“Eddy, Mary Baker” in Vol. 4 of Encyclopedia of Religion
Treacy-Cole, Diane. “Eddy, Mary Baker.” Pages 2694–96 in vol. 4 of Encyclopedia of Religion. 15 vols. Detroit: Gale. 2005.
Treacy-Cole, a Christian Scientist and University of Bristol archaeology and religious studies scholar, begins her entry on Mary Baker Eddy by acknowledging her as a controversial figure—loved and maligned both inside and outside the Church she founded. Treacy-Cole finds a precedent in antiquity for the 19th-century male clergy and press who attempted to dismiss Eddy: the early Christian patriarchy that accused women of hysteria who functioned without deference to male authority. Treacy-Cole outlines Eddy’s rocky and sometimes tragic life story through childhood, marriages, motherhood, illnesses and financial struggles—all leading up to years of deep study of the Bible, her discovery of Christian Science, the writing of her textbook, Science and Health, and organization of her Church. Lastly, Treacy-Cole reviews Eddy’s unconventional theology, its immersion in the thought and language of the Bible, her understanding of Christ and definition of God as Father-Mother, her use of nongendered definitions for God as Life, Truth, Love, etc., and particularly “her pioneering work in the field of spiritual healing” (2696).
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Online - Academic Credentials or Fee
- Controversy: Sex and Marriage
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- Publication Date: 2001-2010
- Resource Types: Encyclopedia or Dictionary
- Subjects: Bible
- Subjects: Biographies and Chronologies
- Subjects: Feminist Perspectives