Science and Health, with Keys to the Scripturesby Mary Baker Eddy
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Among the various religious movements of the 19th century, few have had as widespread an influence as Christian Science, the religious system devised by a fragile little lady named Mary Baker Eddy. Eddy was a religious woman who suffered an injury in the 1860s that led her to found a new church premised most notably on the belief that people need not turn to medicine or drugs to heal themselves but simply to reach a better understanding of the nature of God.
Just before founding this new church, Eddy published her movement’s seminal text, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875), which laid out her expansive views about Christianity, and the metaphysical reasons she believed that people could overcome illness without relying on man-made technology. In effect, since sin, disease, and death are not God’s making, men could also shed them by becoming closer to God. In addition to founding her church and authoring that seminal book, Eddy wrote voluminously over the coming decades, helping establish both the Christian Science Journal and most famously the Christian Science Monitor.
Not surprisingly, Eddy’s religious teachings were controversial, but so was the woman herself. She was embroiled in all sorts of disputes, including whether she had plagiarized the teachings of her contemporary, Phineas Quimby. Despite having famous critics like Mark Twain attacking her teachings, and others questioning whether they were even hers, the Church grew to include hundreds of thousands of followers in the early 20th century. While that number has dwindled over recent decades, the Church and its institutions are still going strong today.
- Acheron Press
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