“Two Women Healers: Healing and Women’s Theological Creativity: Strategies of Resistance, Acceptance, and Hope”
Bednarowski, Mary Farrell. “Two Women Healers: Healing and Women’s Theological Creativity: Strategies of Resistance, Acceptance, and Hope,” Pages 154-161 in The Religious Imagination of American Women. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.
Bednarowski highlights Mary Baker Eddy as an example of when “a quest for healing … serves as an entry into the construction of an entire religious worldview” (155). She begins Eddy’s story with her 1866 healing after a severe fall on the ice, accompanied by “a moment of insight into the nature of reality” (156). From that revelatory moment emerged her textbook, theology, healing method, and church. While acknowledging the discontinuity between Eddy’s “radical ontology” and “contemporary women’s earth-oriented theologies” (158), Bednarowski explores the continuity of healing themes found in the theological work of women since Eddy. These “heirs … are not as absolute in their stance about the unreality of matter as Eddy, [but] they nonetheless hold that change of consciousness can change physical circumstances, [and] … that disease results from erroneous thinking about the nature of reality” (157). These contemporary interpreters of New Thought such as Marianne Williamson, or New Age healer Barbara Brennen, find connections between their religious belief and well-being, emphasize the need for pragmatic outcomes, and seek to empower women with hopeful views of their true nature in contrast to the traditional sinful nature of humanity. These metaphysical traditions find hope in a God intending health and wholeness for all.
ISBN-13 (Softcover): 978-0253213389
ISBN-13 (Hardcover): 978-0253335944