The First Church of Christ, Scientist on the left
with its reflecting pool, Boston, Massachusetts
|Founder||Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910)|
|Headquarters and Mother Church||The First Church of Christ, Scientist (founded 1879), Christian Science Plaza, Back Bay, Boston|
|Key texts||Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health (1875) and Manual of the Mother Church (1895)|
|Number of churches||1,100 in the United States, 600 elsewhere|
|Key beliefs||Scientific statement of being: "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual."|
Christian Science is a set of beliefs and practices belonging to the metaphysical–New Thought family of new religious movements. It was developed in the 19th century in the United States by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), and was first described in her book Science and Health (1875), the religion's central text along with the Bible. Four years later Eddy founded The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts.
A census in 1936, at the height of the movement's popularity, counted nearly 270,000 Christian Scientists in the United States. Current worldwide membership estimates range from 100,000 to 400,000.
The religion's adherents, known as Christian Scientists, subscribe to a radical form of philosophical idealism, believing that spiritual reality is the only reality and that the material world is an illusion. This includes the view that sickness and death are illusions caused by mistaken beliefs, and that the sick should be treated by a special form of prayer intended to correct those beliefs, rather than by medicine. Between the 1880s and 1990s the avoidance of medical care and vaccination led to the deaths of a number of adherents and their children; several parents and others were prosecuted for manslaughter or neglect and in a few cases convicted. A church spokesman said in 2010 that the church of today would not allow such deaths to occur.
- 1 Background and theology
- 2 Birth of the religion
- 3 Writing and teaching
- 4 Growth of the movement
- 5 Current practices and governance
- 5.1 Practitioners, nursing homes
- 5.2 Christian Science prayer and treatment
- 5.3 Relationship with medicine
- 5.4 Christian Science church
- 5.5 Christian Science Publishing Society
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
Background and theology
Metaphysical–New Thought family
Caroline Fraser writes that the history of the United States is a "history of religious sects that have sanctified the power of self," some of them "cultists breaking away from cultists who had themselves broken away from England," with New England as the "test tube." The 18th- and 19th-century periods of Protestant Christian revival known as the First and Second Great Awakening (1734–1740 and 1820–1860) created new schools of thought and a proliferation of new cults and sects. These included Christian Science and New Thought, Millerites, Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, Shakers, Swedenborgians, and Unitarians. In parallel, interest grew in astrology, homeopathy, mesmerism (hypnotism), and the relationship between diet, mind and body. Fraser writes that there was "spiritual freedom and spiritual chaos."
Christian Science is part of the metaphysical–New Thought family of new religious movements. The word metaphysical refers here to the ontological centrality of Mind, and to the idea that human beings are manifestations of it. Dell DeChant writes that New Thought, known as Mind Cure (or Mind-cure) and Mind Science when it first appeared in the United States, emerged as the popular expression of philosophical idealism, the idea that an ultimate reality lies behind the perception of the senses, a school of thought that stretches back to Plato (428–348 BCE).
In 19th-century New England the New Thought movement derived its ideas from mentalist and faith healer Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802–1866); his patient Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), who founded Christian Science and was accused of having plagiarized Quimby's work; and Eddy's student Emma Curtis Hopkins (1849–1925), whose Christian Science splinter group, the Christian Science Theological Seminary, became the precursor of New Thought. William James (1842–1910) saw in the movement strains of Emersonianism or New England transcendentalism, Berkeleyan idealism, spiritism and Hinduism.
Although there are differences between Christian Science and New Thought, they have in common that, as John Saliba writes, "attunement with God" is the ultimate aim of each human being, and comprehending the way the human mind works is the key to physical health. An important difference is that, while both maintain that sickness can be healed spiritually, New Thought regards the material world as real, whereas Christian Science dismisses it as an illusion. As a result, New Thought practitioners are not opposed to using medicine to deal with ill health, unlike their Christian Science counterparts.
Other groups within the metaphysical–New Thought family are the Church of Divine Science, Jewish Science, United Church of Religious Science and Unity School of Christianity. James R. Lewis writes that the word "science" was appropriated by these groups, as well as by Scientology and Science of Mind, because of the quasi-religious status of science in the 19th and early-20th centuries. They not only use the term, but say they use the methodology of science, applying what they see as the discovery of new spiritual laws to the improvement of people's lives, rather than focusing on salvation in an afterlife.
Christian Science theology
J. Gordon Melton notes that Christian Science leaders see their religion as part of mainstream Christianity, and resent being identified with the New Thought movement. He argues that there are nevertheless strong differences between Christian Science theology and that of traditional Christianity. Although Eddy used a Christian vocabulary, she "radically redefine[d] basic theological terms," Melton writes, leading to differing views of the Trinity, the creation narrative, the divinity of Jesus, and atonement for sin. According to theologian Stephen J. Stein, Eddy's Science and Health did not replace the Bible for Christian Scientists, but sought to explain it, although he also notes that Eddy regarded Science and Health as an "inspired text," seeing herself as merely a scribe for divine interpretation.
Melton writes that the claim that Science and Health was a new revelation appeared to Protestant Christians as a challenge to the authority of the Bible, and charges of heresy hounded Christian Science. According to Philip Jenkins, Christian writers linked both Christian Science and New Thought to theosophy; the Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, the year Eddy's Science and Health was first published. "The movements seemed like parallel alien intrusions into Christian America," Jenkins writes, "a conduit for the importation of Asian ideas."
The basis of Eddy's scriptural reinterpretation, Stein writes, was that the Bible had been misunderstood because the nature of reality had been misunderstood. She argued that spiritual reality is the only reality, and that the material world – including sickness, death and evil – are illusions, or mistakes of mortal mind. The most concrete description of her ontology, what she called the "first plank in the platform of Christian Science," is the "scientific statement of being" (above right), which is read out loud at the end of Christian Science services. Like William James, the philosopher Nicholas Rescher likened this to the subjective idealism of the philosopher George Berkeley (1685–1753), or to ancient Oriental panpsychism.
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Eddy saw God as a principle, not a person, and the creation narrative in the Book of Genesis (c. 950–500 BCE) as spiritually authoritative, but not a literal account. Christian Scientist Stephen Gottschalk (1931–2005) wrote that "God is not a person who loves, but is love"; not a giver of life, but life itself, what Eddy called "the everlasting I AM." Eddy's "Father–Mother–God" is "incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." In contrast to New Thought or Mind-cure, Eddy taught that mortal mind cannot cure disease, because it cannot cure what it has caused. "The theology of Christian Science is based on the action of the divine Mind over the human mind and body," she wrote. What heals is "not one mind acting upon another mind, [but] Truth over error." There is no death in Christian Science, no heaven or hell, no final judgment. A person who seems to die simply adjusts to another level of consciousness, inaccessible to the living. Eddy wrote that in burying a body we bury only our own false sense of the person.
Eddy saw her work as a kind of second coming, writing: "The second appearing of Jesus is, unquestionably, the spiritual advent of the advancing idea of God, as in Christian Science." She regarded Jesus not as a deity or savior who atoned for human sin as in traditional Christianity, but as the first person fully to manifest Divine Mind. Craig Prentiss writes that, within Christian Science, Jesus did not die on the cross, but instead demonstrated the illusory nature of matter and therefore of death. For Eddy, Jesus was a "natural and divine Scientist ... a Christian Scientist," a "way-shower" or mediator between God and humanity. In 1907 Mark Twain (1835–1910) described the appeal of the new religion from the perspective of Eddy's followers:
She has delivered to them a religion which has revolutionized their lives, banished the glooms that shadowed them, and filled them and flooded them with sunshine and gladness and peace; a religion which has no hell; a religion whose heaven is not put off to another time, with a break and a gulf between, but begins here and now, and melts into eternity as fancies of the waking day melt into the dreams of sleep.
They believe it is a Christianity that is in the New Testament; that it has always been there, that in the drift of ages it was lost through disuse and neglect, and that this benefactor has found it and given it back to men, turning the night of life into day, its terrors into myths, its lamentations into songs of emancipation and rejoicing.
Birth of the religion
Mary Baker Eddy
Earliest known photograph of Mary Baker Eddy, probably from the early 1850s
|Born||Mary Morse Baker
July 16, 1821
Bow, New Hampshire
|Died||December 3, 1910
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
|Resting place||Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts|
|Spouse(s)||George Washington Glover
(m. 1853–1873, separated 1866)
Asa Gilbert Eddy (m. 1877–1882)
|Children||George Washington Glover II (born 1844)|
|Parents||Mark Baker (d. 1865)
Abigail Ambrose Baker (d. 1849)
Eddy was born Mary Morse Baker on July 16, 1821, on a farm in Bow, New Hampshire, the youngest and last of six children, three boys followed by three girls. The family were Protestant Congregationalists. Her father, Mark Baker (d. 1865), was a deeply religious man who would lead the family in lengthy prayer every morning and evening. In common with most women at the time, Eddy was given little formal education, but by some accounts she read widely at home.
Eddy experienced protracted ill health throughout her childhood and into adulthood, with conditions she or others described as chronic dyspepsia, spinal inflammation, neuralgia and stomach cankers. The literary critic Harold Bloom described her in 1992 as "an extraordinary wreck, a monumental hysteric of classical dimensions, indeed a kind of anthology of nineteenth-century nervous ailments." Fraser argues that Eddy established a pattern from childhood of appearing to be seriously ill, then quickly recovering, having learned that it was likely to gain her attention. McClure's magazine wrote in 1907–1908, in a series of 14 highly critical articles about Eddy and the church: "Nothing had the power of exciting Mark Baker like one of Mary's 'fits,' as they were called. His neighbors ... remember him as he went to fetch Dr. Ladd, how he lashed his horses down the hill ... shouting in his tremendous voice: 'Mary is dying!'"
Christian Scientists regard the criticism of Eddy as a "hysteric" as sexist and unfair, part of what Christian Scientist Jean A. McDonald called the "biological rhetoric" of insanity and simple-mindedness that was deployed against women in the 19th century. Eddy was an obvious target because she was challenging the hegemony of two powerful male groups: the clergy and the medical establishment. Stephen Gottschalk, who until 1990 worked for the church's Committees on Publication – an institution created by Eddy in 1888 to protect the church's reputation – argued in 2001 that Eddy in fact suffered serious illness and tragic personal loss.
Her first husband died shortly before her 23rd birthday, six months after they married and three months before the birth of their son, leaving her penniless. As a result of her poor health, she lost custody of the child when he was four, although sources differ as to whether she could have prevented this. Her second husband, who left her after 13 years of marriage, promised to become the boy's legal guardian – per the legal doctrine of coverture, women at that time in the United States could not be their own children's guardians – but it is unclear whether he did, and Eddy lost all contact with her son until he was in his thirties. Her third husband, Asa Gilbert Eddy, died five years after they married. Gillian Gill, one of Eddy's biographers, writes that these personal losses served to free Eddy from the kind of domestic environment that would otherwise have hampered her work.
She was by all accounts charismatic – charming and flattering when she needed to be – and able to inspire great loyalty, although Gill writes that she could also be irrational, capricious and unkind. One student wrote of her:
When she entered the classroom ... she made her way to a slightly raised platform, turned and faced us. She wore an imported black satin dress heavily beaded with tiny black jet beads, black satin slippers, beaded, and had on her rarely beautiful diamonds. ... She stood before us, seemingly slight, graceful of carriage, and exquisitely beautiful even to critical eyes. Then, still standing, she faced her class as one who knew herself to be a teacher by divine right. ... She turned to the student at the end of the first row of seats and took direct mental cognizance of this one, plainly knocked at the door of this individual consciousness. It was as if a question had been asked and answered and a benediction given. Then her eyes rested on the next in order and the same recognition was made. This continued until each member of the class had received the same mental cognizance. No audible word voiced the purely mental contact.
It was in part because of Eddy's unusual personality that Christian Science took hold of people's imaginations and flourished, despite the disputes and controversy she caused throughout her life, including among her closest followers. McClure's wrote of her: "She was like a patch of colour in those gray communities. She was never dull, her old hosts say, and never commonplace. She never laid aside her regal air; never entered a room or left it like other people. There was something about her that continually excited and stimulated, and she gave people the feeling that a great deal was happening." Mark Twain, although highly critical of her, wrote in 1907: "In several ways she is the most interesting woman that ever lived, and the most extraordinary."
Phineas Parkhurst Quimby
Eddy tried every available remedy for her ailments, including homeopathy, mesmerism, hydropathy, and the vegetarian Graham diet of the Rev. Sylvester Graham (1794–1851), who took the view that "ALL MEDICINE, AS SUCH, IS ITSELF AN EVIL." Alternative practitioners were much sought after at a time when physicians, or allopaths as they were known, regularly "bled, puked and purged" their patients, as Ronnie Numbers and Rennie Schoepflin put it.
In 1862 Eddy heard of "Quimbyism," a healing method developed by Phineas Parkhurst "Park" Quimby, a former clockmaker turned professional mesmerist, who worked in Portland, Maine. McClure's wrote of Quimby in 1907 that, although he had had only six weeks' of schooling, he was regarded locally as a "mild-mannered New England Socrates," because of his refusal to accept anything on authority. So far as local legend was concerned, McClure's wrote, when he practised his mesmerism, consumptives recovered and the blind saw. Quimby called himself "a teacher of the science of health and happiness," and his philosophy was "the truth is the cure." This would sometimes consist of shouting at a patient who could not walk, "you can walk!" He described his methods, in a "circular to the sick," as correcting his patients' errors and thereby "chang[ing] the fluids of the system":
Dr. P.P. Quimby would respectfully announce to the citizens of ____ and vicinity, that he will be at the ____, where he will attend to those wishing to consult him in regard to their health. And as his practice is unlike all other medical practice, it is necessary to say that he gives no medicines and makes no outward applications, but simply sits down by his patients, tells them their feelings, etc., then his explanation is the cure; and if he succeeds in correcting their error, he changes the fluids of the system and establishes the truth or health.
Eddy wrote to Quimby in August 1862, telling him she could barely sit up, and asked for his help; she had to be carried up the stairs to his consulting rooms. She felt better immediately, and returned to see him several times in 1863 and 1864, but found that she was well only while being treated; the symptoms returned without Quimby's attention, which, she wrote later, meant he had not really effected a cure. She began to practice his methods herself on patients, with some success, except that, as Quimby had warned, she would sometimes acquire their symptoms.
The fall in Lynn
Eddy's father died in October 1865 when she was 44 years old, followed in January 1866 by the death of Quimby. Two weeks after that, on February 1, Eddy experienced what Christian Scientists call the "fall in Lynn," the birth of their religion. Eddy said it was a revelation – not a communication from a deity, but what she called "human and divine coincidence." She was out walking in Lynn, Massachusetts, when she slipped on some ice, injuring her spine and knocking herself unconscious. Two women who looked after her declared that she was paralyzed. On the third day after the fall, Eddy read a Bible passage about one of Jesus's healings and was able to rise from her bed, apparently well, in what those around her saw as a miracle. Christian Scientists regard her recovery as an example of Christian Science healing.
Both the extent of her injury and the degree to which she considered herself healed at the time are disputed. A homeopathic doctor who treated her after the fall, Alvin M. Cushing – when asked by McClure's in 1907, over 40 years later – said the injury had not been a serious one, and that Eddy had responded to a homeopathic remedy (highly diluted arnica) and some morphine that he had given her. She also wrote to a friend of Quimby's, Julius Dresser (1838–1893), two weeks after the accident, telling him she had awoken after the fall to find herself "the helpless cripple I was before I saw Dr. Quimby," and asking him to treat her. In addition, she asked the city for damages months after the fall "for serious personal injuries from which [she had] little prospect of recovering." Gill writes that she may have done this under financial pressure; she was in an emotionally and financially strained marriage at the time to Daniel Patterson, her second husband, and she asked for the damages just months before they separated, when she knew she would have to fend for herself.
