Rolling Away the Stone: Mary Baker Eddy's Challenge to Materialism

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Indiana University Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 483 pages
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Rolling Away the Stone is a richly detailed account of the last two decades of the life of Mary Baker Eddy, a major religious thinker whose character and achievement are just beginning to be understood. This is the first book-length discussion of Eddy to make full use of the resources of the Mary Baker Eddy Collection in Boston. It focuses on her long-range legacy as a Christian thinker, specifically her challenge to the materialism that continues to threaten religious belief and practice in our time.

Hoping to retire in 1889 after seven turbulent years founding the Christian Science movement, Eddy believed the demands upon her would ease. Instead, during the 1890s and 1900s, she entered into the most active and fruitful period of her long life, becoming a nationally and even internationally known figure. The radical character of Eddy's teaching, together with her position as a woman religious leader in a male-dominated society, aroused storm clouds of controversy that have continued to swirl around her memory today. The book opens with an account of the critical point in this controversy when her very sanity was challenged in a litigation that became one of the first media events of the 20th century.

Stephen Gottschalk also traces the fascinating relation between Eddy's encounter with the problem of evil in the first half of her life and how Mark Twain, her best-known adversary, faced the same issue during his later years. Gottschalk then explores how Eddy's challenge to materialism shaped her response to a series of crises that arose as she brought her life's work to completion. This is a sensitive and serious biography of an important figure in American religious history.

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Rolling away the stone: Mary Baker Eddy's challenge to materialism

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Gottschalk, an independent historian and author of The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life, completed this significant intellectual biography of Mary Baker Eddy before his death ... Read full review


The Worlds Leaden Weight
1 O God is it all
2 Becoming Mrs Eddy
3 By What Authority? On Christian Ground
4 By What Authority? Listening and Leading
5 Woman Goes Forth
6 The Visible Unity of Spirit
9 A Power Not a Place
10 The Outflowing Life of Christianity
11 The Kingdoms of this World
12 Elijahs Mantle
The Prophetic Voice

7 The Preparation of the Heart
8 Ayont Hates Thrall

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About the author (2006)

Stephen Gottschalk (1940--2005) was an independent scholar, an authority on Christian Science thought, and a former member of the Church's Committee on Publication. His works include The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life.

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