward.

The man from The Fordian Science Monitor made a dash for the helicopter.

Damon Knight"Special Delivery" in The Best of Damon Knight. Garden City, NY: Nelson Doubleday (1976; c. 1954) 1954Pg. 95:
Little Leo, it appeared, was working his way simultaneously through biology, astrophysics, phrenology, chemical engineering, architecture, Christian Science, psychosomatic medicine, marine law, business management, Yoga, crystallography, metaphysics and modern literature.
Damon KnightA Reasonable World. New York: Tor (1991) 2007Pg. 152:
Or something closer to home, the Christian Scientists ("neither Christian nor scientists," her mother had said with icy scorn). There had been a family of them in the neighborhood, and she remembered her family saying that they had changed their attitude when the son fell ill with leukemia. Yes, and had he been cured? She seemed to remember that there had been a cure or a remission, but he had died anyhow a few years later...
John de Lancie & Peter DavidI, Q (Star Trek: The Next Generation). New York: Pocket Books (1999) 2374Pg. 115:
Instead, the only response he got was blank stares and confused looks. And then the Vulcan, with the air of authority that only Vulcans can lend to a pronouncement, said, "There is nothing wrong. None of this . . . is happening." If Mary Baker Eddy had heard him, she would have risen from the grave and kissed that Vulcan on the lips. "
Fritz LeiberOur Lady of Darkness. New York: Berkley Publishing Corp. (1977) 1900Pg. 98:
The Scottish Astronomer-Royal Piazzi Smith had discovered the history of the wold and its ominous future in the Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid of Egypt. While in the law courts, Mary Baker Eddy and her chief female acolytes were hurling accusations of witchcraft and black magic at each other.
Richard MathesonBid Time Return. New York: Viking Press (1975) 1971Pg. 12 (aboard the Queen Mary):
More memorabilia. Dominoes. Dice in a leather cup. A mechanical pencil. Books for religious services; Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Christian Scientist--that old, familiar book. I feel as though I were an archaeologist excavating in a temple.
Pg. 27:
I remember, at college, that my landlady (the local Christian Science practitioner and all of eighty-seven herself) took care of a ninety-six-year-old woman for whom she'd worked in the pat. This older woman, Miss Jenny, was completely bedridden. She was paralyzed...
Pg. 47:
"And love, most sweet."

What does that remind me of?

A Christian Science hymn. Except the words are : "And life, most sweet, as heart to heart, speaks kindly when we meet and part."

Lyda MorehouseArchangel Protocol. New York: Penguin Putnam (2001) 2076Pg. 2:
The rent for two places stretched an already tight pocketbook, and my supply of Christian Scientists in need of a private investigator was running dry. Despite their religious convictions against getting LINKed, the Scientists were, at least, respectable clients. More importantly to me, they could pay in credits rather than barter. The government recognized their objection as legitimate because it was based on religious belief against surgery. As conscientious objectors, they were allowed official external hardware.

Anyone else not on the LINK was either a dissenter or couldn't afford the process. America, as my letters to the editor often lamented, was no longer the home of democracy...

James MorrowOnly Begotten Daughter. New York: William Morrow & Co. (1990) 1993Julie Katz apparently visits Hell. Pg. 170:
Day by day, the categories of iniquity grew even more arbitrary and excessive. Julie could understand why there was an Island of Atheists. Ditto the Island of Adulterers, the Island of Occultists, the Island of Tax Dodgers. Depending on one's upbringing, the precincts reserved for Unitarians, Abortionists, Socialists, Nuclear Strategists, and Sexual Deviates made sense. But why the Island of Irish Catholics? The Island of Scotch Presbyterians? Christian Scientists, Methodists, Baptists?

"This offends me," she said...

The devil's [replied] "Throughout history, admission to Hell has depended on but one criterion... You must belong to a group some other group believes is heading there."

"That's perverse."

"It's also the law..."

Carl SaganContact. New York: Simon & Schuster (1985) 1999The Muslim offshoot Ahmadiyya is called a relatively recent sect, contemporaneous with Jehovah's Witnesses and Christian Science.
Clifford D. SimakWay Station. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Robert Bentley, Inc. (reprinted 1979; copyright 1963). (Hugo winner) 1963Pg. 14:
He subscribed to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Washington Star...
Dan SimmonsPhases of Gravity. New York: Bantam (1989) 1989Pg. 22:
"High places do that," he said. "There's a place I like to visit--a little Christian Science college--way out in the boonies on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River, not far from St. Louis. The campus is right on the bluffs near the river. There's a tiny chapel right near the edge, and you can walk out on some ledges and see halfway across Missouri."

"Are you a Christian Scientist?"

The question and her expression were so serious that Baedecker had to laugh. "No," he said, "I'm not religious. I'm not . . . anything." He had a sudden image of himself kneeling in the lunar dust, the stark sunlight a benediction.

Robert Shea &
Robert Anton Wilson
Illuminatus, Vol. III: Leviathan. New York: Dell (1975) 1975Pg. 15:
...the trickle turned the key and in came Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures...
Pg. 200
Typical Cancerians who exemplified Unordnung are Julius Caesar, Mary Baker Eddy (whose philosophy was an explicit denial of the biogram), Albert Parsons...
Pg. 217:
Those who think they are "materialists" and think that "materialism" requires them to deny all facts which do not square with their definition of "matter" are loath to admit the well-documented and extensive lists of individuals who have been cured of serious maladies by that very vulgar and absurd form of magick known as Christian Science.
[More on pg. 217-218.]
John SladekTik-Tok. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd. (1985; 1st printed 1983) 2094Pg. 85:
The Martians were not without religion, we learned. There were over 23,000 registered sects in the main population centers, ranging from the exotic... to the familiar (Church of Christ Dry Cleaner--Alterations While U Wait...
[Name patterned after Church of Christ, Scientist]
Connie WillisDoomsday Book. New York: Bantam (1992). (Hugo and Nebula winner) 2010Pg. 261:
"No. I think it's much more likely that Badri caught it from someone at that dance in Headington. There may have been New Hindus there, or Earthers, or someone else who doesn't believe in antivirals or modern medicine. The Canadian goose flu of 2010, if you'll remember, was traced back to a Christian Science commune..."
Connie Willis & Cynthia FeliceLight Raid. New York: Ace (1989) 2030Faux newspaper article, pg. 159:
from the Christian Science Enquirer... Anyone having information as to the whereabouts of Hellene Ariadne, please contact the Christian Science Enquirer.
[Faux news articles from this paper are also on pg. 46, 114, 126, 193.]



Note: This page has nothing to do with Christian scientists, i.e., "scientists who are Christian" in science fiction. This is just about Christian Scientists (capitalized S), the denomination. The Adherents.com fiction references database has many (over 25) references from fiction to scientists as a social-cultural group or science as a philosophy (listed under "Scientists"). But this database is not intended as a comprehensive or even extensive source for references to "scientists in science fiction" or "scientists who are Christian in science fiction."

Page created 9 February 2000. Last modified 9 October 2002.


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