In her autobiography, Retrospection and Introspection (1891), Eddy was clear about attributing her discovery of Christian Science to the fall in Lynn, calling it "the great discovery." But in the first edition of Science and Health (1875), she wrote that she had discovered her healing method while struggling with dyspepsia (indigestion) as a child, or what Gill argues was probably an eating disorder.
Eddy offered more than one version of this. In the first edition she wrote that she had spent years of her youth following a rigid version of the Graham diet to treat her dyspepsia: vegetables, water and a slice of bread, consumed once a day. She wrote: "Thus we passed most of our early years, as many can attest, in hunger, pain, weakness and starvation." She continued that: "After years of suffering ... our eyes were suddenly opened, and we learned suffering is self-imposed, a belief, and not truth." In later editions of Science and Health (for example, in the 40th edition in 1889), when the fall in Lynn took precedence, Eddy attributed the dyspepsia to a woman she had known, and offered its disappearance as an example of Christian Science healing. In other editions, she wrote that it had happened to a man she had known.
Writing and teaching
The Science of Man
Eddy wrote that she withdrew from society for three years after the fall in Lynn "to search the Scriptures, to find the Science of Mind ... and reveal the great curative Principle, God." She moved from boarding house to boarding house, and tried to earn a living by teaching her healing method, first advertising for students in July 1868 in a spiritualist magazine, the Banner of Light (see right). She called her method Moral Science, Divine Science, Metaphysical Healing, and (clearly echoing Quimby) the Truth-cure, before settling on Christian Science. She wrote that she called it Christian "because it is compassionate, helpful, and spiritual."
Eddy worked from her home at 8 Broad Street, Lynn, with a sign outside saying "Mary B. Glover's Christian Scientists," and several people gathered around her as students and patients. A religion teaching that evil and sickness did not exist, and that their appearance could be conquered simply by thinking them away, was very attractive. In 1870 she charged $100, and later $300, for a three-week, 12-lecture course, using an unpublished manuscript as a textbook, which she called "The Science of Man." McClure's and others charged that this manuscript was Quimby's. Eddy wrote in Science and Health (1875) that she had written and copyrighted the manuscript in 1870 in the form of a pamphlet, The Science of Man, By Which the Sick are Healed, although it was not published until 1876.
Eddy's students agreed to pay her 10 percent annually of any income they derived from using the healing method. In June 1875 one of them, Daniel Spofford – who after completing Eddy's course advertised himself as a "Scientific Physician" – arranged for eight of her students to put up $10 to hire a hall and pay Eddy $5 to speak. On July 4, 1876, the same group formed the Christian Scientists' Association.
Science and Health
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Two of Eddy's students, George Barry and Elizabeth Newhall, paid a Boston printer $2,200 to have the first edition of Science and Health published on October 30, 1875. Barry also helped by copying 2,500 pages of the manuscript in long hand, and ended up having to sue Eddy for his fee.
The first edition has been criticized as poorly written; Stephen Gottschalk writes that it is "convoluted and at points confusing." Eddy added Key to the Scriptures to the sixth edition in 1884, and for the 16th edition in 1885 hired an editor, James Henry Wiggin (1836–1900), a Unitarian clergyman. According to Gottschalk, the issue of how much Wiggin contributed to the text is one of Christian Science's most controversial questions. Wiggin told his literary executor that he rewrote it from top to bottom, although he told others, including Mark Twain, that he had only polished it.
Eddy continued to revise the book until her death in 1910, issuing 432 editions in all; the first edition contained eight chapters and 456 pages, and the final edition 18 chapters and 600 pages. She encouraged members to buy a new copy whenever she published a major revision, which brought in significant earnings. Other income derived from the sale of rings and brooches, pictures of Eddy, and in 1889 the Mary Baker Eddy Souvenir Spoon; Eddy asked every Christian Scientist to buy at least one, or a dozen if they could afford to.
When the copyright on Science and Health expired in 1971, the church managed to persuade Congress to pass a law extending it to the year 2046; Gardner reports that the bill was supported by two of President Nixon's aides, H.R. Haldeman (1926–1993) and John Ehrlichman (1925–1999), both Christian Scientists. The law was overturned in 1987 as unconstitutional. By April 2001, according to the church, the book had sold ten million copies; it has been translated into 16 languages and is available in English Braille.
Christian Science healing: sickness as error
Eddy said she had personally healed consumption (tuberculosis), diphtheria, and "at one visit a cancer that had eaten the flesh of the neck and exposed the jugular vein so that it stood out like a cord. I have physically restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and have made the lame walk." She argued that "sickness is error."
We weep because others weep, we yawn because they yawn, and we have small-pox because others have it; but mortal mind, not matter, contains and carries the infection. ... Palsy is a belief that attacks mortals through fear, and paralyzes the body ... Destroy the fear, show mortal mind that no muscular power can be lost – for Mind is supreme – and you will cure the palsy.
She reached her position on healing in part because of her skepticism about homeopathy, after arguably witnessing what would now be called the placebo effect. She wrote in Science and Health: "My experiments in homeopathy had made me sceptical as to material curative methods. ... [T]he drug is attenuated [diluted] to such a degree that not a vestige of it remains; and from this I learn that it is not the drug that cures the disease or changes one of the symptoms ... thus it should be seen that Mind is the healer, or metaphysics, and that there is no efficacy in the drug."
Eddy wrote that reading about disease is sufficient to externalize thoughts as physical symptoms: "The press unwittingly sends forth many a plague-spot into the human family. It does this by giving names to diseases, and printing long descriptions that mirror images of disease distinctly in thought. A new name for an ailment affects people like a Parisian name for a novel garment. Every one hastens to get it." She argued similarly against the recording of ages: "Timetables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood."
Her belief in the concept of absolute mind dealt with the argument that people can be killed by poison even when they harbor no belief that it is poison. In these cases: "[T]he vast majority of mankind, though they know nothing of this particular case and this special person, believe the arsenic, the strychnine, or whatever the drug used, to be poisonous .... Consequently, the result is controlled by the majority of opinions, not by the infinitesimal minority of opinions in the sick chamber."
She allowed exceptions from Christian Science healing for going to the dentist, treatment for broken limbs, and basic surgical procedures. She herself wore glasses, used morphine, had her third husband treated by a physician, and arranged for an autopsy when he died. But for the most part (then and now), Christian Scientists believe that medicine and Christian Science healing are incompatible, because they proceed from contradictory assumptions. Medicine asserts that something is physically broken and needs to be fixed, while Christian Science asserts that the spiritual reality is harmonious and perfect, and that any belief to the contrary is an error that needs to be corrected.
Eddy's debt to Quimby
Gill argues that the nature of Eddy's debt to Quimby became the single most controversial issue of her life. Eddy drew a distinction between her methods and Quimby's – which she dismissed as "Mind Quack" – arguing that her approach was purely spiritual, whereas his was physical, both in the sense that he touched his patients, and because he maintained that matter was real. According to Gottschalk, the mind curers such as Quimby believed that illness was something real that thought could overcome; that mind could both cause and cure illness. Against this, Eddy argued that "mortal mind" was the source of the sickness, and that what it caused it could not cure: "The theology of Christian Science is based on the action of the divine Mind over the human mind and body; whereas 'mind-cure' rests on the notion that the human mind can cure its own disease, or that which it causes ..." She wrote of Christian Science healing:
It is not one mind acting upon another mind. It is not the transference of human images of thought to other minds; it is not supported by the evidence before the personal senses,—Science contradicts this evidence; it is not of the flesh, but of the Spirit. It is Christ come to destroy the power of the flesh; it is Truth over error.
Mark Twain wrote of the distinction, in his Christian Science (1907), referring to Quimbyism as "mental healing": "The Christian Scientist believes that the Spirit of God (life and love) pervades the universe like an atmosphere; that whoso will study Science and Health can get from it the secret of how to inhale that transforming air ... It is apparent, then, that in Christian Science it is not one man's mind acting upon another man's mind that heals; that it is solely the Spirit of God that heals; that the healer's mind performs no office but to convey that force to the patient; that it is merely the wire which carries the electric fluid, so to speak, and delivers the message. Therefore, if these things be true, mental-healing and Science-healing are separate and distinct processes, and no kinship exists between them."
Ernest Sutherland Bates (1879–1939) and John V. Dittemore (a former director of the Christian Science church) disagreed, arguing in their 1932 biography of Eddy that Science and Health is "practically all Quimby," except for the idea of malicious animal mesmerism. The similarities they identified were: the conception of God as the sole reality, the non-existence of matter (though it is unclear whether Quimby subscribed to this), the soul as unchanging, disease as error, the appeal to a higher power to correct that error, the practice of treatment from a distance, healing children through the beliefs of their parents, the notion of "chemicalization" (which they described as "mental disturbances accompanying new ideas") as part of the process, and that the healer begins to feel the patient's symptoms. They also wrote that Quimby, like Eddy, saw this belief system as a science.
In February 1883 one of Quimby's followers, Julius Dresser (1838–1893), accused Eddy in a letter to the The Boston Post of having plagiarized Quimby's unpublished work. She denied the charge; on the contrary, she insisted, it was she who had influenced Quimby. The issue ended up in court. Eddy filed a complaint in April that year that a former student of hers, Edward J. Arens, was using her work; he counter-claimed that she had plagiarized it from Quimby in the first place. Quimby's family was unwilling to produce his manuscript for the lawsuit, and Eddy won the case.
Eddy suggested that some original writings of hers were being confused for the work of Quimby; she had handed her manuscripts out to her students, and now "the evil-minded" were saying those texts did not originate with her. She was accused again in July 1904 in a long anonymous article in The New York Times entitled "True Origin of Christian Science." The newspaper had obtained one of Quimby's unpublished manuscripts, "Extracts from Dr. P.P. Quimby's Writings." It said that "the ideas and form of expression are those of Science and Health," except that Quimby did not claim divine inspiration. A series of McClure's articles in 1907–1908 repeated the charge of plagiarism. Its authors wrote, in a later book: "For 20 closely written pages, Quimby's manuscript, Questions and Answers, is word for word the same as Mrs. Glover's manuscript, The Science of Man."
The Quimby Manuscripts were eventually published in 1921 by Julius Dresser's son, Horatio Dresser (1866–1954). Martin Gardner (1914–2010) maintained in 1993 that Eddy had copied "huge chunks" of Quimby's Questions and Answers manuscript into her 1870 pamphlet The Science of Man, which was then edited to become the chapter "Recapitulation" in Science and Health (1875). This is the chapter Christian Scientists must study to become practitioners.
Eddy was also accused, by Walter M. Haushalter in his Mrs. Eddy Purloins from Hegel (1936), of having copied material "with lavish abandon" from "The Metaphysical Religion of Hegel" (1866), an essay by Francis Lieber (1798–1872). The theologian Charles S. Braden accused Eddy of having plagiarized "Man of Integrity," an essay by Lindley Murray (1745–1826), and wrote that another article, "Taking Offense," was printed as Eddy's when in fact it was written by someone else and first published by an obscure newspaper. Martin Gardner listed several other writers whose words he said she had used without attribution, including John Ruskin (1819–1900), Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), Charles Kingsley (1819–1875), Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821–1881), and Hugh Blair (1718–1800).
Malicious animal magnetism
Despite her view that evil was not real, Eddy became obsessed with the idea that, if mental powers could be used to heal, they could also be used to destroy. She called the latter "malicious mesmerism," or "malicious animal magnetism," known within Christian Science as MAM. MAM was a "mental error," a manifestation of mortal mind, rather than Divine Mind. Everything that went wrong in her life from the late 1870s onwards, she blamed on someone using MAM against her. It caused objects to get lost, bad weather, newspaper articles that were critical of her, and even the death of her third husband. She said that when she died it would be because of MAM rather than from natural causes.
Eddy came to believe that two of her students, first Richard Kennedy, then Daniel Spofford, were using MAM against her; a third student, Edward J. Arens, was also later accused. Spofford had been a favorite of Eddy's – indeed, had wanted to marry her – but he quarrelled with her over money, and found himself expelled from the Christian Scientists' Association that he had helped to set up.
In May 1878 a lawsuit was brought against Spofford in Salem, Massachusetts, by another of Eddy's former students, Lucretia Brown. Brown alleged that Spofford had practiced malicious mesmerism on her, although it was clear that Eddy was behind the allegation. Eddy held a power of attorney allowing her to appear in court on Brown's behalf, but the court declined to hear the case. Afterwards several newspapers wrote that Eddy had tried, before the case, to persuade them to publish attacks on Spofford.
In preparation for the trial, Eddy organized 24-hour "watches" in her home, during which her students (known as "mental workers") were asked to use their minds to block MAM originating from Kennedy or Spofford. She continued to organize watches for the rest of her life. In her home at Pleasant View in Concord, New Hampshire, where she lived from 1889, she required the watchers to attend hour-long meetings twice a day to address issues that might be manifestations of MAM, such as a negative newspaper article. Gill writes that Eddy took the term watch from the New Testament story about Jesus's night in Gethsemane with his disciples.
In October 1878 – in what Gill writes is "[t]he most puzzling event in the often puzzling history of early Christian Science" – Eddy's third husband, Asa Gilbert Eddy, and one of her students, Edward Arens, were arrested for conspiring to murder Daniel Spofford. A barman, James Sargent, said they had offered him $500 to carry out the killing; after a complex series of claims and counter-claims, the charges were dropped when a key witness retracted his statement. Defenders of Eddy attributed the allegations to a plot to harm her launched by another former student, but biographers hostile to Eddy regarded the case as strong enough to assume that Eddy's husband and Arens had indeed plotted to have Spofford killed.
Growth of the movement
Establishing the church and college
On April 12, 1879, shortly after the conspiracy-to-murder allegation had receded – and three years before her third husband died – the Christian Scientists' Association voted to form a church in Boston. They chose the name The Church of Christ (Scientist), and were granted a charter on August 23 that year with 26 members. The church at first held its services in members' homes in Lynn and Boston; the numbers attending were small, from around six to 20.
Several members left after tiring of Eddy's focus on malicious mesmerism, as well as the legal and other disputes she was by that time involved in. They resigned formally in October 1881, signing a document that referred to her "frequent ebullitions of temper, love of money, and the appearance of hypocrisy." According to Cather and Milmine, Eddy rallied the remaining ranks, who pledged their loyalty to her in February 1882, publishing a resolution that said "unless we hear Her voice we do not hear His voice."
On January 31, 1881, a charter was granted to form the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in Boston, as the name under which Eddy conducted her teaching. It said its purpose was: "To teach pathology, ontology, therapeutics, moral science, metaphysics, and their application to the treatment of disease." When she moved from Lynn to Boston in 1882, Eddy set up the college in her new home at 569 Columbus Avenue, and later next door at number 571.
