Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

An influential woman

Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science.

Mary Morse Baker was born in Bow, New Hampshire, the youngest of six children of Abigail and Mark Baker. Although raised a Congregationalist, she came to reject teachings such as predestination and original sin. She suffered chronic illness and developed a strong interest in biblical accounts of early Christian healing. At the age of eight, she wrote, she began to hear voices calling her name.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Baker_Eddy


On December 10, 1843, Eddy married George Washington Glover.[8] He died of yellow fever on June 27, 1844, a little over two months before the birth of their only child, George Washington Glover. As a single mother of poor health, Eddy wrote some political pieces for the New Hampshire Patriot. She also worked as a substitute teacher in the New Hampshire Conference Seminary. Her success there led to her briefly opening an experimental school which was an early attempt to introduce kindergarten methods (love instead of harshness for discipline; interest instead of compulsion to impart knowledge), but this, like other similar attempts at this time was not accepted and soon closed.[8] The social climate of the time made it very difficult for a widowed woman to earn money.

Eddy in the 1850s
Her mother died in November 1849 and about a year later, her father married Elizabeth Patterson Duncan.[8] Eddy continued to have poor health and her son was put into the care of neighbors by her father and stepmother. She married Dr. Daniel Patterson, a dentist, in 1853, hoping he would adopt the young boy. Patterson apparently signed papers to that effect on their wedding day, but failed to follow through on his promise.[9]

Eddy was often bedridden during this period. Her stepmother did not welcome Eddy or her child. A neighbor couple with a small farm and no children took up the care of the boy for a fee. When this couple, who found the boy useful in the farm labor, decided to move to the Prairie territories, without Eddy's knowledge, some of Eddy's family arranged that the couple should take the child along with money given them by her father. The failure of Patterson to make good on his promises of reunification with her now far-distant son plunged Eddy into despair.[9] Her desire to recover her health led her to seek healing in the various systems fashionable of the period, including electrical treatments, morphine, homeopathy, hydropathy, Grahamism, and mesmerism.[10]

Patterson ran into financial difficulty. He mortgaged Eddy's furniture, jewelry, and books, but was unable to keep current on their property in Groton, New Hampshire, and was eventually forced to vacate. Eddy's sister, Abigail, moved her to Rumney, six miles away

 After her separation from Patterson she wandered about for four years living with different families, in Lynn, Amesbury, or some of the neighbouring towns.

In October 1862 Eddy became a patient of Phineas Quimby,[32] a magnetic healer from Maine. She benefited temporarily by his treatment.[33] From 1862 to 1865 Quimby and Eddy engaged in lengthy discussions about healing methods practiced by Quimby and others.  Phineas P. Quimby believed in a "science of health" achieved by direct mental healing that had religious overtones. Baker was seemingly cured, but her suffering recurred after Quimby's death.

In 1866, she fell on ice and her suffering increased. She turned to the New Testament and was suddenly healed, which led her to discover what she later called Christian Science, or the "superiority of spiritual over physical power."

Convinced by her own study of the Bible, especially Genesis 1, and through experimentation, Eddy claimed to have found healing power through a higher sense of God as Spirit and man as God's spiritual "image and likeness." She became convinced that illness could be healed through an awakened thought brought about by a clearer perception of God and the explicit rejection of drugs, hygiene and medicine based upon the observation that Jesus did not use these methods for healing:

 In 1873, Eddy divorced Daniel Patterson for adultery.
In 1877 she married Asa Gilbert Eddy; in 1882 they moved to Boston, and he died that year.

 In 1875, she set down her principles in a voluminous work called Science and Health, and in 1876 founded the Christian Science Association then the Church of Christ, Scientist (1879). She also founded the Christian Science Publishing Society (1898), which continues to publish a number of periodicals, including The Christian Science Monitor (1908).

In 1881, she founded the Massachusetts Metaphysical College,[64] where she taught approximately 800 students in Boston, Massachusetts between the years 1882 and 1889.  Her students spread across the country practicing healing, and instructing others, in accordance with Eddy's teachings. Eddy authorized these students to list themselves as Christian Science Practitioners in the church's periodical, The Christian Science Journal. She also founded the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine with articles about how to heal and testimonies of healing.

 Eddy died on the evening of December 3, 1910 at her home at 400 Beacon Street, in the Chestnut Hill section of Newton, Massachusetts.

Today, there are almost 1,700 Christian Science churches in 76 countries.

I've copied most of this text from Wikipedia and given the link above...so all the footnotes go to the text there.

I've spoken before about my own life having been a Christian Scientist until I was 20 years old.  So this woman's work greatly influenced myself and my family.  I had at least 2 Christian Science Practitioners in my family.

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