Mary Baker Eddy: An Interpretive Biography of the Founder of Christian Science
Silberger, Julius Jr. Mary Baker Eddy: An Interpretive Biography of the Founder of Christian Science. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1980.
Silberger’s own disclaimer acknowledges two significant problems that surface in his 1980 biography based on psychoanalytic clinical practice: 1) Mary Baker Eddy is not present to participate, and 2) exposure of the author’s biases is a recurrent problem in biographical writing (vii). Nearly 40 years later, his conclusions about Eddy appear to rest more on his personal psychological theories than clinical justification, and on secondary polemical sources. To be fair, scholars had very little access to primary sources until the opening of the Mary Baker Eddy Library in 2002. Unfortunately for Silberger’s argument, the Church archives now discredit the validity of his sources. Silberger’s male patriarchal assessment of a woman’s lone struggles contrast starkly with more recent feminist views. He argues that young Mary was the spoiled youngest child in her family who learned very early that she could get what she wanted by being helpless, appealing, and imaginative. But in the end, he also acknowledges that whatever Eddy had gotten from others earlier, the mature Eddy “was truly the discover and founder of Christian Science. She built it, stone by stone, plotting the design, laying the foundation, raising the pillars, and putting into place every keystone in every arch” (247).
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-0316790901
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