Eddy's third husband's death
In 1880 Eddy fell out with Edward Arens too – the Christian Science student accused in October 1878 of trying to kill Daniel Spofford – after he published a pamphlet that mirrored her work. When her third husband died of heart disease in June 1882, shortly after the move from Lynn to Boston, she told the Boston Globe that Arens had killed him with malicious mesmerism:
Mrs. Mary B. Glover Eddy, the founder of 'Christian Science' sent for a reporter to come to the 'Metaphysical College,' 569 Columbus Avenue, yesterday. She wished to make a statement. Mr. Eddy, her husband had died that morning, and she appeared much overcome at the event, and could scarcely control herself enough to make the following statement: Her husband, she said, had died with every symptom of arsenical poisoning. Both he and she knew it to be the result of a malicious mesmeric influence exerted upon his mind by certain parties here in Boson, who had sworn to injure them. She had formerly had the same symptoms of arsenical poison herself, and it was some time before she discovered it to be the mesmeric work of an enemy. Soon after her marriage her husband began to manifest the same symptoms and had since shown them from time to time; but was, with her help, always able to overcome them. A few weeks ago she observed that he did not look well, and when questioned he said that he was unable to get the idea of this arsenical poison out of his mind. He had been steadily growing worse ever since, but still had hoped to overcome the trouble until the last. After the death the body had turned black.
Fraser writes that the Boston Globe article made Eddy a local household name, a real-life version of the charismatic and beautiful Verena Tarrant in Henry James's The Bostonians (1885–1886), with her interest in spiritualism, rights for women and the mind cure.
After her husband's death, several of her students moved into her home on Columbus Avenue, and lived, studied and offered treatment there. Eddy held her classes in the house, and the students/practitioners had rooms in which they saw patients. Fraser writes that Eddy's two-week, 12-lesson "primary class," as it was known – which taught adherents how to become practitioners – cost $300, while during the same period Harvard Medical School charged $200 for a year's tuition. Fraser also writes that students were not allowed to take notes during class.
First journal, first church building
In 1883 Eddy founded the Journal of Christian Science, later called the Christian Science Journal, which spread news of her ideas still further. Cather and Milmine wrote: "Copies found their way to remote villages in Missouri and Arkansas, to lonely places in Nebraska and Colorado, where people had much time for reflection, little excitement, and a great need to believe in miracles. ... Mrs. Eddy and Christian Science began to be talked of far away in the mountains and in the prairie villages."
The first church building was erected in 1886 in Oconto, Wisconsin, and still stands at the corner of Main Street and Chicago Street. The original building of The First Church of Christ, Scientist (known as the Mother Church) was completed on Saturday, December 29, 1894 – in time for the first service held there the following day – on Huntington Avenue in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. An extension was built in 1906 to accommodate 5,000 people, at a cost of $2 million donated by Christian Scientists. In November 1906 the New York Times reported that the church had 80,000 members. By the year of Eddy's death in 1910, according to the 1922 Encyclopædia Britannica, there were 1,077 Christian Science churches in the United States, 58 in England, 38 in Canada, and 28 elsewhere.
Prosecution of Abby Corner
From the 1880s onwards, several adults and children died after being given Christian Science healing instead of medical care, leading to around 50 prosecutions for manslaughter and other charges. The first case was in March 1888, that of Abby H. Corner of Medford, Massachusetts. Corner was a Christian Science practitioner who had attended to her own daughter, Lottie James, during childbirth; James bled to death, and the baby did not survive. Physicians argued in court that the bleeding could have been prevented, but Corner was acquitted of manslaughter on the grounds that the hemorrhage might have been fatal even with a physician in attendance.
Eddy responded on April 29, 1888, with a letter to the Boston Herald distancing herself from Corner; the letter was signed "Committee on Publication, Christian Scientists' Association," but according to Cather and Milmine it was published without the association's knowledge and contained several of Eddy's expressions:
The lamentable case reported from West Medford of the death of a mother and her infant at childbirth should forever put a stop to quackery. There has been but one side of this case presented by newspapers. ... Mrs. Abby H. Corner never entered the obstetrics class at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College. She was not fitted at this institute for an accoucheur [obstetrician or midwife], had attended but one term, and four terms, including three years of successful practice by the student, are required to complete the college course.
Cather and Milmine wrote that the obstetrics course was a recent innovation of Eddy's, and that she had been allowing her students to attend women in childbirth for many years. She had even called herself "Professor of Obstetrics" in 1882. They wrote: "Hundreds of Mrs. Eddy's students were then practising who knew no more about obstetrics than the babes they helped into this world."
Christian Scientists were shocked by Eddy's withdrawal of support from Corner, seeing it as a betrayal. According to Cather and Milmine, the Christian Scientists' Association felt that Christian Science itself was on trial, and had warmly supported Corner, which included paying for her defence, over Eddy's objections. The dispute led to several members being dismissed from the association and another 36 withdrawing in protest, out of around 200 overall.
Gill writes that several of Eddy's biographers have cited the Corner case as evidence of Eddy's coldness and hypocrisy, but she argues that Eddy's response should be viewed within the context of the increasing medicalization of childbirth at the time, which involved an almost entirely male medical profession seeking more control over women's bodies. Eddy knew that the case could trigger a public backlash that would jeopardize the pain-free experience of childbirth several women said they had had with Christian Science. It was this outcome that Eddy sought to prevent, as well as a split within the movement between the purists and those who wanted to compromise over the medical issues.
View of the Christian clergy, Mark Twain
Mainstream Protestants saw Christian Science, or "Eddyism," as heretical, cult-like and worryingly popular. The Times of London reported in May 1885 that the clergy saw it as "the most dangerous innovation that has threatened the Christian Church in this region for years. Scores of the most valued church members are joining the Christian Science branch of the metaphysical organization, and it has thus far been impossible to check the defection."
Philip Jenkins writes that Eddy's interpretation of the Lord's Prayer – "Our Father–Mother–God, all harmonious" – was often quoted in cult exposés, the writers taken aback by the notion that God might be female. During Eddy's lifetime the New York Times regularly referred to Christian Science as a cult.  Philosopher John K. Simmons writes that Christian Science has "moved back and forth on a cult-sect-denomination continuum." Eddy saw it as a Christian sect, the restoration of true Christianity, but Simmons writes that so much of it was new that it met the criteria of a cult, particularly in relation to the rejection of medical care. At the same time, he writes, it attracted a conservative, middle-class membership, just like any other Protestant-Christian denomination. It was still listed as a cult in the 2003 edition of Walter Ralston Martin's (1928–1989) religious reference book, The Kingdom of the Cults, first published in 1965.
The writer Mark Twain was another critic. He first wrote about Christian Science in October 1899 in Cosmopolitan, in an article called "Christian Science and the Book of Mrs. Eddy." He had a further three articles about it published in North American Review between December 1902 and February 1903, then published the articles as a book, Christian Science (1907). Twain believed in the power of mind over matter, and expressed admiration for Christian Science healing. Members of his family had reportedly been helped by mental healing, and his daughter, Clara, became a Christian Scientist. He nevertheless took strong exception to Eddy's writings, calling them "incomprehensible and uninterpretable." He also believed that she had not written Science and Health herself.
Twain was incensed by the thought that Eddy was using Christian Science to accrue wealth and power, writing: "From end to end of the Christian Science literature not a single (material) thing in the world is conceded to be real, except the Dollar." He called her: "Grasping, sordid, penurious, famishing for everything she sees – money, power, glory – vain, untruthful, jealous, despotic, arrogant, insolent, pitiless where thinkers and hypnotists are concerned, illiterate, shallow, incapable of reasoning outside of commercial lines, immeasurably selfish." Twain's fear that Eddy could gain great power as a religious figurehead was the basis of his satirical story, "The Secret History of Eddypus, the World Empire" (1901–1902), in which Christian Science replaces Christianity and Eddy becomes the Pope.
The first detailed biography of Eddy, and the first history of Christian Science, appeared in McClure's magazine (1893–1929) in a devastating critique published in 14 installments between January 1907 and June 1908, preceded by an editorial in December 1906 announcing the series. The essence of the articles is that Eddy was an uneducated, dishonest plagiarist whose chief concern was money. The material, which included court documents, news articles from the 1880s, and affidavits from people who knew Eddy, was published in book form in 1909 as The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science. It became the key primary source for most subsequent non-church biographies of Eddy and histories of the religion.
The editor-in-chief S.S. McClure (1857–1949) assigned five writers and researchers to work on the series: Willa Cather (1873–1947), who was the principal author, Burton J. Hendrick (1870–1949), Will Irwin (1873–1948), the political columnist Mark Sullivan (1874–1952), McClure's researcher Georgine Milmine (1874–1950), and briefly Ida Tarbell (1857–1944). The book was out of print from early in its life after the Christian Science church bought the original manuscript. It was republished in 1971 when its copyright expired, and again in 1993 by the University of Nebraska Press.
McClure's wrote that the articles were "as close to truth as history ever gets," and David Stouck, in his introduction to the 1993 edition, argues that Cather's portrayal of Eddy contains "some of the finest portrait sketches and reflections on human nature that Willa Cather would ever write." Gillian Gill takes a different view of the material. She argues that a great deal of it was based on anonymous sources and was designed to damage Eddy during a lawsuit, the so-called "Next Friends" suit, in which her relatives sought to have her declared unable to manage her own affairs. Gill regards it as unfortunate that details from the McClure's articles have been repeated by so many secondary sources.
Next Friends suit, Christian Science Monitor
The "Next Friends" lawsuit was brought in March 1907 by Eddy's son, George Glover, and several other relatives. These included her nephew George W. Baker, and Ebenezer Johnson Foster Eddy, a homeopath and physician she legally adopted in November 1888 when he was 41 and she was 68. The idea behind the adoption, according to Cather and Milmine, was for Eddy to have someone who was unquestionably loyal to her.
The lawsuit was ostensibly brought on Eddy's behalf against members of her household staff and others – particularly Calvin A. Frye, her closest assistant – who, the petition alleged, were misusing her property and abusing her. The purpose was to show that Eddy, by then 85 years old, was unable to conduct her own affairs, and thereby to secure a portion of her fortune. Gill writes that the suit originated in claims by Joseph Pulitzer (1847–1911), owner of the New York World (1860–1931). He had heard rumors since 1904 that McClure's was preparing a major piece on Eddy, and tried to engineer his own story to rival McClure's. The World began to report that Eddy was sick and dying; it even paid for some of the early expenses in the lawsuit.
Four psychiatrists (then referred to as "alienists") were sent to Eddy's home to interview her over the course of a month as part of the proceedings. They determined that she was mentally competent and able to manage her affairs. One of them, Dr. Allan McLane Hamilton (1848–1919), told the New York Times that, although he disagreed with her teachings, the attacks on Eddy were the result of "a spirit of religious persecution that has at last quite overreached itself." In response to the actions of the World and McClure's, Eddy instructed the Christian Science Publishing Society to found the Christian Science Monitor as a platform for responsible journalism, as opposed to the yellow journalism that Eddy believed was attacking her. Gill writes that Eddy asked the Publishing Society on August 8, 1908, to create a daily newspaper by that name, and on November 25 that year the first copies rolled off the presses. It went on to win seven Pulitzer Prizes between 1950 and 2002.
Jenkins writes that, for the most part, the criticism of Christian Science diminished in the years immediately following Eddy's death in 1910, and the movement became more mainstream. The Nation wrote in 1923 that Christian Science was "popular, powerful, and almost conservative now."
Current practices and governance
Practitioners, nursing homes
In 1999, Fraser wrote that the education of Christian Scientist practitioners, or healers, was almost the same as it was in Eddy's day. They take what is called primary class, a 12-lesson course based on the 24 questions and answers in the Recapitulation chapter of Science and Health. This is the chapter commentators say relies heavily on, or was plagiarized from, Quimby. Students begin each day with Bible study and a study of the "scientific statement of being." When they have completed the course, they can apply to be listed in the Christian Science Journal. Around 1,400 practitioners were Journal-listed as of 2010, charging $25–$50 for a visit, telephone or e-mail consultation. There is no physical manipulation in Christian Science healing, no laying on of hands; practitioners need not be near the patient, but can act from a distance. Experienced practitioners wanting to teach primary class themselves must take an additional six-day "normal class," which is held in Boston just once every three years.
Christian Science nursing homes have been run independently of the church since 1993, accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Christian Science Nursing Organizations/Facilities. The homes are regarded by adherents as sanctuaries, where their desire to rely on prayer will be respected. The nurses are Christian Scientists who have completed a course of religious study and training in basic skills – such as feeding and bathing – in a Christian Science training center. No medical or nursing qualifications are required, and the homes offer no medical services. Several of them are Medicare or Medicaid providers.
Christian Science prayer and treatment
When healing themselves or others, adherents pray in private, seeing prayer as a process of learning about God's spiritual reality. They do not appeal to God for help, or see their prayers as faith healing or examples of miracles. Rather than focusing on what is wrong with the body, they try to re-adjust the apparent misalignment with Mind or God. They believe that the effect of this spiritualization of thought is moral, physical and emotional health. Eddy wrote in 1897: "Your aid to reach this goal [of healer] is spiritualization ... let all my thoughts and aims be high, unselfish, charitable, meek,—spiritually minded. With this altitude of thought your mind is losing materiality and gaining spirituality and this is the state of mind that heals the sick."
A Christian Science treatment consists of the practitioner silently arguing about the nature of reality. Practitioner Frank Prinz-Wondollek said in a church lecture in 2011 that all healing is a metaphysical process: "That means there is no person to be healed, no material body, no patient, no matter, no illness, no one to heal, no substance, no person, no thing and no place that needs to be influenced. This is what the practitioner must first be clear about."
Fraser writes that the practitioner declares to herself "the allness of God using Eddy's seven synonyms – Life, Truth, Love, Spirit, Soul, Principle and Mind." She then argues, Fraser writes, that "Spirit, Substance, is the only Mind, and man is its image and likeness; that Mind is intelligence; that Spirit is substance; that Love is wholeness; that Life, Truth, and Love are the only reality." She continues by denying various ideas, including other religions, the existence of evil, mesmerism, astrology, numerology and the symptoms of whatever the illness is. She concludes the treatment by asserting that disease is a lie, that this is the word of God and that it has the power to heal.
This process, which is known as "absent treatment," is often performed from the practitioner's home or office, although the practitioner also contacts the patient with advice about studying Science and Health or the Bible. Fraser writes that the relationship is similar to that between a doctor and patient, or therapist and patient, but without the frightening diagnoses of the former or challenges of the latter. Instead, because Eddy argued that sickness is rooted in fear, the practitioner aims to calm her patients by denying the existence of their symptoms.
Caroline Fraser wrote in 1995 that, according to the church, of 10,000 or so healing testimonies published by the church between 1969 and 1988, 2,337 involved conditions that the church said had previously been medically diagnosed. A church spokesman said in 2001 that Christian Science healing had seen people "cured of cancer, diabetes, asthma [and] HIV." A practitioner told the New York Times in 2010 that a patient with a lump under his arm is displaying a "manifestation of fear, not a lump."
Relationship with medicine
There has been criticism of Christian Scientists who impose their ideas about the illusory nature of sickness on their children. Caroline Fraser writes that children in pain, or with conditions such as diabetes or deafness, have been told by their Christian Science parents, teachers and nurses that there is nothing wrong with them, or that there is no such thing as pain. Fraser argues that this is not only dangerous, but that it also undermines the children's self-confidence and trust in their own perceptions, and can make them feel guilty that their "incorrect" thinking has made them ill or disabled. Several of those raised within Christian Science families have written about how distant their parents became when there was any mention of suffering; several have discussed this in terms of what seemed to be a lack of empathy. Fraser cites Spalding Gray (1941–2004), who wrote in his Sex and Death to the Age Fourteen (1986) about having fallen when he got out of a bath:
When I landed my arm fell against the radiator. I must have been out quite a long time because when I came to, I lifted my arm up and it was like this dripping-rare-red roast beef, third-degree burn. Actually it didn't hurt at all because I was in shock, a steam burn on my finger would have hurt more. I ran downstairs and showed it to my mother and she said, "Put some soap in it, dear, and wrap it in gauze." She was a Christian Scientist, so she had a distance on those things.
