Mina Loy’s Christian Science faith with its views of the body, along with 19th-century spiritualism informed her poetry. She conceptualized in her poetry a non-binary kind of embodiment—away from body/soul or life/death—to life as beyond the body. Loy saw death and the physical as illusory and thereby able to break with biological determinism and personality.View Annotation
Annotations Related to Spiritualism
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The focus of this article is an explanation of Christian Science within the religious context of its American origin and development. Melton claims that Mesmerism, Spiritualism, Swedenborgianism, and Transcendentalism prepared the way for two important religious movements of the 19th- century: Christian Science and New Thought. The author also gives relative importance to the role of independent Christian Scientists.View Annotation
Feminist scholarship will benefit from this research on Eddy’s relation to the suffragist movement and why the chapter ‘Marriage’ is placed in an early, prominent position in Science and Health. Eddy had stated that Science and Health had ‘crossed swords with the free love’ as embraced by Spiritualists and Revivalists, even as they were drawn to Christian Science because of its radical departure from the patriarchal church.View Annotation
Hendrickson discusses the American history of metaphysical healing practices from Native Americans to the present and identifies characteristics of diverse types of healing. Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science are discussed within the context of Quimbyism and New Thought, with the distinction made between the Christian basis of Eddy and the more materialistic, secular basis of the latter.View Annotation
Albanese’s undergraduate textbook explains Christian Science in the context of the evolution of religions and the meaning of religion in America. Christian Science was one of the 19th-century new religions that made considerable demands on its members, as new sects often did. Albanese’s theological explanations of Christian Science are based on her thorough knowledge of the American metaphysical movement.View Annotation
Albanese’s study of the meaning and role of metaphysics in American religious development includes magical practices (which she equates to healing), Spiritualism, occultism, theosophy, and extra- and post-Christian concerns such as Christian Science. She distances such metaphysics from Gnosticism and from Ahlstrom’s rubric of harmonialism. But significantly, it has played a key role in the culture of the modern state.View Annotation
Albanese identifies three major forms of religion in America: evangelical, liturgical, and metaphysical, claiming that the key to understanding religion in America is the influence of the metaphysical on the others.She locates Christian Science in a continuum of 19th-century metaphysical expressions from Andrew Jackson Davis and Spiritualism to Phineas P. Quimby and then influencing directly and indirectly a wide range of New Thought offshoots.View Annotation
Simmons contextualizes Mary Baker Eddy amidst the late 19th-century era of revolutionary change showing how her forebears (Swedenborgianism, Mesmerism, Transcendentalism and Spiritualism) “prepared the psychic way” by making explicit to “the American spiritual imagination the connection among physical, psychological, and spiritual health” (94). He reviews Eddy’s theology, the influence of Quimby, and the evolution of Christian Science as an institution.View Annotation
This book is Mary Baker Eddy’s response to the vicious accusations by Frederick Peabody, a lawyer who represented a client in litigation against Eddy. Eddy’s advisors recommended she not publish her book because of the possibility of further public agitation. But it was published by the Christian Science Publishing Society for the first time in 2002.View Annotation
Michell examines the influences, and theological connections and differences, between the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, Emma Curtis Hopkins, the 19th-century Woman’s movement, and the New Thought and New Age movements. Hopkins, unlike Eddy, would see Truth in all religions, not limited to Christianity, and focused more on a prosperity gospel.View Annotation
Braude looks at how the flourishing of Spiritualism in the mid-19th century intersected with the inception of the women’s rights movement in the same period. She documents that the most serious challenge to Spiritualism and mediumship came from the new religious movement Christian Science. However, although Mary Baker Eddy rejected Spiritualism outright, Braude finds many sympathetic Spiritualists in Eddy’s initial audience.View Annotation
Taves’s work is a study of religious experience with a focus on the difference between the indwelling Spirit of God and a lively imagination. Although Mary Baker Eddy was a patient and student of Phineas Quimby’s, Taves identifies the crucial distinction between them through Eddy’s differentiation of spirit from matter. Quimby valued both states simultaneously whereas Eddy held them in complete opposition.View Annotation
Schoepflin lays out the rich historical context wherein Mary Baker Eddy struggled to distinguish and preserve her movement—an amalgam of science, medicine, traditional Christianity, Spiritualism, mesmerism, homeopathy, water cure, mind cure, New Thought, and Swedenborgianism. He sketches out early Christian Science, the training of Christian Science practitioners, Eddy’s formation of church publications and polity, and her administrative savvy.View Annotation
Gill, a feminist historian and biographer, offers a fresh view of Mary Baker Eddy’s achievements in the light of obstacles faced by women in her time. Without access to Church archives Gill relied on Peel’s archival research. Gill’s unique contribution challenges the traditional biographers’ view of Eddy as a hysterical invalid who abandoned her son and stole her ideas.View Annotation
This book’s study on the history of Christian theology in America includes Mary Baker Eddy’s contributions. Eddy’s theological treatise, Science and Health, distanced itself from literal interpretations of the Bible, interpreting central Christian elements in terms of mental experience. Porterfield finds Eddy’s theology coherent and more fairly understood as a remarkably creative if unschooled form of American Protestant thought.View Annotation
Braude examines whether the doctrines of 19th-century Spiritualism and Christian Science empowered women or limited their opportunities. Although women accepted these opportunities, as mediums in Spiritualism and as teachers and healers in Christian Science, their roles required some passivity. Christian Science women were empowered in support of their churches, but for the perpetuity of Eddy’s vision, women lived under her shadow.View Annotation
Bednarowski analyzes the roles of women in 19th-century marginal religious movements (including Christian Science) considering these movements’ perception of the divine, interpretation of the Fall, need for a traditional ordained clergy, and women’s roles other than marriage and motherhood. Regarding Christian Science, Bednarowski notes women were present as writers, preachers, teachers, and healers. They also found independence through opportunities for leadership.View Annotation
Gottschalk was a Christian Scientist whose 1973 book was a more frank presentation than previous accounts of Mary Baker Eddy’s life by an insider. For instance, although he claims that Christian Science is the only true Christian religion, he criticizes Christian Scientists for certain attitudes and behaviors that reveal a shallow understanding of Eddy and the rigor of Christian Science practice.View Annotation
Volume two of Peel’s trilogy covers Mary Baker Eddy’s expanding years of 1877 to 1891, her crucial period of trial and error as she fights for the survival of her nascent movement. She organizes her church, clarifies her revolutionary interpretation of the Bible, and teaches pupils who will carry the message of Christian Science beyond New England to a wider world.View Annotation
Judah’s 1967 monograph on the metaphysical movements of 20th-century America remains a valuable resource for a comparison between movements and a documentation of their impact on organized Protestant Christianity. Regarding Christian Science, Judah claims most of its basic biblical doctrinal points are similar to the beliefs of historic Protestantism, but their full explanations place them outside traditional Christian theology.View Annotation