With Bleeding Footsteps

With Bleeding Footsteps

Mary Baker Eddy's Path to Religious Leadership

Book - 1994
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Baker & Taylor
A portrait of the founder of the Christian Science Church explores the life of Mary Baker Eddy within the context of her late-Victorian world

Blackwell North Amer
Born in 1821, Mary Baker Eddy rose from unremarkable, indeed unfortunate, beginnings - a sickly New Hampshire farm girl all too accustomed to the illness and death of loved ones - to become, early in the twentieth century, a household name across America, and famous around the world. In this groundbreaking biography, Robert Thomas brilliantly employs his training in both history and psychoanalysis and, for a non-Christian Scientist, his unprecedented access to Church archives to illuminate the psychological and social circumstances that led to Eddy's founding of a major religious movement.
Thomas begins by revealing in full the family tragedies that deeply affected, almost overwhelmed, the young girl, and shaped in her an awareness of the limited ability of traditional institutions to alleviate suffering. He casts new light on her conflicted relationships with her severely Calvinist father and her loving - but demanding - mother, on her inability to "mother" her own son, and on her involvement in such movements and fads of the period as spiritualism, homeopathy, the Graham diet, and water cures. He helps us understand the patterns in her life and how it came to be that a fall on ice when she was forty-five precipitated a life-changing religious experience that ultimately led to the establishment of the Church of Christ, Scientist.
Thomas helps us to know Mary Baker Eddy from within her own spiritual frame of reference, and also to see what made her message so persuasive to others. Through a close study of her early writings, he makes it unmistakably clear for the first time that she was a woman of strikingly original, searching, and probing mind - not the plagiarist some have alleged her to be. He analyzes Eddy's explanation of the existence of evil in her theory of "malicious animal magnetism," and he discusses her ideas about the nature of spiritual prophecy, and the role of dreams and visions. Through the stories of Church members - including many who knew her personally - Thomas examines her relationships with her followers, and he shows us the complexities, inconsistencies, and ambiguities of her personality, as well as the richness and depth of her character.
Throughout this study, we are able to see Mary Baker Eddy in the context of her late-Victorian world, and we see the ways in which her life and movement reaffirmed America's most cherished Protestant middle-class values and myths while at the same time directly challenging and disturbing the conventional thought of her time.

Baker
& Taylor

An intimate portrait of the founder of the Christian Science Church explores the life of Mary Baker Eddy within the context of her late-Victorian world and the experiences of illness and loss that led to her attempts to alleviate suffering. Tour.

Publisher: New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, c1994
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0679414959
Branch Call Number: B EDDY
Characteristics: 363 p

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