The next day when I got to school, the burn began to drip through the gauze. I went down to the infirmary, and when the nurse saw it she screamed, "What, you haven't been to a doctor with this? That's a third-degree burn. You've got to get to a doctor right away." So I went back home and told my mother what the nurse had said, and my mother said, "Well, it's your choice, dear. It's your choice."
The insistence that all physical ailments are simply mistaken beliefs can also paradoxically cause hypochondria, and an intense focus on physicality, by making children obsessed with their bodies the more they try to control their thoughts about them. Fraser writes that Rockwell Gray, Spalding Gray's brother, was worried at the age of eight that he would have a heart attack, because he had been taught to believe that thinking about it could make it happen. There have also been several cases (see below) where children have died after medical treatment was withheld.
According to the New York Times, the Christian Science church has always said publicly that its members were free to choose medical care, although some members have said that doing so risks them being ostracized. In 1999 the church issued a statement that, "when it comes to the care of children ... Scientists [should] consider well their individual spiritual readiness, their own past experience and record, and the mental climate in which they live ..." The statement asked church members to be supportive of families who choose medical treatment for a child. In 2009 a church spokesman again emphasized that adherents may seek medical treatment if they wish. Paul Vitello wrote in the New York Times in 2010 that the church now seeks to present Christian Science healing as a supplement to conventional medical care, similar to biofeedback, chiropractic and homeopathy. The Christian Science Board of Directors issued a statement in response saying that the article contained "numerous errors," and that "Christian Science treatment is practiced most effectively when not combined with medication, and experience has shown this to be true."
Child deaths and prosecutions
In over 50 cases, from the prosecution of Abby Corner in 1888 to the early 1990s, prosecutors charged Christian Scientists with manslaughter or murder after both adults and children died of treatable illnesses without medical attention. Fraser writes that the "child cases," as they are known within Christian Science, began in 1967 in Massachusetts, when five-year-old Lisa Sheridan died of pneumonia without medical care, as a result of which her mother was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to probation. After that case the church successfully lobbied the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to add to the Code of Federal Regulations in 1974: "A parent or guardian legitimately practicing his religious beliefs who thereby does not provide specified medical treatment for a child, for that reason alone shall not be considered a negligent parent or guardian; however, such an exception shall not preclude a court from ordering that medical services be provided to the child, where his health requires it."
The Department of Health and Human Services eliminated the regulation in 1983, but according to Children's Healthcare is a Legal Duty – which lobbies against religious-exemption laws – 38 states and the District of Columbia still had religious-exemption statutes in place as of 2013 that were based on the old regulation. Christian Scientists in other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, are obliged to allow their children access to medical care, but the United States Constitution, specifically the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, guarantees the protection of religious practice from intrusion by government, and this has been used to persuade states to pass and retain these religious-exemption laws. The laws say that in life-threatening situations the children must be given access to medical care, but Fraser argues that without medical care in the first place the life-threatening nature of the illnesses may not be recognized.
In July 1977 16-month-old Matthew Swan died of bacterial meningitis after his parents were persuaded by two Christian Science practitioners not to take him to a physician; they did eventually take him to hospital, but the infection had by then caused irreversible brain damage. The parents, Doug and Rita Swan, responded by founding Children's Healthcare is a Legal Duty in 1983. Between 1980 and 1990 another seven Christian Scientist parents whose children died without medical care were prosecuted; two cases were dismissed and four resulted in convictions, two of which were later overturned. In June 1988 in Arizona, a child died in a Christian Science nursing home after having lived for months with a tumor on her leg the size of a watermelon, according to the prosecutor who handled the case against her parents; they pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment. Another prominent case was that of the Twitchells in Massachusetts in 1990. David and Ginger Twitchell were convicted of involuntary manslaughter after failing to seek medical help for their two-year-old son who died in 1986 of peritonitis caused by a bowel obstruction. The conviction was overturned in 1993 when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the couple had "reasonably believed," based on a church publication they had read, that they could rely on Christian Science healing without being prosecuted.
Lundman v. McKown
The first time the church itself was held liable in a wrongful death suit was in August 1993, when a jury in Minnesota ordered it to pay damages to the father of 11-year-old Ian Lundman, who died of hyperglycemia in May 1989 as a consequence of undiagnosed juvenile-onset diabetes. The case is regarded as important because, although the award against the church was overturned, the judgments against several individuals, including a Christian Science practitioner and a Christian Science nurse, were upheld.
The boy had been ill for weeks, but when his condition worsened his mother, Kathleen McKown, asked a Christian Science practitioner to pray; she also sought advice from a Christian Science nursing home and the church's Committee on Publication. The home sent a nurse to sit with the boy, and the nurse's notes were later entered into evidence. The first entry at 9 pm noted that the boy's breathing was labored, he was vomiting, and he seemed barely responsive. The nurse read hymns, rubbed his lips with Vaseline and tried to give him water as he lay in a diabetic coma. Over five hours after she had arrived, and 16 minutes before she wrote that he had stopped breathing, she wrote "passing possible." Doctors testified that he could have been saved by an insulin injection up to two hours before his death. The boy's mother and stepfather were charged with manslaughter, but the charges were dismissed.
Ian's father, Douglass Lundman, sued his son's mother and stepfather, the practitioner, nurse, nursing home and the church. He was awarded $5.2 million compensatory damages divided between all the defendants, later reduced to $1.5 million, and $9 million in punitive damages against the church. The Minnesota State Court of Appeals upheld the judgment against the individuals in 1995, but overturned the award against the church and the nursing home, finding that a judgment that forced the church to "abandon teaching its central tenet" was unconstitutional, and that, while the individuals had a duty of care toward the boy, the church and nursing home did not. The mother, stepfather, practitioner and nurse appealed to the United States Supreme Court, arguing that the importance of the case to Christian Scientists could "scarcely be overstated," but the court declined to hear the case. It also turned down an appeal by the father to reinstate the punitive damages against the church.
Avoidance of vaccination
The Compulsory Vaccination Act was introduced in England in 1853, requiring children to be vaccinated against smallpox. Massachusetts made vaccination against smallpox compulsory for schoolchildren in 1855, and other states soon followed. Michael Willrich writes that Christian Scientists protested against the laws throughout the 1890s. A Christian Scientist in Wisconsin won a legal case in 1897 that allowed his unvaccinated son to attend public school, and several Christian Scientists were arrested for avoiding vaccination during a smallpox epidemic in Georgia in 1899. In 1900 Eddy issued advice to adherents: "Rather than quarrel over vaccination I recommend that if the law demand an individual to submit to this process he obey the law and then appeal to the gospel to save him from any bad results." In 1902 she added, in the Christian Science Sentinel, that Christian Scientists should report contagious diseases to health boards when the law required it.
As of 2013, 48 states allow religious exemptions to compulsory vaccination. Christian Scientists are less likely to recognize and report illness to physicians, and Christian Science practitioners are not allowed to diagnose (which might expose them to allegations of practising medicine without a licence), so infection may remain undetected. There were at least four significant outbreaks of infectious diseases at Christian Science schools and camps between 1972 and 1994. In 1972, 128 students at a Christian Science school in Greenwich, Connecticut, contracted polio and four were left partially paralyzed. In 1982, a nine-year-old girl died of diphtheria after attending a Christian Science camp in Colorado. In 1985, 128 people were infected with measles at Principia College, a Christian Science school in Elsah, Illinois, and three died. In 1994, 190 people in six states were infected with measles spread by a child from a Christian Science family in Elsah, after she was exposed to it on a skiing holiday in Colorado.
Christian Science church
Governance and services
The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, is headquartered in a 28-story building on its original site in Boston; the site covers 14 acres and includes a plaza with a 670-foot reflecting pool. The organization is led by a five-person executive created by Eddy, the function of which is defined by the Manual of The Mother Church (1895), a set of by-laws written by Eddy.
Christian Science churches have no clergy, sermons or rituals; they perform no baptisms, marriages or burials. There are Sunday morning services, in which excerpts from Science and Health and the Bible are read aloud, and meetings on Wednesday evenings, where members give testimonies of healing. According to Fraser, there are no "ecstatic expressions of religious fervor" during these meetings; on the contrary, she writes, "if the emotional range of the experience were plotted on a chart, it would be represented by a straight line."
Christian Scientists have tended to be white, well-educated, and comfortable financially. Fraser writes that 42 percent have a college education, over 16 percent of Christian Scientist households earned more than $50,000 in 1990, and most Christian Science practitioners are women. Outside the United States, the religion is most prevalent in Australia, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.
Douglas Swanson writes that the Manual of the Mother Church lists 83 requirements and prohibitions for members. Requirements include daily prayer, study of the Bible and Science and Health, payment of an annual tax to the church, and subscribing to church periodicals. Prohibitions include engaging in public debate or writing about Christian Science without board approval, and engaging in mental malpractice.
The church has been accused at times of trying to silence criticism from Christian Scientists by firing them, delisting them as practitioners, or excommunicating them. For example, Stephen Gottschalk – author of The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life (1973) and Rolling Away the Stone: Mary Baker Eddy's Challenge to Materialism (2005) – who had spent his life in the church and had worked for 13 years for its powerful Committee on Publication, was forced to leave his position in 1990 after advising the board to be more accepting of internal criticism. Fraser writes that, by the end of the year, five of Gottschalk's associates had resigned or been fired. In 1985 a group of LGBTQ Christian Science students formed Emergence International (EMI), a coalition advocating change in the way the church treats sexual minorities. Amy Black Voorhees writes that Eddy saw sexuality as principally serving the need to procreate; as a result the church has treated homosexuality, sex outside marriage, excessive sexuality within marriage, and masturbation as practices to be discouraged. A lesbian reporter was fired in 1982 from the Christian Science Monitor after rumors circulated that she was gay. According to an EMI member writing in 2004, the church now treats sexual minorities with a degree of acceptance.
|Well-known Christian Scientists, from top left: Val Kilmer, Doris Day, Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, George Hamilton, Cecil B DeMille, Jean Stapleton, Robert Duvall, and Mickey Rooney|
Notable Christian Scientists have included two former Directors of Central Intelligence, William H. Webster and Admiral Stansfield M. Turner, as well as Richard Nixon's chief of staff H. R. Haldeman, Nixon's White House Counsel John Ehrlichman, and Judge Thomas P. Griesa. There used to be a concentration of Christian Scientists in the film industry (see right). Other notable Scientists have included physicist Laurance Doyle and NASA astronaut Alan Shepard. In England, the viscountess Nancy Astor and Charles Lightoller, the highest-ranking officer to survive the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, were both Christian Scientists.
Those raised within Christian Science include comedian Robin Williams, television host Ellen DeGeneres, musician James Hetfield, the jurist Helmuth James Graf von Moltke, and actors Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Fonda, Audrey Hepburn and Anne Archer. Archer left Christian Science when her son, Tommy Davis, was a child; both went on to became prominent in the Church of Scientology. Military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, was also raised by Christian Scientists; he rejected the religion from an early age, particularly after reading Walter M. Haushalter's Mrs Eddy Purloins from Hegel (1936), which accused Eddy of plagiarism.
Church rules prohibit publication of membership totals, but lists of churches and practitioners are published each month in the Christian Science Journal. This information, along with census results, has been used by scholars to estimate church membership totals. Early in its history the church experienced rapid growth, with membership in the United States rising from fewer than 10,000 in 1890 to approximately 270,000 by 1936. Membership peaked sometime in the 1940s and has continued to decline ever since. The number of practitioners in the United States declined from 11,200 in 1941 to 1,820 in 1995. Although the decline in membership began in the 1940s, the number of churches in the United States continued to increase until the 1960s, as a result of expansion into suburban areas. In 1968 there were 1,821 churches there, reduced to 1,300 by 1995, and around 1,100 as of 2010. Scholars estimate that the number of Christian Scientists in the United States had dropped to approximately 100,000 as of the year 2000.
Although the church has experienced a decline in membership, the American Religious Identification Survey has shown fluctuation in the number of Americans who self-identify as Christian Scientists. In 1990 it estimated there were 214,000 Christian Scientists, in 2001 the estimate dropped to 194,000, but in 2008 it jumped to 339,000. Also in 2008, Judy Valente of NPR reported that the church estimated it had 400,000 members worldwide. While United States and European membership has declined, the church has reported growth in Africa. In 2009 it announced that for the first time there were more new members admitted from Africa than from the United States.
Christian Science Publishing Society
The Christian Science Publishing Society publishes several periodicals from the headquarters of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, including the Christian Science Monitor, a newspaper with a reputation for high-quality international news coverage. The winner of seven Pulitzer Prizes and 427 other awards, the Monitor was founded by Eddy in 1908 under the slogan: "To injure no man, but to bless all mankind." At its height in 1970, it had a circulation of 220,000, which by 2008 had contracted to 52,000. Citing losses of $18.9 million a year and $12.5 million in revenue as of 2008, the magazine moved in April 2009 to a largely online presence, with a weekly, instead of daily, print run.
The church also publishes the weekly Christian Science Sentinel, the monthly Christian Science Journal, and the Herald of Christian Science, a non-English publication available in several languages. In April 2012 a project known as JSH-Online was completed to make all back issues of the Journal, Sentinel and Herald available online. The Journal and Sentinel include contributions, called testimonies, from people who say they were healed through Christian Science prayer. Testimonies have to include the names of three "verifiers," one of whom must be a member of the Mother Church. Verifiers should be people who "witnessed the healing or can vouch for its accuracy based on their knowledge of [the person offering the testimony]," according to the church.
In the 1980s the church also produced its own television programs, Christian Science Monitor Reports and World Monitor. In May 1991 it founded the Monitor Channel, a 24-hour current affairs cable channel, which closed with heavy losses after 13 months.
The Destiny of the Mother Church
Fraser writes that "[n]othing has ever rocked the foundations of Christian Science" as much as the decision of the Christian Science Publishing Company to publish The Destiny of the Mother Church (1991) by Bliss Knapp (1877–1958). Knapp was a Christian Science practitioner, former president of the Mother Church, and son of Ira Oscar Knapp and Flavia Stickney Knapp, two of Eddy's students.
Knapp wrote and printed the book privately in 1947, angering the church because the book suggested that both the Old and New Testaments had predicted Eddy's coming, and that she was the Woman of the Apocalypse in the New Testament's Book of Revelation. The Christian Science Publishing Society refused to publish it. Knapp was anxious to have it published as church-authorized literature, and so he, his wife and sister-in-law bequeathed their estates, worth around $98 million, to the church, on condition that it publish the book by 1993. If it failed to do so, the money would be left to Stanford University and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The church refused at least once after the bequest was set up, but agreed to publish it in 1991, and made the book available in Christian Science reading rooms; the other parties disputed that this constituted authorizing it, and in the end the bequest was split three ways. Commentators linked the church's decision to its financial losses following its failed broadcasting efforts. In the view of some church members, Fraser writes, the book tainted the religion's status as Christian and encouraged its opponents to brand it a cult. Several employees resigned over the decision, including the senior editors of the religious journals, and others were fired for refusing to support the book in public.
