Mary Baker Eddy Library – Mary Baker Eddy and the Puritans

Early this month the Mary Baker Eddy Library website posted a podcast highlighting Dr. David Hall, author of The Puritans: A Transatlantic History (2019): How should we view the Puritans, and their religious and cultural legacy? This episode explores that question with Dr. David Hall, author of The Puritans: A Transatlantic History (2019). As he explains, there […]

Early this month the Mary Baker Eddy Library website posted a podcast highlighting Dr. David Hall, author of The Puritans: A Transatlantic History (2019):

How should we view the Puritans, and their religious and cultural legacy? This episode explores that question with Dr. David Hall, author of The Puritans: A Transatlantic History (2019). As he explains, there was much more to these people than the stern, judgmental caricature that has followed them through the years. In fact, Hall says, when we look at how the Puritans felt about God’s presence in their lives, “the word love leaps out at us.” For Mary Baker Eddy, her Puritan heritage  left a deep and abiding impression—one she both contested and valued. Learn how the Puritan concept of “spiritual sense” in the human heart connected to her vision.

If you would like to view the article in full and listen to the podcast on https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org,
please click here. 

 

Mary Baker Eddy Library – Women of History: Miyo Matsukata

   This month the Mary Baker Eddy Library website highlights a woman by the name of Miyo Matsukata. This blog celebrates women in history: Miyo Matsukata (1891–1984) was one of the first Japanese Christian Scientists. Dedicated to shepherding a newfound religion in an adopted country, she drew on her faith and unique cross-cultural background, challenging opposition […]

   This month the Mary Baker Eddy Library website highlights a woman by the name of Miyo Matsukata. This blog celebrates women in history:

Miyo Matsukata (1891–1984) was one of the first Japanese Christian Scientists. Dedicated to shepherding a newfound religion in an adopted country, she drew on her faith and unique cross-cultural background, challenging opposition to Western religion and the difficulties of World War II.

Born in New York City to Japanese parents, she and her older brother were among the first nisei (second-generation Japanese) on the United States East Coast. Her American childhood was punctuated by summers spent with her grandparents in Japan. At the age of 21, she moved there and married Shokuma Matsukata, the son of a prominent Japanese politician.1Acclimating to a new culture was difficult for her, and she struggled with the traditions and customs of Japanese life, to the point that her health was affected.

In 1917, when the practice of Christian Science was mostly limited to westerners, Matsukata accompanied a friend to a Christian Science lecture, given by Clarence Chadwick in Yokohama.3 4 5 “What hope and joy awakened in me,” she wrote, “when I realized that Christian Science had a divine Principle.”6 As a result she began her own study of Christian Science. At that same time two other Japanese women—Sute Mitsui and Tatsuo Takaki—also learned about Christian Science individually. All three became committed to the faith, despite the fact that it “challenged many rigid customs” and that its practice in this period “required courage as well as tact, patience, wisdom, and love.”7 They turned to Florence E. Boynton, a Christian Scientist schoolteacher from America, to help them and their children in their study.8 According to Matsukata, Boynton “did much to prepare the soil, to sow good seed, and then to care for the growth of that seed.”9

About 1924, Matsukata and her husband hosted Frances Thurber Seal, a visitor to Japan who had earlier helped introduce Christian Science in Germany. Through Seal, she learned about schools for Christian Scientists in the United States (The Principia, in Missouri, and Principia College, in Illinois). Eventually all of Boynton’s young students, including Matsukata’s children, went to study at these institutions.10

Christian Science was spreading slowly in Japan, gaining strength through the efforts of various interconnected Japanese families. The first informal group of Christian Scientists began meeting in 1924. The Mother Church in Boston (The First Church of Christ, Scientist) recognized them in 1931 as Christian Science Society, Tokyo.11 Cultural and linguistic factors made the translation of many terms into Japanese difficult, and at that time people could only study Christian Science in English. That limited its growth, since the general population did not speak English and was unfamiliar with Christianity.12 Matsukata credited her New England education and exposure to Puritan ideas with an ability to understand Mary Baker Eddy’s discovery and accomplishments.13

