“Religion and Remedies Reunited: Rethinking Christian Science”
Corbett, Rosemary (née Hicks). “Religion and Remedies Reunited: Rethinking Christian Science.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 20, no. 2 (Fall 2004): 25–58.
Corbett (née Hicks) examines the ways that Mary Baker Eddy exercised effective leadership in increasingly male-dominated fields from which women were excluded: education, health care, and religion. She also responds to claims that Eddy expressed an ambiguous feminism by championing women’s authority yet promoting male authority within her church. Corbett notes that Eddy broke “the ‘separate sphere’ paradigm and its two-dimensional [public/private gender role] application of the ‘feminist’ label” (26) by breaking boundaries for women in public spheres. As a result, “the Church of Christ, Scientist, developed into an organization that promoted women’s rights in all sectors of society.” (30). Hicks pays particular attention to obstetrics in the development of Eddy’s system of healing. Eddy reacted strongly to rival female leaders within her movement and appointed men to major leadership roles, but Corbett describes the men as serving in figurehead roles. “She did not allow other people, least of all men, to dictate the norms of behavior within her organization” (57). A large majority of Eddy’s practicing followers were women, and, “for Mary Baker Eddy, Christian Science was the key to spiritual and physical health and to freedom from narrowly defined gender roles.” (58).
Print ISSN: 1553-3913
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: Article
- Subjects: Feminist Perspectives
- Subjects: Healing and Health
- Subjects: Medicine
- Subjects: Social and Cultural Studies