Works by Mary Baker Eddy
- Science and Health (1875)
- The Science of Man, By Which the Sick are Healed (1876)
- Christian Healing (1880)
- The People's God (1883)
- Historical Sketches of Metaphysical Healing (1885)
- Defence of Christian Science (1885)
- No and Yes (1887)
- Rudiments and Rules of Divine Science (1887)
- Unity of Good and Unreality of Evil (1888)
- Retrospection and Introspection (1891)
- Rudimental Divine Science (1894)
- Manual of the Mother Church (1895)
- Pulpit and Press (1895)
- Miscellaneous Writings, 1883–1896 (1897)
- Christ and Christmas (1897)
- Christian Science versus Pantheism (1898)
- The Christian Science Hymnal (1898)
- Christian Healing and the People's Idea of God (1908)
- Poems (1910)
- The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany (1913)
- Prose Works (1925)
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- Anne Hutchinson
- Ann Lee / Shakers
- Ellen G. White / Seventh-day Adventism
- Andrew Jackson Davis
- John Alexander Dowie
- Warren Felt Evans
- Bone pointing / Voodoo death
- Efficacy of prayer
- Faith healing
- Hindu idealism
- Hospital-acquired infection
- Law of attraction
- Maya (illusion)
- Medical malpractice
- Mind over matter
- Placebo effect / Nocebo
- Psychosomatic medicine
- Religious Science
- Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905)
- Prince v. Massachusetts (1944)
- Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)
- For the 1936 census figure of 268,915, see Schoepflin 2001, p. 119.
- For the estimates, see PBS 2008: "Membership in the church has steadily declined since the 1930s. Mrs. Eddy forbade her followers from keeping an official membership tally. The church estimates it has about 400,000 members worldwide, but independent studies put membership at around 100,000. In the US, the number of churches has dwindled from about 1,500 10 years ago to 1,100 today."
- Also see Stark 1998, who estimates that the church had 113,000 members at that time, and Gallagher 2004, p. 54, who writes that it had almost 100,000 members in 2003.
- For under 100,000 members, see Vitello (New York Times) 2010, p. 1.
- Vitello (New York Times) 2010, p. 1
- Saliba 2003, p. 26: "The Christian Science-Metaphysical Family. This family, known also as "New Thought" in academic literature, stresses the need to understand the functioning of the human mind in order to achieve the healing of all human ailments."
- Lewis 2003, p. 94: "Groups in the metaphysical (Christian Science–New Thought) tradition ... usually claim to have discovered spiritual laws which, if properly understood and applied, transform and improve the lives of ordinary individuals, much as technology has transformed society."
- Gallagher 2004, p. 54: ... the New Thought Movement ... combines ideas from [Mary Baker] Eddy and the prominent faith-healer Phileas Quimby."
- Melton 2005, pp. 146–147.
- Rescher 2009, p. 318: "Perhaps the most radical form of idealism is the ancient Oriental spiritualistic or panpsychistic idea – renewed in Christian Science – that minds and their thoughts are all there is; that reality is simply the sum total of the visions (or dreams?) of one or more minds."
- Numbers and Schoepflin 1999, p. 583: "At the basis of Eddy's doctrine lay a radical idealism that denied the existence of anything but God and the ideas that generate from his being."
- Schoepflin 2001, p. 28: "Embracing a radical idealism, Eddy affirmed that there is no Life, Substance, or Intelligence in Matter. That all is mind and there is no matter.'"
- Wessinger, DeChant and Ashcraft 2006, p. 757: "Possible factors for the egress of talented women [from Christian Science] were Eddy's dogmatism, her radical idealism, and her authoritarianism."
- Schoepflin 2002, p. 6; Vitello (New York Times) 2010, p. 1.
- Margolick (New York Times) 1990; New York Times, August 19, 1993; Asser and Swan 1998.
- Vitello (New York Times) 2010, p. 2.
- Fuller 2011, p. 175; Cook (Christian Science Monitor) 2008.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 435–436.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 436–437.
- Simmons 1995, p. 61.
- Note: this is unrelated to the way the term metaphysics is used by philosophers.
- DeChant 2006, pp. 67–68, 71–72 (as of 2013 Dell DeChant lectures in religious studies at the University of South Florida).
- Melton 1992, p. 16.
- James 1902, p. 75.
- Saliba 2003, p. 26: "The Christian Science-Metaphysical Family. This family, known also as "New Thought" in academic literature, stresses the need to understand the functioning of the human mind in order to achieve the healing of all human ailments. Essentially a religious philosophy that stresses individualism, New Thought developed its own creed in which attunement with God is the primary goal of the individual's life."
- DeChant 2006, p. 72; Kemp 2004, p. 38.
- Lewis 2003, pp. 18, 93–94, 105.
- Eddy, Science and Health (chapter 14 "Recapitulation"), p. 221.
- Melton 1992, p. 36.
- Stein 1995, pp. 175–176.
- Melton 1992, p. 36; Melton 2005, p. 146: "The very fact that Science and Health was a new revelation challenged the authority that Protestants ascribed to the Bible alone."
- Jenkins 2000, p. 43.
- For more about Christian Science and theosophy, see DeChant 2003, pp. 203–218.
- Stein 1995, p. 176: "Her working premise is that the Bible has been misunderstood because the nature of reality has been mistaken."
- Schoepflin 2001, p. 119.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 58.
- Rescher 2009, p. 318.
- Berkeley did not try to deny that the material world exists. William James wrote: "Material substance was criticized by Berkeley with such telling effect that his name has reverberated through all subsequent philosophy. ... So far from denying the external world which we know, Berkeley corroborated it. It was the scholastic notion of a material substance unapproachable by us, behind the external world, deeper and more real than it, and needed to support it, which Berkeley maintained to be the most effective of all reducers of the external world to unreality. Abolish that substance, he said, believe that God, whom you can understand and approach, sends you the sensible world directly, and you confirm the latter and back it up by his divine authority." See James 2008 [1906–1907], p. 44.
- Swami Yogananda (1861–1899) wrote that Eddy took some of her ideas from Hindu philosophy, and that early editions of Science and Health quoted the Bhagavad-Gita (5th–2nd century BCE). He argued that, while Christian Science has achieved much by focusing on mind, it requires "great preparation to change the mental habits of a person living wholly on the material plane. A man contradicts himself when he talks of the non-existence of matter and the uselessness of medicine but thinks he cannot exist a day without eating." See Swami Yogananda, "Christian Science and Hindu Philosophy", East West Magazine, 1926, reprinted in Clarity Magazine, Fall 2006.
- For God as a principle, see Melton 2005, p. 146: "Although Eddy's attempt to wed healing with Christianity had parallels in the healing experiences so central to Jesus' ministry, her teachings radically departed from Protestant tradition. God was seen as a Principle, not as a person, and that principle was described as Life, Truth, Love, Substance, and Intelligence. Eddy also advanced an allegorical interpretation of the Bible; the Key to the Scriptures she appended to Science and Health was a dictionary to assist in that interpretation."
- For the creation narrative, see Gottschalk 1973, p. xxvii.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 55; Eddy, Science and Health, pp. 141, 160.
- Eddy, Science and Health, p. 437.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 124.
- Eddy, 'Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 62–63.
- Eddy, Lecture in Tremont Temple, March 16, 1885.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 95.
- Eddy was critical of conventional Christian views of the hereafter and their social consequences: "If changeableness that repenteth itself; partiality that elects some to be saved and others to be lost, or that answers the prayers of one and not of another; if incompetency that cannot heal the sick, or lack of love that will not; if unmercifulness, that for the sins of a few tired years punishes man eternally, – are our conceptions of Deity, we shall bring out these qualities of character in our own lives and extend their influence to others." See Eddy, "The People's Idea of God", p. 8.
- Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, pp. 95–96.
- Weddle 1991, p. 281: "Eddy regarded her book, written as a magnificent obsession during nine years of difficult and nomadic existence (1866–75), as the dawning of the messianic age: the second advent of Jesus."
- Simmons 1995, p. 62.
- Prentiss 2001, p. 322: "Jesus, whom Scientists take to be only human, demonstrated the illusory nature of matter and therefore the illusory nature of the death of the body, with his own crucifixion and apparent resurrection. Yet 'resurrection' was a misnomer from the Christian Science perspective, because he never suffered death." (Craig Prentiss is Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Rockhurst University.)
- Martin 2003 , p. 176: "The Bible says Christ died upon the cross; Eddy and Christian Science say He did not."
- McKim, July 1914, p. 139: "It [Christian Science] accepts the statement that we are reconciled to God by the death of his Son, but hastens to explain that it was only a seeming death."
- McKim, March 1914, p. 407: "In fact, He [Jesus] was engaged those three days in the sepulcher in resuscitating His wasted energies, healing His torn palms, binding up His wounded side and lacerated feet – and all this 'on the basis of Christian Science.'"
- Eddy, Science and Health, pp. 285–286: "The sacred precepts of the tomb gave Jesus refuge from his foes, long enough to solve the great problem of being. His three days' work in the sepulchre set the seal of eternity on time. He proved Life to be deathless, and Love to be the master of hate. ... His disciples believed Jesus dead; whereas he was alive, testing, within the narrow tomb, the power of Spirit to destroy all human material sense."
- Eddy, Historical Sketch of Christian Science Mind-healing, p. 8.
- Eddy, Science and Health, p. 508.
- Twain 1907, p. 180; also available here.
- See the same quote in "Mark Twain & Mary Baker Eddy a film by Val Kilmer", trailer, courtesy of YouTube, from 04:30 mins, retrieved August 18, 2013.
- Gottschalk 2006, p. 64.
- Gill 1998, pp. 244, 288.
- Fraser 1999, p. 37.
- Gill 1998, pp. 84–85.
- Gill 1998, pp. 3, 9; Fraser 1999, p. 27.
- Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, p. 10: "My father was taught to believe that my brain was too large for my body and so kept me much out of school, but I gained book-knowledge with far less labor than is usually requisite. At ten years of age I was as familiar with Lindley Murray's Grammar as with the Westminster Catechism; and the latter I had to repeat every Sunday. My favorite studies were natural philosophy, logic, and moral science. From my brother Albert I received lessons in the ancient tongues, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. My brother studied Hebrew during his college vacations. After my discovery of Christian Science, most of the knowledge I had gleaned from schoolbooks vanished like a dream."
- Westberg 1996 (Manager, Committees on Publication, The First Church of Christ, Scientist): "[I]n the early nineteenth century very few women had access to formal education. Young Mary Baker, however, was well-educated for a woman of her times. She was widely read and had the advantage of a family life in which discussions of the Bible, politics, and religion were everyday fare. Through her elder brother, Albert, a Dartmouth scholar, she was tutored in the classics, philosophy, and the law."
- Gill 1998, p. 35: "In comparison with some of her famous contemporaries – the Beecher daughters, Margaret Fuller, Louisa May Alcott – Mary Baker Eddy was not well-educated. As we have seen, Mark Baker, Mary's father, was active in local school affairs and happy for his children, even his daughters, to get the education needed to read the Scriptures and get ahead in life. Mary's first cousin Ann True Ambrose later testified that the Baker home was considered in the neighborhood and by the family to be a highly intellectual one, possessing many books. For all this, Mark Baker was not an enlightened advocate of higher education for women, and Mary may have received even less formal education than her older sisters because her father linked her frail health to her love of reading and sought to discourage her bookish tendencies."
- Gill 1998, p. 50: "In November 1842, at age twenty-one, she completed her formal schooling, having done three full semesters at the Sanbornton Academy under Dyer Sanborn."
- Also see Gill 1998, pp. xxii–xxiii.
- For chronic dyspepsia and spinal inflammation, see Gottschalk 1973, p. 106; for spinal irritation, neuralgia, dyspepsia, stomach cankers, and ulcers, see Fraser 1999, p. 34.
- Bloom 1992, p. 133, cited in Fraser 1999, p. 35, and Balliett 2000.
- Melton 2005, p. 146, describes Eddy as a semi-invalid.
- Fraser 1999, p. 35.
- Cather and Milmine 1993 , p. 22, cited in Fraser 1999, p. 34; also in Fraser (New York Times) 1999.
- Also see McClure's (Cather and Milmine), January 1907, p. 236.
- Robert Peel, a sympathetic biographer of Eddy's, also wrote that Eddy suffered from apparent spells of unconsciousness: "She would end in a state of unconsciousness that would sometimes last for hours and send the family in a panic" (Peel 1966, p. 45). For a further discussion of this, see Gill 1998, p. 39ff.
- Also see Gill 1998, p. 81: "Milmine states that the Baker family physician, Dr. Nathaniel Ladd, treated Mrs. Glover, diagnosed her as an hysteric, and used hypnosis to calm her fits, finding her an unusually susceptible subject. Milmine's source of this information may have been conversations with Dr. Ladd himself in the 1904–1905 period, but he is never quoted directly, and, unlike witnesses to later events in Mrs. Eddy's life cited in the Milmine biography, he never made any affidavit. In her 1862 letter to the Portland Evening Courier the then Mrs. Mary Baker Patterson herself states that she had earlier in her life been treated medically by hypnosis without receiving any lasting benefit, and this may or may not be a reference to her Tilton days and to Dr. Ladd."
- McDonald 1986, p. 97ff, and Cunningham 2006, p. 744. That McDonald is a Christian Scientist, see Gill 1998, p. xviii.
- Gottschalk 2001, letter to the New York Review of Books: "... there is simply no evidence to sustain this myth [that Eddy was an 'hysteric'], propounded early in the century when Mrs. Eddy aroused storm clouds of controversy as a woman religious leader in a male-dominated society."
- Gottschalk 2001, letter to the New York Review of Books: "The real Mrs. Eddy, to put it as briefly as possible, endured serious illness and horrific personal loss during the first part of her long life."
- For Gottschalk's position, see Fraser 1999, pp. 373–374.
- For the death of her first husband, see Fraser 1999, p. 36, and for the birth of her son, p. 37.
- For Eddy's second marriage and the husband failing to adopt the boy, see Gill 1998, p. 102; for the second husband's adultery, see p. 170. But see Fraser 1999, p. 40, where Fraser indicates that Patterson did sign the guardianship papers.
- For women having no right of guardianship, see Westberg 1996.
- "Women and the Law", Women, Enterprise & Society, Harvard Business School, 2010: "A married woman or feme covert was a dependent, like an underage child or a slave, and could not own property in her own name or control her own earnings, except under very specific circumstances. When a husband died, his wife could not be the guardian to their under-age children."
- For Gill discussing Eddy's losses, see Gill 1998, pp. 93–94.
- For Eddy discussing losing custody of her son when he was four, and losing contact with him until he was in his 30s, see Eddy, "Marriage and Parentage," Retrospection and Introspection, p. 20:
- "After returning to the paternal roof I lost all my husband's property, except what money I had brought with me; and remained with my parents until after my mother's decease.
"A few months before my father's second marriage, to Mrs. Elizabeth Patterson Duncan, sister of Lieutenant-Governor George W. Patterson of New York, my little son, about four years of age, was sent away from me, and put under the care of our family nurse, who had married, and resided in the northern part of New Hampshire. I had no training for self-support, and my home I regarded as very precious. The night before my child was taken from me, I knelt by his side throughout the dark hours, hoping for a vision of relief from this trial. ...
"My second marriage was very unfortunate, and from it I was compelled to ask for a bill of divorce, which was granted me in the city of Salem, Massachusetts.
