Certain Trumpets; the Call of Leaders
Wills, Garry. Certain Trumpets; the Call of Leaders. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994.
Wills examines a range of past leaders—each paired with an “antitype” or “one who exemplified the same characteristics by contrast” (20). He defines leadership as “reciprocally engaging two wills, one leading … the other following … [involving] always a struggle, often a feud” (11). Wills sees Mary Baker Eddy’s story as mirroring 19th-century America—turning from the past’s “punitive Calvinism” to opportunism, “healthy-mindedness” and spirituality “untainted by the materialism of the times” (175). Eddy also escaped the confinement of women as sickly and fragile to become a public, authoritative figure. Wills examines Eddy’s tutorship under Phineas P. Quimby (her antitype). Unlike Quimby’s technique of personal suggestion, Eddy turns to scripture for healing, reading it allegorically and seeking its spiritual essence. In spite of relying mainly on polemical sources for his information, Wills admits the genius of Eddy as a church leader. Whereas Quimby had patients, Eddy had followers supported “not only with a theology, but with an ecclesiology—establishing a structure of authority, shared rituals, a communal identity” (181). “She was Mother Eddy. He [Quimby] could never have been Father Quimby” (185).
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