Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910).
Science and Health.
Boston: Christian Scientist Publishing Company, 1875. (CORE22s 1875)

Mary Baker Eddy founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, a religious movement based on faith in spiritual healing and the rejection of traditional medical treatments. Born to a large Congregationalist family in New Hampshire, Mary Baker suffered numerous illnesses as a child and developed a lasting interest in biblical accounts of divine healing. She married George Glover in 1843, but he died within a year, leaving her with an infant son, George. Her own poor health made it difficult to establish herself as a teacher, and her second husband, Daniel Patterson, whom she would divorce in 1873 on grounds of adultery, sent her son George west to work with a family of farmers. Poor, sickly, and near despair, she suffered a spinal injury during a fall in 1866, but recovered completely while reading from the Bible. Over the next several years she formulated the tenets of Christian Science, which she published in her most influential book, Science and Health (1875), exhibited here. In 1877, she married Asa Gilbert Eddy (1817–1882). Encouraged by the success of Science and Health, in 1879 Mary Baker Eddy founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, and spent the remainder of her life building its worldwide congregation. Eddy also founded the Christian Science Publishing Society (1898) and The Christian Science Monitor (1908), a daily newspaper that continues to publish print and online versions.

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