"My dominant thought in marrying again was to get back my child, but after our marriage his stepfather was not willing he should have a home with me. A plot was consummated for keeping us apart. The family to whose care he was committed very soon removed to what was then regarded as the Far West.
"After his removal a letter was read to my little son, informing him that his mother was dead and buried. Without my knowledge a guardian was appointed him, and I was then informed that my son was lost. Every means within my power was employed to find him, but without success. We never met again until he had reached the age of thirty-four, had a wife and two children, and by a strange providence had learned that his mother still lived, and came to see me in Massachusetts."
- "After returning to the paternal roof I lost all my husband's property, except what money I had brought with me; and remained with my parents until after my mother's decease.
- For Eddy's third husband's death, see Fraser 1999, p. 78.
- Gill 1998, p. 172: "Any account of the rise of Christian Science falls short of the mark if it fails to see and acknowledge that Mary Baker Eddy had charisma."
- Gill 1998, p. 405: "She could be bad-tempered, irrational, capricious, inconsiderate, domineering, sanctimonious, unkind."
- C. Lulu Blackman, cited in Powell 1930, pp. 148–149; Gill 1998, p. 319; Fraser 1999, p. 92.
- Cather and Milmine 1909, pp. 122–123.
- For the relevance of Eddy's personality, see for example Gill 1999, p. 172.
- Twain, Christian Science, p. 67. Gardner 1993, p. 199, argues that Twain was being sarcastic. Twain wrote:
- "In several ways she is the most interesting woman that ever lived, and the most extraordinary. The same may be said of her career, and the same may be said of its chief result. She started from nothing. Her enemies charge that she surreptitiously took from Quimby a peculiar system of healing which was mind-cure with a Biblical basis. She and her friends deny that she took anything from him. This is a matter which we can discuss by-and-by. Whether she took it or invented it, it was—materially—a sawdust mine when she got it, and she has turned it into a Klondike; its spiritual dock had next to no custom, if any at all: from it she has launched a world-religion which has now six hundred and sixty-three churches, and she charters a new one every four days. When we do not know a person—and also when we do—we have to judge his size by the size and nature of his achievements, as compared with the achievements of others in his special line of business—there is no other way. Measured by this standard, it is thirteen hundred years since the world has produced any one who could reach up to Mrs. Eddy's waistbelt."
- Schoepflin 2001, p. 22.
- For the quote from Graham, see Numbers and Schoepflin 1999, p. 580.
- Numbers and Schoepflin 1999, p. 580.
- Cather and Milmine, February 1907, pp. 340–341.
- For "a teacher of the science of health and happiness, see Quimby 2009, p. 472. The phrase also appears on pp. 81, 264, 286. For "the truth is the cure," see p. 507, and Gill 1998, p. 129.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 105.
- Quimby 2009, p. 507.
- Gill 1998, pp. 127–128.
- Schoepflin 2001, p. 23.
- Fraser 1999, p. 52.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 27.
- Also see Weddle 1991, pp. 288–289.
- For a detailed account of Eddy's fall and injury, see Gill 1998, pp. 161–168, and Fraser 1999, pp. 52–54.
- The Lynn Reporter wrote on February 3, 1866 (see Gill 1998, p. 161): "Mrs. Mary Patterson of Swampscott fell upon the ice near the corner of Market and Oxford Streets on Thursday evening and was severely injured. She was taken up in an insensible condition and carried into the residence of S.M. Bubier, Esq., near by, where she was kindly cared for during the night. Doctor Cushing, who was called, found her injuries to be internal and of a serious nature, inducing spasms and internal suffering. She was removed to her home in Swampscott yesterday afternoon, though in a critical condition."
- Cather and Milmine 1909, pp. 84–86.
- Also see Gill 1998, pp. 163–164.
- Cather and Milmine, February 1908, p. 390.
- Gill 1998, pp. 163–164.
- Gill 1998, p. 70.
- Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, p. 24: "It was in Massachusetts, in February, 1866, and after the death of the magnetic doctor, Mr. P.P. Quimby, whom spiritualists would associate therewith, but who was in no wise connected with this event, that I discovered the Science of divine metaphysical healing which I afterwards named Christian Science. The discovery came to pass in this way. During twenty years prior to my discovery I had been trying to trace all physical effects to a mental cause; and in the latter part of 1866 I gained the scientific certainty that all causation was Mind, and every effect a mental phenomenon.
"My immediate recovery from the effects of an injury caused by an accident, an injury that neither medicine nor surgery could reach, was the falling apple that led me to the discovery how to be well myself, and how to make others so."
- Gill 1998, pp. 47–48.
- Eddy, Science and Health, first edition, cited in Cather and Milmine 1909, p. 81.
- See Eddy, Science and Health (1875), 1st edition, pp. 189–190: "When quite a child we adopted the Graham system for dyspepsia, ate only bread and vegetables, and drank water, following this diet for years; we became more dyspeptic, however, and, of course, thought we must diet more rigidly; so we partook of but one meal in twenty-four hours, and this consisted of a thin slice of bread, about three inches square, without water ..."
- Cather and Milmine 1909, p. 81.
- See Eddy, Science and Health (1889), 40th edition, pp. 96–98: "I knew a woman who, when quite a child, adopted the Graham diet to cure dyspepsia. She ate bread and vegetables only, and drank nothing but water for many years. Her dyspepsia increasing, she decided that her diet should be more rigid, and thereafter she partook of but one meal in twenty-four hours, this meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread without water. ..."
- Eddy, Science and Health (undated), Project Gutenberg: "I knew a person who when quite a child adopted the Graham system to cure dyspepsia. For many years, he ate only bread and vegetables, and drank nothing but water. His dyspepsia increasing, he decided that his diet should be more rigid, and thereafter he partook of but one meal in twenty-four hours, this meal consisting of only a thin slice of bread without water. ..."
- Numbers and Schoepflin 1999, p. 583.
- Eddy, Science and Health, p. 11, and for "Divine Science," p. 22.
- Eddy, "The Great Discovery," Retrospection and Introspection.
- Cather and Milmine, July 1907, p. 333.
- Cather and Milmine, May 1907, pp. 100–101, said that the manuscript was written by Quimby. Eddy said that she wrote the manuscript herself; see Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, pp. 240–241.
- Also see Gardner 1993, p. 47.
- Eddy, Science and Health, p. 7; Numbers and Schoepflin 1999, p. 583.
- Cather and Milmine, August 1907, p. 458; for "Scientific Physician," see May 1907, p. 110.
- Also see Gill 1998, p. 239.
- Cather and Milmine, June 1908, pp. 179–180.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 41.
- Gardner (Los Angeles Times) 1999: "The first edition of her book "Science and Health" was privately financed by Mrs. Eddy in 1875. Never proofed, this tome, originally 456 pages, swarmed with hundreds of typos, as well as a raft of spelling mistakes, bad punctuation and even worse grammar. The book was a chaotic patchwork of repetitious, poorly paragraphed topics, at times incoherent, that alter as abruptly as images in a dream."
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 42.
- For the number of chapters, see Gottschalk 1973, p. 41.
- Gill 1998, pp. 330–331.
- Fraser 1999, p. 112.
- Gardner 1993, pp. 125–126; New York Times, September 23, 1987.
- "The Christian Science Pastor: The Bible & Science And Health With Key To The Scriptures", christianscience.org.
- Eddy, First Church of Christ Scientist & Miscellany, p. 105.
- Eddy, Science and Health, p. 22.
- Eddy, Science and Health, pp. 357–358.
- Josephine Woodbury (back row, far right) was one of several in the photograph who became prominent as Eddy's adversaries.
- Eddy, Science and Health, p. 47. She wrote: "I have attenuated Natrum muriaticum (common table salt) until there was not a single saline property left. The salt had 'lost its savor': and yet with one drop of that attenuation in a goblet of water, and a teaspoonful of the water administered at intervals of three hours, I have cured a patient sinking in the last stage of typhoid fever."
- Also see Gill 1998, p. 109.
- Schoepflin 2002, "Physicians Debate Christan Science," p. 113ff.
- Eddy, Science and Health, 52–53.
- Eddy, Science and Health, p. 8: "Timetables of birth and death are so many conspiracies against manhood and womanhood. But for the error of measuring and limiting all that is good and beautiful, we could enjoy more than threescore years and ten, and yet maintain our vigor, freshness, and promise."
- Eddy, Science and Health, p. 169; Gardner 1993, p. 64.
- For broken limbs and surgery, see Eddy, Science and Health, p. 328.
- Gill 1998, p. 119; also see pp. 314–316.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 107; for "Mind Quack," see Fraser 1999, p. 89.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 122.
- Eddy, 'Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 62–63, cited in Gottschalk 1973, p. 124.
- Eddy, lecture in Tremont Temple, March 16, 1885, cited in Fraser 1999, p. 86.
- Twain 1907, p. 267.
- Bates and Dittmore 1932, p. 156.
- Bates and Dittmore 1932, cited in Gill 1998, p. 230.
- For a review of the Bates-Dittmore book, and Dittemore's background, see Gabriel 1933.
- Gottschalk 1973, pp. 107–108, 108.
- Gill 1998, p. 313.
- Gill 1998, pp. 314–315.
- Eddy wrote in 1891 of her pamphlet, The Science of Man (copyrighted in 1870), that it was "hopelessly original," and she had therefore delayed its publication, first incorporating it into the chapter "Recapitulation" in Science and Health (1875): "Five years after taking out my first copyright, I taught the Science of Mind-healing, alias Christian Science, by writing out my manuscripts for students and distributing them unsparingly. This will account for certain published and unpublished manuscripts extant, which the evil-minded would insinuate did not originate with me." See Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, Works, pp. 240–241; for the same statement, see here:
- "In 1870 I copyrighted the first publication on spiritual, scientific Mind-healing, entitled The Science of Man. This little book is converted into the chapter on Recapitulation in Science and Health. It was so new – the basis it laid down for physical and moral health was so hopelessly original – that I did not venture upon its publication until later ... Five years after taking out my first copyright, I taught the Science of Mind-healing, alias Christian Science, by writing out my manuscripts for students and distributing them unsparingly. This will account for certain published and unpublished manuscripts extant, which the evil-minded would insinuate did not originate with me."
- She wrote in the 40th edition of Science and Health (1889) that Quimby had had in his possession some writings of hers, so that she was in effect being accused of having plagiarized herself. See Eddy, Science and Health, pp. 6–7:
- "Mr. Quimby's ... method of treating disease was obviously physical, rather than mental. When I first conversed with him he believed matter, sin, sickness and death to be verities. He also believed matter to possess sensation, and its verdicts to be valid. Matter was quite as real to him as Mind.
"I healed some of his patients, and also corrected some of the desultory paragraphs which he had committed to paper, besides leaving with him some of my own writings, which are now claimed as his.
"Mr. Quimby's son has stated ... that he has in his possession all his father's written utterances; and I have offered to pay for their publication, but he declines to publish them; for their publication would silence the insinuation that Mr. Quimby originated the system of healing which I claim to be mine."
- New York Times 1904.
- In Gill's view, the author of the New York Times article was Frederick Peabody, a lawyer who had represented one of Eddy's students, Josephine Woodbury. Woodbury, who said she had given birth to a son without having had sex (she called him "Prince of Peace") had commenced an unsuccessful libel action against Eddy and the church in 1899. See Gill 1998, pp. xxxiii, 425–428.
- Cather and Milmine 1909, pp. 128–129.
- Also see pp. 162–163: "We have seen that while she was in Stoughton, Mrs. Glover wrote a preface, signed "Mary M. Glover," to her copy of Quimby's manuscript, Questions and Answers, and that she made slight changes in, and additions to, the text. In examining the copies of this manuscript which were given out to her students in Lynn, 1870-1872, we find that this signed preface has been incorporated in the text, so that the manuscript reads like the composition of one person, and that instead of being issued with a title-page, reading Extracts from P. P. Quimby's Writings, as was the Stoughton manuscript, the copies given out in Lynn were unsigned. This manuscript Mrs. Glover called The Science of Man, or the Principle which Controls Matter."
- They concluded (p. 133): "Others of his pupils lost themselves in Quimby's philosophy, but Mrs. Glover lost Quimby in herself."
- Gardner 1993, p. 47.
- Haushalter 2010 , foreword and p. 33ff; Gardner 1993, pp. 145–154.
- Braden 1967, p. 296: "The author [Peel] strikes out almost savagely at the claim advanced by the late Rev. Walter Haushalter, author of the book Mrs. Eddy Purloins from Hegel, that Mrs. Eddy borrowed heavily from what has come to be known as the Lieber Document, an essay purportedly written by a well known scholar, sometime Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and editor of the Encyclopedia Americana, to be read before the Kantian Society of Boston. Whatever the genuineness of this document, there are other grounds for the charge that she now and then used material as her own which was taken from another, without indicating her source. Such a case was that of the article, "Man of Integrity," taken with only the slightest modification from Lindley Murray's Old Reader, much used in an earlier day. Published first in the Journal, it is still published as her own in The Prose Works. This the author does not mention, nor does he refer to another article as long as 38 lines, "Taking Offense," which was also offered as her own when it was really an article which appeared in an obscure newspaper, was clipped and pasted in her scrap book, and later published. It is still published as though she were the author."
- Gardner 1993, pp. 145–154.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 78, 103.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 148.
- Fraser 1999, p. 103; Gill 1998, pp. xvii, 397.
- Tucker 2004, p. 166.
- Cather and Milmine, September 1907, p. 568.
- Cather and Milmine, July 1907, p. 339ff.
- That Spofford wanted to marry Eddy, see Gill 1998, p. 240.
- Cather and Milmine, July 1907, p. 344ff.
- Moore 1986, p. 112; Cather and Milmine, July 1907, p. 346.
- Cather and Milmine, August 1907, p. 450ff.
- Gardner 1993, pp. 116–117.
- Cather and Milmine, July 1907, p. 346: "In preparing to prosecute the witchcraft case, Mrs Eddy first selected twelve students from the Christian Scientists Association ... and called on these students to meet her at her house and treat Mr Spofford adversely, as other students had formerly treated Richard Kennedy. She required each of these twelve students, one after another, to take Mr. Spofford up mentally for two hours, declaring in thought that he had no power to heal, must give up his practice, etc. Mr Henry F. Dunnels of Ipswich was one of the chosen twelve. He says in his affidavit: 'When the Spofford lawsuit came along, she took twelve of us from the Association and made us take two hours apiece, one after the other. She made a statement that this man Spofford was adverse to her and that he used his mesmeric or hypnotic power over her students and her students' patients and hindered the students from performing healing on their patients, and we were held together to keep our minds over this Spofford to prevent him from exercising this mesmeric power over her students and patients. This twenty-four hours' work was done in her house.'"
- Gill 1998, p. 397: "The 'watchers,' or spiritual staff, worked in shifts, under daily instructions from Mrs. Eddy, to 'meet' the challenges of each day and to combat Malicious Animal Magnetism whether it manifested as a misplaced document, an unseasonal cold snap, an infectious cold, or a hostile newspaper article. There were at least two hour-long 'watch' meetings every day at Pleasant View, and watchers were also supposed to work on their assigned topic individually during the day ... Eddy got the term watch from the New Testament narrative of the night in the garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus chides his disciples for being unable to watch him even a little while."
- Also see Fraser 1999, pp. 103, 107.
- Gill 1998, p. 257.
- Cather and Milmine, August 1907, pp. 450ff, 455; Fraser 1999, p. 70.
- Gill 1998, pp. 265–266.
- Gill 1998, p. xxxi.
