“Mary Baker Eddy, the ‘Woman Question,’ and Christian Salvation: Finding a Consistent Connection by Broadening the Boundaries of Feminist Scholarship”
Voorhees, Amy B. “Mary Baker Eddy, the ‘Woman Question,’ and Christian Salvation: Finding a Consistent Connection by Broadening the Boundaries of Feminist Scholarship.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 28, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 5–25.
Voorhees illustrates how Mary Baker Eddy’s life and writings, while never focused on gender issues and activism, nevertheless became a role model for gender parity and an “unsung contributor to feminist theology” (7). However, Voorhees explains that this was never Eddy’s intent, but what emerged naturally as a “by-product” of, and within, Eddy’s larger purpose and project of revealing the nature of Christian salvation. Through a well-considered and fascinating comparison between Eddy and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Voorhees illustrates how the ‘Woman Question’ for Eddy “is emphatic and radical, yet qualified and ultimately subsumed by her soteriology, not lost but included within it” (9). For example, Voorhees shows that while Eddy frequently speaks of reform in her writings—often appropriating the terminology of social reform for her own spiritual purposes—yet social and/or feminist activism was never to compromise one’s ability to be Christlike. For another example, Voorhees explains how Eddy’s temporary use of the female pronoun for God in her third edition of her seminal work, Science and Health, was not a feminist statement, but there to “support worshipers in grasping and living the spiritual reality that saves them, and ultimately the world” (25).
Print ISSN: 1553-3913