However, the greatest challenge to this emerging Japanese group came during World War II. Before the United States entered the war, Japan began limiting Western influences and activities. The Society in Tokyo disbanded in 1941, anticipating a law requiring all Christian denominations to unite under the “Christian Church of Japan.” While westerners like Florence Boynton returned to their home countries, Christian Science services continued secretly at Matsukata’s home until the April 1942 bombing of Tokyo.14

A period of isolation followed, in which many Japanese Christian Scientists felt cut off from the world and in particular from The Mother Church. Matsukata initially felt that estrangement. But she later wrote that, when reading “Being is Unfoldment”—an article by Mary Sands Lee in the January 1941 Christian Science Journal—she was struck by the statement that “divine progress is universal as well as individual.” Matsukata later noted this reminded her that “nothing could separate me from divine Love”15 and that it helped her renew a feeling of connection throughout the war. Takashi Oka, who became a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, was a Sunday School student in Tokyo when the war began. He later remembered Matsukata as having a strong sense of unity with The Mother Church. She was able to help bridge feelings of separation for other Japanese Christian Scientists by secretly collecting Christian Science literature, mailed under diplomatic protection from Swedish friends to Widar Bagge, the Swedish Minister, who lived next door to the Matsukatas.16

If you would like to read and view the article in full on https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org,
please click here. 

 

Mary Baker Eddy Library – Women of History: Lilian Whiting

The Mary Baker Eddy Library website blog highlights a woman by the name of Lilian Whiting. This blog celebrates women in history: Lilian Whiting (1847–1942) was a journalist and author who covered women’s roles in the community and in the advancement of society. Perhaps not surprisingly her interest led her to Mary Baker Eddy, who […]

Women of History: Lilian WhitingThe Mary Baker Eddy Library website blog highlights a woman by the name of Lilian Whiting. This blog celebrates women in history:

Lilian Whiting (1847–1942) was a journalist and author who covered women’s roles in the community and in the advancement of society. Perhaps not surprisingly her interest led her to Mary Baker Eddy, who was beginning to attract attention as the discoverer and founder of Christian Science. The two women developed a friendship that lasted over two decades. An associate of Eddy outside of her religious movement, Whiting expressed appreciation for her accomplishments and sought to illuminate them for readers.

She was born Emily Lilian Whiting near Niagara Falls, New York, daughter of Illinois senator Lorenzo D. Whiting and Lucretia Clement Whiting. Lilian began her journalistic career in 1876 and is credited as one of the first women to edit a newspaper, serving as editor-in-chief of The Boston Budget from 1890 to 1896, after having worked for other publications in Boston. She is also known for writing the first biography of Kate Field, a well-known journalist and actor of the day.1

Whiting requested an interview with Eddy in 1885, writing that she was “interested in your [Eddy’s] line of thought.”2 Their subsequent meeting at the Massachusetts Metaphysical College resulted in an article in Ohio’s Cleveland Leader; it was one of the first major pieces about Eddy and Christian Science to appear outside of New England. Their meeting confirmed Whiting’s appreciation for Eddy, which she expressed publicly. Whiting also mentioned receiving personal benefit from their first meeting, explaining that although she had felt tired on arrival, she left “skipping.”3

Through correspondence in the Mary Baker Eddy Collection, we can chart the growth of mutual respect between these women, evident in the exchange of pleasantries and the sharing of books. In 1888 Eddy sent Whiting an inscribed copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures4. Later Whiting wrote in thanks, “you have the one true philosophy of life,—that which begins and ends in God’s goodness.”5 In 1909 Whiting sent Eddy a copy of her volume From Dreamland Sent, inscribed “To the Reverend Mary Baker Eddy with the most grateful remembrance and the reverence and the love of Lilian Whiting Boston June days, 1909.”6

In her copy of Whiting’s publication The World Beautiful, Eddy made note of this paragraph:

Human love or friendship cannot give its gifts where they are unwelcome or unheeded. Your friend may long to pour out to you the treasures of his love, his care, his tenderness, his service; but unless you respond to them, he cannot give them. A gift presupposes two persons always,—not only one to give, but one, also to receive.

 

If you would like to see the full article on https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org, please click here. 

