Stark researches the causes of success and failure in religious movements, focusing on Christian Science because of its dramatic rise and decline within short periods of time. He is interested in where ideas went and how they were embodied in social movements, such as the impact of Mary Baker Eddy’s authoritative style, women’s work opportunities, and fertility rates.View Annotation
Resources Discussing Edwin Franden Dakin
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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
In Wilson’s study of social dimensions of new religious movements, Christian Science is an example of one that provides existential and intellectual alternatives to normal social facilities. Topics of study include healing practices, the role of charismatic leaders, American-born religions, pragmatism, intellectual orientation, and the means of enduring in changing society. Communal involvement is low, and insulation from evil is operative.View Annotation
Volume three of Peel’s trilogy covers the final chapters of Mary Baker Eddy’s life—1892-1910—a time when Eddy struggles to balance her movement’s need for organization and preservation with its life-giving inspiration and revelation. As productive as these final decades were, Eddy’s life would continue to be plagued by personal attacks and legal suits that ultimately collapsed.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
“Discovery” is the first in a three-volume biography of Mary Baker Eddy by Peel, a literary critic, counter-intelligence officer, and editorial consultant to the Christian Science Church. Striving for a straightforward account, without apologetics or polemics, Peel examines Eddy’s intellectual and spiritual path of discovery, from her life of obscurity and loss to her search for health and spiritual breakthrough.View Annotation
Braden’s book includes a recap of accusations of Mary Baker Eddy’s plagiarism in her writings, the struggles and abuses of power through and after the ‘Great Litigation,’ and the identification of what he finds are inconsistencies in Science and Health and class teaching.View Annotation
The value of Studdert-Kennedy’s 1933 work for researchers in the 21st century lies in the fact that it offers a rare depiction of Mary Baker Eddy shortly after her death that is neither hagiographic nor polemic. He also critiques other biographers for writing pseudo psychoanalyses rather than true biographies, a pretense for lashing out at will.View Annotation
Prior to the publication of this book, Dittemore served in official capacities of the Christian Science Church. He was voted out of office in 1919, and he describes the motives behind his bitter campaign against the Church based on his (later proved to be false) belief in Mary Baker Eddy’s plagiarism. His accusations originated in an internal Church squabble.View Annotation
Powell’s 1930 work intentionally challenges Dakin’s Biography of a Virginal Mind. It also contrasts with Powell’s own 1907 work, Christian Science: The Faith and Its Founder, which presented a far more negative view of Christian Science and Mary Baker Eddy. Powell, an Episcopal clergyman and an academic writer, made good use of his considerable access to the Church’s archival collections.View Annotation
This 1930 biography on Mary Baker Eddy appears in this contemporary bibliography because of its role in Christian Science history. Without access to church archives and drawing on others who discredited her, Dakin’s biography reads like a conspiracy theory against Eddy. An important comparison can be made between Dakin’s and Lyman Powell’s biographies of the same year.View Annotation