Franz Mesmer believed that through the use of magnets he could manipulate an invisible energy or fluid that he called ‘animal magnetism,’ which existed in all beings, to cure patients. The focus of mesmerism was the balancing of this energy. Several 19th-century American thought leaders, including Mary Baker Eddy, acknowledged the influence of mesmerism in their teaching methodologies.View Annotation
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Fuller describes contributions of major figures in the history of American religion, with a focus on those whose contributions were controversial but ultimately highly influential. He considers Mary Baker Eddy the best-known of Quimby’s student-disciples, arguing that Eddy reworked Quimby’s ideas with more explicit connection to scriptural passages. But the Christian Science role in introducing Americans to metaphysical spirituality was enormous.View Annotation