 

Webcast — A Spiritual Revolution: The Quest To Experience God

Ever wondered if there was more to life than what you were experiencing? Are you wanting more than just to hear about God? The Healing 101 Series is hosting a free online webcast by Giulia Nesi, CSB — from Fairfield, Connecticut on March 26, 2019 at 7:30pm (Pacific Standard Time). Register for this free live […]

 A Spiritual Revolution: the Quest to Experience God

  • Ever wondered if there was more to life than what you were experiencing?
  • Are you wanting more than just to hear about God?

The Healing 101 Series is hosting a free online webcast by Giulia Nesi, CSB — from Fairfield, Connecticut on March 26, 2019 at 7:30pm (Pacific Standard Time). Register for this free live webcast by clicking here.

Giulia has spent her entire career in the healthcare field. She is a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science and former psychotherapist. In her talk, she will explain how experiencing God brings healing to our lives and is possible for anyone, anytime, anywhere. Giulia enjoys talking with people about their spiritual journey and sharing the profound insights contained in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. She’s been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School’s symposium Spirituality & Healing in Medicine, managed a special project established to respond to the growing interest from healthcare professionals in Christian Science, and has lectured widely to both professional healthcare audiences and the general public.

 

For more information regarding the free Healing 101 series, click here.

 

Gender, Spirituality, and the Architecture of The Mother Church

The Mary Baker Eddy Library website has a recent Seekers and Scholars Podcast titled, Gender, Spirituality, and the Architecture of The Mother Church. The podcast guest is Dr. Jeanne Halgren Kilde, Director of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Minnesota. This episode explores the two edifices of The Mother Church on the Christian […]

Gender, Spirituality, And The Architecture Of The Mother ChurchThe Mary Baker Eddy Library website has a recent Seekers and Scholars Podcast titled, Gender, Spirituality, and the Architecture of The Mother Church. The podcast guest is Dr. Jeanne Halgren Kilde, Director of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Minnesota.

This episode explores the two edifices of The Mother Church on the Christian Science Plaza in Boston. Guest Dr. Jeanne Kilde discusses how issues around gender in religion influenced design choices for the two buildings. She draws from her prize-winning article “Material Expression and Materialism in Mary Baker Eddy’s Boston Churches: How Architecture and Gender Compromised Mind.” Kilde poses the idea that Mary Baker Eddy’s followers misread the meaning behind an emphasis on God’s feminine nature in the first building. This, she asserts, forced Eddy to revert to a more masculine style for the church’s Extension, built 12 years later.

To listen to this podcast on https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org, please click here. 

 

Discovery Bound – Family Winter Weekend In Colorado

Discovery Bound is encouraging families to participate in their family weekend at the A/U Ranches in Colorado! This is a wonderful opportunity to relax and have fun while enjoying the company of other Christian Science families and friends. Take part in sledding, broom hockey, climbing in the Rock Gym, horseback riding, games and cards in […]

Discovery Bound - Family Winter Weekend In Colorado

Discovery Bound is encouraging families to participate in their family weekend at the A/U Ranches in Colorado!

This is a wonderful opportunity to relax and have fun while enjoying the company of other Christian Science families and friends. Take part in sledding, broom hockey, climbing in the Rock Gym, horseback riding, games and cards in the lodge and much more. Even if you have a good book you are trying to finish, bring it along and enjoy reading by the fire. Feel free to do as few or as many activities as you want, but come be a part of the fun!

WHEN: Friday, March 1 – Sunday, March 3, 2019

WHERE: A/U Ranches, Buena Vista, CO

WHO: Christian Science families and their friends of all faiths. This is not a teen only weekend. There will be no chaperones provided and families will be housed in cabins.

COST: $69 per person (included in the cost are all meals beginning with Saturday breakfast through Sunday lunch, lodging and Ranch activities. Horseback riding is an additional expense and can be purchased when registering.)

FINANCIAL AID: If needed, up to $34 in financial aid is available for youth 17 and under. When registering, you will have the opportunity to apply.

TRAVEL: Please plan to arrive at the A/U Ranches between 7-8pm on Friday, March 1. Departure on Sunday will be at 1pm.

CANCELLATION POLICY: If for some reason you need to cancel, you may do so up until Friday, February 8 with a $35 cancellation fee. No refunds will be given after February 8.

