Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 49

Mary Baker Eddy - Life, Foundation and building of her church, Biographies, Works

quimby medical married taught

Founder of the Church of Christ and Scientist, born in Bow, New Hampshire, USA. Rather sickly and emotionally unstable as a child, she showed an early interest in poetry and religion. In 1843 she married George Washington Glover but he died within seven months and their son was raised by foster parents. During the next decade she taught school occasionally but she was mostly preoccupied with the basic concerns of her life: medical problems, her own writings, and spiritual issues. In 1853 she married dentist Dr Daniel Patterson, but her medical and psychological condition left her virtually an invalid. In 1862 she went to Portland, ME to seek relief from Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802–66), a self-taught ‘healer’ who had come up with his own ‘science of health’. With its emphasis on the mental approach to curing all ailments, and with its strong Christian element, he effectively anticipated many of her later tenets. Two pivotal events in 1866 - Quimby's death and, while recovering from an injury, reading of Jesus's healings - led her to travel about New England for the next 10 years, promoting and writing down her new ‘Christian science’.

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