“Woman, God and Mary Baker Eddy”
Trevett, Christine. “Woman, God and Mary Baker Eddy.” Religion 114, no. 2 (April 1984): 143–54.
Trevett observes that throughout Christian history those movements deemed heretical often included active participation by women—including the much-criticized Christian Science founder, Mary Baker Eddy. Eddy’s life experiences generated painful awareness of the lack of women’s rights in 19th-century America. But she found in scriptures an understanding that would validate her role as spiritual teacher, healer and leader of a new Christian movement. Eddy’s theology would also be informed by her feminine perspective: God designated Father-Mother; women and men equal as the spiritual image of God; and Eve affirmed and reimagined as possessing the special spiritual discernment of her sex. Yet Trevett asks why Eddy, with all her germane experiences and theology, went mostly “unnoticed by many feminist thinkers” (147). She finds her answer in Eddy’s nontraditional and non-creedal interpretation of scripture. While most feminist scholars stayed within mainstream orthodoxy when critiquing the patriarchy of biblical studies, Eddy did not. Trevett points out especially Eddy’s association with the woman in travail in Revelation 12, the woman in Genesis 3:15 with her foot on the serpent’s head, and how she identifies Christian Science as the promised Paraclete in the Gospel of John. “Just such language has militated against a display of interest in Mrs. Eddy’s work…” (151).
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