- Cather and Milmine, August 1907, pp. 458–459.
- Cather and Milmine, August 1907, pp. 460–461.
- Cather and Milmine, September 1907, pp. 567–568, 575.
- Boston Globe, June 4, 1882.
- Bates and Dittemore 1932, p. 219.
- Gill 1999, pp. 287–289.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 84–85.
- For another comparison of Eddy and Verena Tarrant, see Peters 2007, p. 89.
- Fraser 1999, p. 91.
- "The Massachusetts Metaphysical College", Longyear Museum.
- Cather and Milmine 1909, p. 313.
- Chiat 1997, p. 133.
- Beasley 1952, pp. 289, 580–582.
- Gill 1998, p. xii.
- New York Times, November 4, 1906.
- Encyclopædia Britannica 1922.
- Cather and Milmine 1909, pp. 354–355.
- Cather and Milmine 1909, p. 356.
- Cather and Milmine 1909, p. 355.
- Gill 1998, p. 347.
- Cather and Milmine 1909, pp. 359–360.
- Gill 1998, pp. 346–347.
- The Times, May 26, 1885, cited in Gottschalk 1973, p. xvii.
- Jenkins 2000, p. 231.
- For Eddy's interpretation of the Lord's Prayer, see Feehan 2001, p. 215.
- For example, see November 4, 1906, and February 26, 1910.
- Jenkins 2000, pp. 48–49: "Around 1900 ... the term 'cult' replaced the older polemical language of delusions, fanatics, enthusiasts, and imposters. ... In its original Latin sense, cultus simply implied a religion or a type of religious practice, and this sense was adopted into English to signify a religious denomination or a particular tradition of worship. ... The new and more hostile meaning of the word derived from growing Western contact with non-Christian and polytheist religions in Asia and Africa ... Cults implied extravagant personal devotion to a leader or spiritual teacher ... These exotic connotations were now attached to innovative domestic sects, implying that these too were bizarre, exotic, and non-Christian ... Apparently the first book to use the word in its modern sense was the 1898 study of Anti-Christian Cults by A.H. Barrington, an Episcopal minister in Wisconsin. His work was '[a]n attempt to show that Spiritualism, Theosophy, and Christian Science are devoid of supernatural powers and are contrary to the Christian religion.'"
- Simmons 1995, p. 66.
- Jenkins 2000, p. 59.
- Camfield 2003, pp. 716, 717.
- Mizruchi 2005, pp. 528–529.
- See Twain 1907:
- "For the thing back of it is wholly gracious and beautiful: the power, through loving mercifulness and compassion, to heal fleshly ills and pains and grief—all—with a word, with a touch of the hand! This power was given by the Saviour to the Disciples, and to all the converted. All—every one. It was exercised for generations afterwards. Any Christian who was in earnest and not a make-believe, not a policy—Christian, not a Christian for revenue only, had that healing power, and could cure with it any disease or any hurt or damage possible to human flesh and bone. These things are true, or they are not. If they were true seventeen and eighteen and nineteen centuries ago it would be difficult to satisfactorily explain why or how or by what argument that power should be nonexistent in Christians now."
- See Twain 1907:
- Schrager 1998, p. 29.
- For "incomprehensible and uninterpretable," see Horn 1996, p. 123.
- Twain 1907: "[T]hey [Christian Scientists] believe that she philosophized Christian Science, explained it, systematized it, and wrote it all out with her own hand in the book Science and Health.
"I am not able to believe that. ... The known and undisputed products of her pen are a formidable witness against her. They do seem to me to prove, quite clearly and conclusively, that writing, upon even simple subjects, is a difficult labor for her: that she has never been able to write anything above third-rate English; that she is weak in the matter of grammar; that she has but a rude and dull sense of the values of words; that she so lacks in the matter of literary precision that she can seldom put a thought into words that express it lucidly to the reader and leave no doubts in his mind as to whether he has rightly understood or not. ...
"In the very first revision of Science and Health (1883), Mrs. Eddy wrote a Preface which is an unimpeachable witness that the rest of the book was written by somebody else."
- Stahl 2012, p. 202.
- For the quote from Twain, see Twain 1907, chapter 7.
- Twain 1907.
- Kaplan 2005, p. 585.
- McClure's, December 1906.
- Gardner 1993, p. 41; Gill 1998, pp. 37–39.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 137–141; Gill 1998, p. 567; Gardner 1993, p. 41.
- Stouck 1993, p. xvff, introduction to the University of Nebraska Press edition.
- Also see Bohlke 1982.
- Fraser 1999, p. 139; Gardner 1993, p. 41.
- McClure's, December 1906.
- Stouck 1993, p. xviii.
- Gill 1998, pp. 37–39.
- Gill 1998, p. 494.
- For Ebenezer Johnson Foster Eddy, see Cather and Milmine, March 1908.
- Gill 1998, p. 494.
- Gill 1998, pp. 471–472, 488.
- New York Times 1907.
- Gill 1998, p. 532; Gottschalk 2006, p. 40.
- Gill 1998, p. xv.
- Jenkins 2000, p. 59.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 91–93.
- Cather and Milmine 1909, pp. 128–129: "For 20 closely written pages, Quimby's manuscript, Questions and Answers, is word for word the same as Mrs. Glover's manuscript, The Science of Man."
- Bates and Dittmore 1932, p. 156: "We may say at once that, as far as the thought is concerned, Science and Health is practically all Quimby."
- Gardner 1993, p. 47: "When Mrs. Eddy left Quimby in 1864 she took with her a manuscript by Quimby titled Questions and Answers. Huge chunks of it were incorporated in Mrs. Eddy's pamphlet The Science of Man, which she published herself in 1870. With numerous alterations it was eventually added to Science and Health as the chapter titled "Recapitulation." Even after all the changes one can still see how much of it was taken from Quimby's paper."
- Gardner (Los Angeles Times) 1999: "Throughout her long life, Mrs. Eddy was constantly accused of having stolen her basic beliefs from Quimby, who believed he had clairvoyant powers to diagnose and a paranormal ability to heal. All illness, he taught, is mental."
- DeChant 2006, p. 96: "Early leaders of the various New Thought churches ... accused Eddy of appropriating Quimby's teachings and claiming them as her own divine revelation."
- Vitello (New York Times) 2010, p. 2.
- Also see "Christian Science Primary class instruction", christianscience.com.
- Fraser 1999, p. 329.
- "Christian Science Nursing is spiritually based healthcare", Commission for Accreditation of Christian Science Nursing Organizations/Facilities.
- Christian Science nursing facilities, Commission for Accreditation of Christian Science Nursing Organizations/Facilities.
- Gottschalk 1973, p. 191.
- Gottschalk 2006, pp. 326, 328.
- Eddy to James A. Neal, January 29, 1897, cited in Gottschalk 2006, p. 354.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 94–96.
- Frank Prinz-Wondollek 2011.
- Fraser 1995.
- Jones (New York Review of Books) 2001.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 323–325.
- Fraser 1995:
- "That infuriating, smug calm in the face of crisis is part of what makes Christian Science so dangerous. Fixated on their rote readings and prayers, Christian Science parents and practitioners are apt to be unmoved by the visible signs of any disease or accident. I remember the hypnotic voice of the practitioner my mother phoned to talk to me when I was sixteen and had a fever so high that I had been delirious; the practitioner was interested in hearing not how I felt but what I had been studying in Science and Health.
"This obliviousness of the reality of pain and suffering has been documented in trial after trial."
- "That infuriating, smug calm in the face of crisis is part of what makes Christian Science so dangerous. Fixated on their rote readings and prayers, Christian Science parents and practitioners are apt to be unmoved by the visible signs of any disease or accident. I remember the hypnotic voice of the practitioner my mother phoned to talk to me when I was sixteen and had a fever so high that I had been delirious; the practitioner was interested in hearing not how I felt but what I had been studying in Science and Health.
- Fraser 1995; Gray 1986, p. xvii.
- Fraser 1999, p. 326.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 284–318.
- May 1999, pp. 75–76.
- "New York Times Response from the Christian Science Board of Directors", christianscience.com, 24 March 2010.
- Fraser 1999, p. 262: "The campaign of the professional medical societies against Christian Science took several forms. Beginning in 1888, with the manslaughter indictment of Mrs. Abby Corner, and on into the 1890s, several Christian Science practitioners were tried for manslaughter or murder following the deaths of their patients; some of these charges were instigated by outraged medical doctors, whose testimony was a feature of the trials."
- That it was over 50 cases and continued into the 1990s, see Vitello (New York Times) 2010, p. 2: "Over its history, more than 50 church members or practitioners have been charged in connection with such deaths. Prosecutions have come in waves, most recently during the 1980s and '90s, when the church and its practitioners were linked to the deaths of a half-dozen children whose lives, the authorities said, might have been saved if they had not been denied medical care."
- See Schoepflin 2002, pp. 10, 82–85, for the 1888 case of Abby Corner that began the series of prosecutions.
- In a study of 172 child deaths between 1975 and 1995 where parents had withheld medical care for religious reasons, 28 (or 16 percent) were from a Christian Science background; see Asser and Swan 1998, p. 626.
- Fraser 2003, p. 268; Fraser 1999, pp. 279–281.
- Fraser 1999, p. 284.
- "Exemptions from providing medical care for sick children", Children's Healthcare is a Legal Duty, accessed January 30, 2013.
- Fraser 1995; Young 2001; Hughes 2004.
- For a 1913 case in England, see:
- "Eddyite is Held for Child's Death; London Coroner's Jury Renders a Verdict of Manslaughter", New York Times, August 20, 1913.
- "Christian Science Failed; English Father Appears in Court on a Manslaughter Charge", New York Times, August 21, 1913.
- "X-Scientist Escapes; Englishman Whose Child Died While Undergoing Treatment Is Freed", New York Times, September 9, 1913.
- For a 1913 case in England, see:
- Fraser 1999, pp. 287–292, 295; Swan 2009.
- Also see Swan 2000.
- New York Times, August 19, 1993.
- Peters 2007, p. 13; Fraser 1999, pp. 305–309; Fraser 1995.
- Also see Jones (Los Angeles Times) 1989.
- Margolick (New York Times) 1990; Fraser 1999, pp. 303–305.
- Associated Press, August 12, 1993.
- Roberts (British Medical Journal) 1996.
- Fraser 1999, p. 313: "It would be the most far-reaching and ultimately damaging lawsuit ever filed against Christian Scientists and their church."
- Greenhouse (New York Times), January 23, 1996: "This case, involving a family from Independence, Minn., has been one of the most closely watched of these cases in its circuitous journey through the Minnesota courts since Ian Lundman's death in 1989."
- For the case, see Lundman v. McKown et al., Court of Appeals of Minnesota, April 1995; Lundman v. McKown, North West Rep Second Ser, 4(530), April 1995, pp. 807–834. Also see State v. McKown, 1990.
- For the Supreme Court declining to hear the appeal, see Greenhouse (New York Times), January 28, 1996.
- Also see Lee 2005, pp. 66–67, 83–84; New York Times, August 19, 1993.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 310–313; Lundman v. McKown, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, April 1995, p. 3.
- Fraser 1999, p. 314.
- Greenhouse (New York Times), January 23, 1996. The court ruled: "Although one is free to believe what one will, religious freedom ends when one's conduct offends the law by, for example, endangering a child's life."
- Lundman v. McKown, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, April 1995, p. 31. The decision reads:
- "The trial court erred in denying the First Church of Christ Scientist's motion for J.N.O.V. or remittitur of the punitive damage award; that award was unconstitutional. The trial court erred in denying motions for J.N.O.V. made by appellants James Van Horn, Clifton House, and the First Church of Christ, Scientist; they had no duty to Ian. The court properly granted appellants' motions for remittitur of the compensatory damage award from $5.2 million to $1.5 million. Appellants' alternative motions for a new trial were properly denied. Judgment in the amount of $1.5 million against Kathleen McKown, William McKown, Quinna Lamb, and Mario Tosto is affirmed."
- Lundman v. McKown, Court of Appeals of Minnesota, April 1995, p. 31. The decision reads:
- Greenhouse (New York Times), January 23, 1996; Fraser 1999, pp. 313–315.
- Also see Carter (Christian Science Monitor) 1996.
- For the cases, see McKown v. Lundman, No. 95-355, and Lundman v. First Church of Christ, Scientist, No. 95-534.
- The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, accessed February 8, 2013.
- Willrich 2011, p. 260.
- Willrich 2011, pp. 260–261.
- For Eddy's statements, see Cayuga Chief, November 29, 1902.
- When Eddy's son told her he had refused to have his own son vaccinated, Eddy replied: "But if it were my child I should let them vaccinate him and then with Christian Science I would prevent its harming the health of my child" (Gill 1998, p. 684)
- Novotny 1988; Fraser 2003, p. 268.
- Fraser 2003, p. 268.
- Fraser 1999, p. 303; for the polio outbreak, Fraser cites Swan 1983.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 301–302.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1994; Fraser 1999, p. 303.
- Also see Associated Press, May 8, 1994.
- Fraser 1995.
- The Manual explains the responsibilities of members, officers, practitioners, teachers and nurses, and establishes rules for discipline and other aspects of church business.
- Fraser 1999, p. 17.
- Fraser 1999, pp. 17, 18.
- Morrill 2003, p. 96.
- Fraser 1999, p. 18.
- Swanson 2001, p. 11.
- Stecklow (Philadelphia Inquirer) 1991.
- Fraser 1999, p. 373–374.
- Voorhees 2007, pp. 81–82.
- UPI (New York Times) 1985.
- Also see Christine Madsen vs. Robert Erwin and others, October 4, 1984 – August 21, 1985.
- Fuller 2011, p. 112; Voorhees 2007, p. 85.
- Margolick (New York Times) 1990, p. 2: "William H. Webster, the Director of Central Intelligence, and Adm. Stansfield M. Turner, a former Director; Representative Christopher Shays, Republican of Connecticut; Judge Thomas P. Griesa of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; and Jean Stapleton and Carol Channing, the actresses."
- For H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, see Fraser (The Atlantic) 1995.
- Gardner (Los Angeles Times) 1999: "Believers included Cecil B. DeMille, Joan Crawford, Mary Pickford, Mickey Rooney, Ginger Rogers and, later on, Doris Day, Robert Duvall, George Hamilton and a raft of others."
- Val Kilmer and Horton Foote, see Fraser 1999, p. 215.
- For Alan Shepard, see Fraser 1999, p. 239.
- For Laurance Doyle, see "Dr. Laurance Doyle", Principia College.
- For Nancy Astor, see Fraser 1999, pp. 186–190; for Charles Lightoller, p. 427.
- Also see Charles Lightoller, "It is difficult to tell of the experience ...", Christian Science Journal, October 1912.
- For Robin Williams and Elizabeth Taylor, see Fraser 1999, p. 215.
- For Ellen DeGeneres, Henry Fonda and Audrey Hepburn, see Fuller 2011, p. 48.
- For Helmuth von Moltke, see Biesinger 2006, p. 576.
- For Anne Archer, see Wright 2013, p. 335.
- Wells 2001, p. 49.
- Stark 1998, p. 191.
- Stark 1998, p. 192
- Stark 1998, p. 194 for 1968 and 1995 numbers; Vitello (New York Times) 2010, p. 1 for 2010 number.
- Stark 1998, p. 190: "Soon, growth was replaced by decline and, today, it is uncertain whether Christian Science will survive for even another generation."