CONTACT: Krista Capp – (303) 376-7572 – krista@discoverybound.org

Registration closes February 20, 2019

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to be in touch. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

If you would like to register or visit their website page, please click here. 

 

Mary Baker Eddy Library – Storytime in the Book Nook: Mercy

The Mary Baker Eddy Library website has a series titled, Storytime in the Book Nook. If you have not yet checked out this series, it consists of tales about colorful characters that are read from various books. The series takes place every first and third Tuesday of the month and is recommended for bookworms ages 5 […]

Storytime in the Book Nook: MercyThe Mary Baker Eddy Library website has a series titled, Storytime in the Book Nook. If you have not yet checked out this series, it consists of tales about colorful characters that are read from various books. The series takes place every first and third Tuesday of the month and is recommended for bookworms ages 5 years old and younger with adults. The next one takes place on January 15th between 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM Eastern Time Zone and the topic is “mercy”.

For more information please contact the Educational Programs Coordinator Marie Palladino at 617-450-7203 or palladinom@mbelibrary.org

…Mary was a bookworm. Sometimes when her siblings went out to play, she’d stay at home reading. Other times when she joined them, as often as not she’d eventually slip away to a secluded spot where they’d find her later, engrossed in a book.
—From A World More Bright: The Life of Mary Baker Eddy by Isabel Ferguson and Heather Vogel Frederick

 

If you would like to see the full article on https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org, please click here. 

 

Mary Baker Eddy Library – Mary Baker Eddy’s Attleborough lecture

The Mary Baker Eddy Library Website has an online series titled From the Collections. The most recent addition is Mary Baker Eddy’s Attleborough lecture. This article describes her 1881 lecture in Attleborough: Located forty miles southwest of Boston, Attleborough, Massachusetts, played its little-known part in the expanding Christian Science movement. In the early 1880s the town was […]

Mary Baker Eddy’s Attleborough lecture
George D. Choate, undated. P00461, Courtesy of The Mary Baker Eddy Library.

The Mary Baker Eddy Library Website has an online series titled From the Collections. The most recent addition is Mary Baker Eddy’s Attleborough lecture. This article describes her 1881 lecture in Attleborough:

Located forty miles southwest of Boston, Attleborough, Massachusetts, played its little-known part in the expanding Christian Science movement. In the early 1880s the town was approaching 12,000 citizens and in transition, moving from textile manufacturing to become a hub of jewelry making. Incorporated as a city in 1914, its spelling officially changed to Attleboro, by 1950 it would be dubbed “Jewelry Capital of the World.”1

The early 1880s also marked a time of transition for Mary Baker Eddy and the fledgling Church of Christ (Scientist), which she had founded in 1879. Holding regular services in Boston, where Eddy had just chartered her Massachusetts Metaphysical College, the church was gaining followers. Within a few years Eddy reported that the state capital was “boiling with the ferment of this glorious ‘leaven’,”2 Eddy was devoted to sharing her discovery as widely as possible—not only in New England’s major city but wherever receptive individuals might be found. So she headed to Attleborough in December 1881, to give a Christian Science lecture to a fresh audience in a new setting.

George D. Choate laid the groundwork for the event. A student of Eddy with his own Christian Science healing practice in Attleborough, he was at that time an active member of the Christian Science movement.3 While practicing in Attleborough, Choate had healed the wife of Eliot Hunt, as well as their daughter. The enthusiastic Hunt was proprietor of the Attleborough Chronicle newspaper—and proved a valuable contact.

Hunt agreed to attend Eddy’s lecture, scheduled for December 2, and to publish a review of it. Then three days before the date Choate wrote to Eddy with bad news:

Do read this letter and help me, advise me show me the way out or I’ll be in hot water at once you know and God knows it is false. I thought I had everything ready for Friday night, but I find there is to be a cantata at the church.4

While we don’t know Eddy’s response, her lecture did take place—its review appeared in the December 17 edition of the Chronicle. It seems most likely that she spoke on Friday, December 16. Unfortunately the only existing records of the lecture are Choate’s letter and Hunt’s published words—the venue and title remain mysteries. By 1881 Eddy had delivered many addresses in Boston, with titles such as “How Christianity Lost Its Element of Healing,” “Christian Healing and Mesmerism Contrasted,” and “How to be Healthy and Happy.” It’s possible the Attleboro lecture was one of these, or a hybrid.

