Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920

Originally published at kindism.org, republished with permission and slight modification.


Each Mind a Kindgdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920, Satter

Each Mind a Kingdom, firmly places Ms. Eddy in the historical context of the New Thought movement, as an undeniable student of Quimby, and inspiration for several prominent New Thought leaders (aka renegade students), one of whom, Emma Curtis Hopkins, went on to inspire a much larger group of prominent individuals in the New Thought movement.

Satter touches on Ms. Eddy’s control of the Christian Science “brand” through copyright and church structure, verses the New Thought movement’s lack of organized framework, and popular teachers having their own followings/ideas. When you think of Christian Science, you think of Ms. Eddy, when you think of New Thought there are nearly a dozen big names who have influenced the movement over the years, each adding their own interpretations and ideas to the mix.

Each Mind a Kingdom, is a dense read, heavy on the historical and sociological aspects of the New Thought movement. It also addresses the evolution of the New Thought ideas from Quimby, through his primary students: Dresser, Eddy and Evans, and their students, and so on, as they are modified, re-worked, and shared.

Satter discusses the social and economic conditions in which these ideas began, and why they were popular with white, upper and middle class women. New Thought provided women a platform with which to make, among other things, social reforms, and economic opportunities through income from faith healing, lectures, pamphlets, and teaching.

I highly recommend Each Mind a Kingdom for anyone who is interested in the origins of Ms. Eddy’s and New Thought ideas, as well as the broader context in which Ms. Eddy began her religion.

There is also this wonderful chart which shows the spread of New Thought, 1875-1920 from Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920. Beryl Satter

 

Historical Context of Christian Science

One of the most important things to keep in mind when talking about Mary Baker Eddy is the context in which she founded Christian Science. With this in mind, we at The Ex-Christian Scientist are devoting the Sundays in October to sharing information and additional resources.

The following resources are for people who wish to explore Mary Baker Eddy’s life and Christian Science in a broader context. This is by no means an exhaustive list, merely a starting place for further exploration.


Timelines:
Other Theological Influences of the Day:

Books

Recommended biographies of Mary Baker Eddy:

Additional Reading for further context:

Each Mind a Kingdom

Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, by Beryl Satter

The New Thought Movement was an enormously popular late nineteenth-century spiritual movement led largely by and for women. Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science is but one example of the fascinating range of these groups, which advocated a belief in mind over matter and espoused women’s spiritual ability to purify the world. (via Amazon)


Institutions cataloging Mary Baker Eddy’s Life & the History of Christian Science 
  • The Mary Baker Eddy Library opened in 2002 as a place for people to explore the life, ideas, and achievements of Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910), a remarkable nineteenth-century New England woman who overcame adversity to write a groundbreaking book on religion, health, and spirituality. She was a woman decades ahead of her time, pioneering such fields as business, education, and publishing.
  • Daystar Foundation & Library – Daystar Foundation and Library was established in 1990 with the purpose to collect, care for, and make available books, papers, and memorabilia relating to the early days of Christian Science, its Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy, and those individuals who helped her in the fledgling stages of the Christian Science movement.
  • Longyear Museum – Longyear Museum is an independent historical museum dedicated to advancing the understanding of the life and work of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer, Founder, and Leader of Christian Science.

Other Resources