- Stark 1998, p. 194: "According to the 1936 Census of Religious Bodies, the average Christian Science church had 87 members that year. If we assume that number for today's congregations, then multiplying 87 by 1300 churches offers an independent estimate of current membership at 113,000, which is nearly identical to the adjusted total of 106,000 estimated for 1990."
- Schoepflin 2001, p. 119: "... membership had been declining steadily for decades."
- Gallagher 2004, p. 54, writes that the church had almost 100,000 members in 2003.
- Stark and Bainbridge 2013, p. 71: "... Christian Science has been declining rapidly over the past forty years."
- "Self-described Religious Identification of Adult Population", American Religious Identification Survey, 2008.
- PBS 2008.
- Bryant (Christian Science Monitor) 2009.
- Clifford (New York Times) 2008.
- For the losses and move to a weekly print run as of April 2009, see Fine (Business Week) 2008.
- Also see Cook (Christian Science Monitor) 2008.
- "Learn more about JSH-Online", accessed May 21, 2013.
- "Testimony Guidelines", Christian Science Sentinel.
- Faison (New York Times) 1992; Bridge 1998, p. xiv.
- Gardner 1993, pp. 210–214; Fraser 1999, p. 369ff.
- Steinfels (New York Times) 1992.
- Books/book chapters
- Bates, Ernest Sutherland and Dittemore, John V. Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition. A. A. Knopf, 1932.
- Beasley, Norman. The Cross and the Crown, the History of Christian Science. Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1952.
- Biesinger, Joseph A. Germany: A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. Infobase Publishing, 2006.
- Bloom, Harold. The American Religion. Simon & Schuster, 1992.
- Bridge, Susan. Monitoring the News: The Brilliant Launch and Sudden Collapse of The Monitor Channel. M.E. Sharpe, 1998.
- Camfield, Gragg. The Oxford Companion to Mark Twain. Oxford University Press, 2003.
- Cather, Willa and Milmine, Georgine. The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science. Doubleday 1909, latest edition University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
- Chiat, Marilyn Joyce Segal. America's Religious Architecture: Sacred Places for Every Community. John Wiley, 1997.
- Cunningham, Sarah Gardner. "Christian Science", in Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Marie Cantlon (eds.). Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America. Indiana University Press, 2006.
- DeChant, Dell. "World Religions Made in the U.S.A.: Metaphysical Communities—Christian Science and Theosophy", in Jacob Neusner (ed.). World Religions in America. Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.
- DeChant, Dell. "The American New Thought Movement", in Eugene V. Gallagher and Michael Ashcraft (eds.). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.
- Dickey, Adam H. Memoirs of Mary Baker Eddy. Bookmark 2002, first published 1927.
- Dresser, Julius. The True Story of Mental Science, Alfred Mudge & Son, 1887.
- Eddy, Mary Baker. Science and Health. The Christian Science Board of Directors, 1934, first published 1875; full view on Google Books.
- Eddy, Mary Baker. Rudimental Divine Science. The Christian Science Board of Directors, 1925, first published 1883.
- Eddy, Mary Baker. Historical Sketch of Christian Science Mind-healing, 1888.
- Eddy, Mary Baker. Manual of the Mother Church, 89th edition, The Christian Science Board of Directors, first published 1895.
- Eddy, Mary Baker. "The People's Idea of God", delivered as a sermon, 1908.
- Eddy, Mary Baker. Miscellaneous Writings, 1897.
- Feehan, Michael. "Kenneth Burke and Mary Baker Eddy," in Greig E. Henderson and David Cratis Williams (eds.). Unending Conversations: New Writings by and About Kenneth Burke. Southern Illinois University Press, 2001.
- Fraser, Caroline. God's Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church. Henry Holt and Company, 1999.
- Fraser, Caroline. "Christian Science", in Gary Laderman and Luis D. León (eds.). Religion and American Cultures: An Encyclopedia of Traditions, Diversity, and Popular Expressions. ABC-CLIO, 2003.
- Fuller, Linda K. The Christian Science Monitor: An Evolving Experiment in Journalism. ABC-CLIO, 2011.
- Gallagher, Eugene V. The New Religious Movements Experience In America. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004.
- Gardner, Martin. The Healing Revelations of Mary Baker Eddy. Prometheus Books, 1993.
- Gill, Gillian. Mary Baker Eddy. Da Capo Press, 1998.
- Gottschalk, Stephen. The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life. University of California Press, 1973.
- Gottschalk, Stephen. Rolling away the stone: Mary Baker Eddy's challenge to materialism. Indiana University Press, 2006.
- Gray, Spalding. Sex and Death to the Age 14. Random House Digital, 2011, first published 1986.
- Haushalter, Walter M. Mrs. Eddy Purloins from Hegel. Kessinger Publishing, 2003, first published 1936.
- Hoekema, Anthony A. The Four Major Cults: Christian Science, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Seventh-Day Adventism. Eerdmans, 1963.
- Horn, Jason Gary. Mark Twain and William James: Crafting a Free Self. University of Missouri Press, 1996.
- James, William. Pragmatism: A Series of Lectures by William James, 1906-1907. Arc Manor LLC, 2008.
- Jenkins, Philip. Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in American History. Oxford University Press, 2000.
- Kaplan, Fred. The Singular Mark Twain: A Biography. Anchor, 2005.
- Kaplan, Jeffrey. "New Religious Movements and Globalization", in Eugene V. Gallagher and Michael Ashcraft, Michael (eds.). Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006.
- Kemp, Daren. New Age: A Guide. Edinburgh University Press, 2004.
- Lee, Daniel. Freedom Vs. Intervention: Six Tough Cases. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
- Lewis, James R. Legitimating New Religions. Rutgers University Press, 2003.
- Martin, Walter and Zacharias, Ravi. "Christian Science", The Kingdom of the Cults, 2003, first published 1965.
- May, Larry. "Challenging Medical Authority", in Peggy DesAutels, Margaret P. Battin, and Larry May (eds.). Praying for a Cure: When Medical and Religious Practices Conflict. Rowman & Littlefield, 1999.
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- Court of Appeals of Minnesota. "Lundman v. McKown", April 4, 1995.
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- New York Times, The. "Eddyite is Held for Child's Death; London Coroner's Jury Renders a Verdict of Manslaughter", August 20, 1913.
- New York Times, The. "Christian Science Failed; English Father Appears in Court on a Manslaughter Charge", August 21, 1913.
- New York Times, The. "X-Scientist Escapes; Englishman Whose Child Died While Undergoing Treatment Is Freed", September 9, 1913.
- New York Times, The. "Congress library gets Eddy letters", April 6, 1930.
- New York Times, The. "Christian Science Text's Copyright Is Ruled Illegal by Appeals Court", September 23, 1987.
- New York Times, The. "Christian Scientists Found Liable in Death", August 19, 1993.
- North East Rep Second Ser. "Commonwealth v. Twitchell", 11(617), August 11, 1993, pp. 609–621.
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- Stecklow, Steve. "Church's Media Moves At Issue A Burgeoning Network Sparks Dissent", Philadelphia Inquirer, October 14, 1991.
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- Swami Yogananda. "Christian Science and Hindu Philosophy", East West Magazine, 1926.
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- External links
- Official Christian Science website
- Christian Science publications (Journal, Herald and Sentinel)
- Eddy, Mary Baker. Manual of the Mother Church, 89th edition.
- New York Times, The. "Mary Baker Eddy", archive of articles, 1899–the present.
- Commonwealth vs. David R. Twitchell, decision of the 1993 appeal.
- Mary Baker Eddy Library
- Mary Baker Eddy Institute
- Resource for lectures on Christian Science
- Emergence International, LGBT advocacy within Christian Science.
- Longyear Museum, devoted to the life and work of Mary Baker Eddy.
- Christian Way, former Christian Scientists for Jesus.
- The Bookmark, independent source of literature on Christian Science.
- Interview with Virginia Harris, chair of the Christian Science board of directors, Larry King Live, CNN, May 4, 2001 (transcript).
- Doyle, Laurance. "Science & Spirit: Where Do They Meet?" (lecture on Christian Science), Stanford University, May 6, 2008.
- Books and articles
- Bellwald, A.M. Christian Science and the Catholic Faith. The MacMillan Company, 1922.
- Cunningham, Raymond J. "The Impact of Christian Science on the American Churches, 1880–1910", The American Historical Review, 72(3), 1967.
- Fisher, H.A.L. Our New Religion. Kessinger Publishing, 2010, first published 1929.
- Flower, Benjamin O. "Christian Science as a Religious Belief and a Therapeutic Agent". Twentieth Century Company, 1909.
- Fox, Margery. "Protest in Piety: Christian Science Revisited," International Journal of Women's Studies, 1(401), July/August 1978.
- Fraser, Caroline. God's Perfect Child (extract), The New York Times, August 22, 1999.
- Zaleski, Philip. "Thinking Made It So, for a While", The New York Times, August 22, 1999 (review of Caroline Fraser's God's Perfect Child).
- Fraser, Caroline. "Overachiever", The New York Review of Books, April 27, 2000 (review of Gillian Gill's Mary Baker Eddy).
- Harley, Gail M. Emma Curtis Hopkins: Forgotten Founder of New Thought. Syracuse University Press, 2002.
- Harrington, Anne. The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine. W.W. Norton & Co, 2008.
- Hickey, K.S. and Lyckholm, L. "Child welfare versus parental autonomy: medical ethics, the law, and faith-based healing", Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics, 25(4), 2004, pp. 265–276.
- Kimball, Edward. "Facts and Fictions about Christian Science", lecture delivered April 8, 1898, from Lectures and Articles on Christian Science, Kessinger Publishing, 2005, first published 1921.
- Kimball, Edward. Christian Science and Legislation: The Endeavor to Handicap Truth. HardPress, 2012, first published 1909.
- Manca, T. "Medicine and Spiritual Healing Within a Region of Canada: Preliminary Findings Concerning Christian Scientists' Healthcare Practices", Journal of Religion and Health, June 17, 2011.
- Melton, Gordon. Encyclopedia of American Religions. Gale, 8th edition, 2009, first published 1978.
- Merrick, Jana C. "Christian Science healing of minor children: Spiritual exemption statutes, First Amendment rights, and fair notice", Issues in Law and Medicine, 10(3), Winter 1994, pp. 321–342.
- Merrick, Jana C. "Spiritual healing, sick kids and the law: Inequities in the American healthcare system", American Journal of Law and Medicine, 29(2-3), 2003, pp. 269–299.
- Nudelman, A. E. "Christian Scientists' Beliefs About the Role of Suggestion in Illness and Healing", Psychological Reports, 47(2), 1980.
- Paget, Stephen. The Faith and Works of Christian Science. The MacMillan Company, 1909.
- Paget, Stephen. The Case Against Christian Science. Cassell and Company, 1909.
- Peel, Robert. Spiritual Healing in a Scientific Age. Harper and Row, 1987.
- Podmore, Frank. Mesmerism and Christian Science. Kessinger Publishing, 1909.
- Ruetenik, T. "The First Church of Christ, Pragmatist: Christian Science and Responsible Optimism", Journal of Religion and Health, 51(4), December 2012, pp. 1397–1405.
- Stores, Bruce. Christian Science: Its Encounter with Lesbian/Gay America. iUniverse, 2004.
- Snowden, James Henry. The Truth About Christian Science: The Founder and the Faith. Ulan Books 2012, first published 1920.
- Time magazine. "Religion: Mother, Parent & Drugs", February 4, 1929.
- Twain, Mark. Christian Science, 1907.
- Voorhees, Amy Black. "Mary Baker Eddy, the Woman Question, and Christian Salvation", Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 28(2), Fall 2012, pp. 5–25.
- Wilson, Bryan R. "Christian Science", in Sects and Society: A Sociological Study of the Elim Tabernacle, Christian Science, and Christadelphians. University of California Press, 1961, pp. 121–219.
- Books by former Christian Scientists
- Fraser, Caroline. God's Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church. Metropolitan Books, 1999.
- Kramer, Linda S. The Religion That Kills: Christian Science: Abuse, Neglect, and Mind Control. Bookworld Services, 1999.
- Simmons, Thomas. The Unseen Shore: Memories of a Christian Science Childhood. Beacon 1991.
- Swan, Rita. The Last Strawberry. Hag's Head Press, 2009.
- Wilson, Barbara. Blue Windows: A Christian Science Childhood. Picador 1997.
- Selected biographies of Mary Baker Eddy (chronological order)
- Cather, Willa and Milmine, Georgine. "Mary Baker G. Eddy". McClure's magazine, 14 articles, January 1907 – June 1908; McClure's editorial, December 1906.
- Wilbur, Sybil. The Life of Mary Baker Eddy, The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1907.
- Meehan, Michael. Mrs. Eddy and the Late Suit in Equity. Ulan Press 2012, first published 1908.
- Cather, Willa and Milmine, Georgine. The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science. Doubleday 1909; can be read at unz.org, and archive.org. Republished in 1971 by Baker Book House, and in 1993 by University of Nebraska Press.
- Bancroft, Samuel P. Mrs. Eddy as I Knew Her in 1870. Geo H. Ellis Co, 1923.
- Dickey, Adam H. Memoirs of Mary Baker Eddy. Bookmark 2002, first published 1927.
- Dakin, Edwin Franden. Mrs. Eddy, the Biography of a Virginal Mind. C. Scribner's Sons, 1929.
- Powell, Lyman P. Mary Baker Eddy: A Life Size Portrait. The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1930.
- Springer, Fleta Campbell. According to the Flesh. Coward-McCann, 1930.
- Bates, Ernest Sutherland and Dittemore, John V. Mary Baker Eddy: The Truth and the Tradition. A. A. Knopf, 1932.
- Tomlinson, Irving C. Twelve Years with Mary Baker Eddy. Christian Science Publishing Society, 1945.
- Studdert Kennedy, Hugh A. Mrs. Eddy: Her Life, Her Work and Her Place in History. Farallon Press, 1947.
- Peel, Robert. Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery. The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1966.
- Peel, Robert. Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Trial. The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1971.
- Peel, Robert. Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Authority. The Christian Science Publishing Society, 1977.
- Gardner, Martin. The Healing Revelations of Mary Baker Eddy. Prometheus Books, 1993.
- Thomas, David. With Bleeding Footsteps: Mary Baker Eddy's Path to Religious Leadership. Knopf 1994.
- Nenneman, Richard A. Persistent Pilgrim: The Life of Mary Baker Eddy. Nebbadoon Press, 1997.
- Gill, Gillian. Mary Baker Eddy. Da Capo Press, 1998.
- Gottschalk, Stephen. Rolling Away the Stone: Mary Baker Eddy's Challenge to Materialism. Indiana University Press, 2006.
- Encyclopedia articles
- Ahlstrom, Sydney E. "Eddy, Mary Baker", in Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, and Paul S. Boyer (eds.), Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary. Volume 2. Harvard University Press, 1971, p. 551ff.
- The New International Encyclopedia. "Christian Science", 1905.
- Encyclopædia Britannica. "Christian Science", 11th edition, 1911.
- Encyclopædia Britannica. "Christian Science", 12th edition, 1922.
- Encyclopædia Britannica. "Christian Science", 2013.
- Books about New Thought
- Braden, Charles S. Spirits in Rebellion: The Rise and Development of New Thought. Southern Methodist University Press, 1963.
- Dresser, Horatio. A History of the New Thought Movement, 1919.
- Mosley, Glenn R. New Thought, Ancient Wisdom: The History and Future of the New Thought Movement. Templeton Press, 2006.