Lindley’s review of Knee’s Christian Science in the Age of Mary Baker Eddy affirmed the need for such a book that attempted to “locate Christian Science in the context of contemporary political, social, and intellectual currents. But Lindley critiques Knee’s tendency to oversimplify, overgeneralize, and rely on his own creative and obtuse analogies rather than develop fewer and more well-reasoned theses.View Annotation
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Lindley finds Mary Baker Eddy’s ideas of feminism ambiguous, whether seen within the context of 19th-century American views of womanhood or compared to contemporary feminist theology. For example, regarding gender equality, Eddy elevated the interpretation of women in the Bible and embraced the radical demand for equality of men and women. But she did not identify with the women’s movement.View Annotation
In her chapter, “Alternative Religions in Nineteenth-Century America,” Lindley shows how this period of fermentation and experimentation fostered new Christian sects which challenged social, economic and religious orthodoxy. Christian Science is one of the four she highlights. Mary Baker Eddy, its founder, was a model of women’s revelatory and authoritative leadership who maintained overall control of her church.View Annotation