“Woman’s Hour: Feminist Implications of Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science Movement, 1885-1910”
Hansen, Penny. “Woman’s Hour: Feminist Implications of Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science Movement, 1885–1910.” PhD Dissertation, University of California, Irvine, 1981.
Hansen examines the formative period of the Christian Science movement asking why its healers and builders, including its irrepressible founder, were predominantly women. Besides drawing out the feminist appeal in Eddy’s writings, Hansen takes a deep dive into “the metaphysical healing world in which Christian Science received its first hearing” (x). Hansen is especially interested in women’s interaction with religion and health, studying health reformers Gove Nichols and Seventh-day Adventist founder Ellen G. White. The illnesses experienced by Eddy, Nichols and White galvanized their rebellion against the belief that women’s fate is to suffer, which in turn caused them to challenge, if not reverse in some cases, the dominant place of men as clergymen and doctors. Finally, in analyzing early healings in The Christian Science Journal, Hansen discovers not only restorations of health but also healing as “a religious act” (299). It is this deeply religious aspect of Christian Science and the institution that formed around it that enable Hansen to distinguish Christian Science from the women metaphysical healers who eventually formed the New Thought movement. Eddy’s declaration, “This is woman’s hour” (Miscellaneous Writings, 245), “well captures the spirit of the female contribution to Christian Science” (xii).
Annotations related by category:
- Availability: Online - Academic Credentials or Fee
- Official Christian Science Publication: No
- People: Eddy, Mary Baker
- People: White, Ellen
- Publication Date: 1981-2000
- Resource Types: Dissertations and Theses
- Subjects: Feminist Perspectives
- Subjects: Healing and Health
- Subjects: Medicine
- Subjects: Social and Cultural Studies