Modern scholars explain Mary Baker Eddy’s frequent childhood illnesses from a variety of perspectives. Setta argues they were symptomatic of the 19th-century form of American Calvinism. Eddy’s illnesses were pronounced when her femaleness was most pronounced (marriage and birth). Rejecting the 19th century female role, Eddy reinstated feminine qualities of Deity, whereby women and men are both seen as spiritual beings.View Annotation
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Setta, a feminist scholar of 19th-century American religion, identifies some cultural attitudes of Mary Baker Eddy’s day and Eddy’s distinct response to them. Rather than attributing her poor health to her gender, Eddy argued that ‘man’ (both male and female) is God’s spiritual reflection. Society, not God, produced the idea of gender; therefore women could take responsibility for their own health.View Annotation