On one hand, Hunt faulted Eddy in the review for trying to cover too much ground—“under the disadvantage of having to crowd into one lecture what really belongs to three”5—while he felt Science and Health provided a clearer explanation of her ideas. His candid review also included the observation that much of the audience met Eddy’s ideas with bemusement:

…the subject treated ‘Christian Science or Metaphysical Healing,’ and the manner of treating it, were so new and startling and so far in advance of the ideas and life thoughts of those who listened, it is not to be wondered at that Mrs. Eddy was not understood, and that many passed out of the lecture room with inquiring looks upon their faces and with a doubtful shake of the head.6

But Eddy also received considerable endorsement, as Hunt went on to state he had experienced the efficacy of Christian Science treatment firsthand. He spoke glowingly of Science and Health. “Its teachings are based upon the Bible truths,” he asserted, “and its doctrines are high and pure. It is certainly a wonderful book and could be read with profit by all.”7 His conclusion was to “watch with much interest the future of this new theory” and “‘prove all things and hold fast to that which is good’.”8 All things considered, Eddy might have done well to feel a little encouraged in this effort outside Boston. If you would like to read lectures and sermons from the 1880s, including how people were discovering and embracing Eddy’s “new theory,” visit mbepapers.org.

If you would like to view this complete article on https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org, please click here. 

 

Mary Baker Eddy Library – Seekers and Scholars Podcasts

The Mary Baker Eddy Library Website has a series of podcasts titled, Seekers and Scholars. If you have not listened to them, the podcasts consist of a series taken directly from the Mary Baker Eddy Library. There are seventeen episodes open to the public and episode eighteen is scheduled for September 3, 2018. The online webpage states: […]

The Mary Baker Eddy Library Website has a series of podcasts titled, Seekers and Scholars. If you have not listened to them, the podcasts consist of a series taken directly from the Mary Baker Eddy Library. There are seventeen episodes open to the public and episode eighteen is scheduled for September 3, 2018. The online webpage states:

Mary Baker Eddy dedicated her chief work Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures to “honest seekers for Truth.” The Seekers and Scholars podcast series celebrates the spirit of inquiry that is illuminating engagement with Eddy’s life, writings, and ideas in a wide variety of fields. Join The Mary Baker Eddy Library for monthly episodes at the intersection of scholarship and spiritual quest.

If you would like to listen to these podcasts on https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org, please click here. 

 

Mary Baker Eddy Library – The Building of the Christian Science Center

The Mary Baker Eddy Library Website recently posted an article titled, The Building of the Christian Science Center. The article focuses on  the Mother Church and the construction, community and renovations throughout the years. The online article presents intriguing photos and describes the following: In 1886 the Church of Christ, Scientist (later called The Mother Church) purchased a […]

The Mary Baker Eddy Library Website recently posted an article titled, The Building of the Christian Science Center. The article focuses on  the Mother Church and the construction, community and renovations throughout the years. The online article presents intriguing photos and describes the following:

In 1886 the Church of Christ, Scientist (later called The Mother Church) purchased a parcel of land in Boston’s Back Bay section, on which to construct its first church building. Since then both the church and its surrounding neighborhood have grown and evolved. With significant renovations underway on what today is known as the Christian Science Plaza, it’s helpful to look back at the last time a project of this scope took place, some 50 years ago. These photos from our collection offer some interesting perspectives.

During the 1960s Boston was undergoing major redevelopment. Officials embarked on a plan to revive the inner city with large-scale construction projects, including the 23-acre Prudential Center and the 790-foot John Hancock Building.

As part of this urban renewal, the nearby Mother Church announced its plans in 1965 for what was called the Christian Science Center, redeveloping 31 acres of residential, business, and public land in the Back Bay.1 The project involved the construction of various new buildings and a public plaza. Private developers were also encouraged to undertake residential, commercial, and retail projects nearby.

If you would like to further explore the photos and view the entire article on https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org, please click here.