Mary Baker Eddy's writings
Mary Baker Eddy was an active thinker and writer. As a young woman she contributed to magazines and newspapers, sometimes under various pseudonyms. In her later years she engaged in discourse with thousands of men and women, including some established thought-leaders. Eddy’s published work openly challenged conventional thinking in theology, medicine, and science. Her writings continue to open doors of thought on a variety of subjects.
Discover Mary Baker Eddy’s life through her groundbreaking writing. Her story flies in the face of convention, challenging the constraints of an era when women had few rights or opportunities. By the time of her passing, she was one of the most successful and influential women of her day, and a world-renowned writer, speaker, and publisher.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
One of the 75 books by women whose words have changed the world.
—Women’s National Book Association
Mary Baker Eddy’s primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, is a 700-page book detailing her discovery of Christian Science, her system of healing, and her commentary on the Scriptures. It was the focal point for the expression of so many of Eddy’s ideas. “That work is the outgrowth of my whole life, as my dear husband used to say,” she wrote to a student.
First published in 1875, Science and Health has sold over 10 million copies and is a best-seller today.
Following a serious accident, Eddy had a profound healing experience that provided important insights into the spiritual nature of life and health—insights which she had been seeking for many years. She later called that experience a “discovery” and soon sought to understand, replicate, make notes on, and teach this discovery to students and patients. As Eddy’s ability to prove the effectiveness of her discovery grew, she established herself as a healer and began to teach others how to heal. In 1868, she was asked to help a woman dying from pneumonia. The doctor in attendance had informed her that there was no hope for the patient, but Eddy immediately cured the woman. The doctor urged her to write a book about her system of healing and share it with the world. Science and Health is the result.
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is available in 16 language translations and English Braille. Read Science and Health online (on ChristianScience.com).
In later years, however, responding to the curiosity of the public and press about her life, Eddy eventually wrote a short volume titled Retrospection and Introspection. Portions of this work first appeared as part of a pamphlet in the mid-1880s and was expanded, edited, and then published in its present form in 1891. Read Retrospection and Introspection online.Throughout her life and in her writings, Mary Baker Eddy discouraged personal adulation. She believed that people would find her true character and purpose in her writings and a life lived for humanity.
Retrospection and Introspection shares many insights, but its character as a spiritual autobiography is keenly illustrated when she writes, “Mere historic incidents and personal events are frivolous and of no moment, unless they illustrate the ethics of Truth.” She also used Retrospection and Introspection to reflect on her youth, her experiences as a healer and author, and the publication of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
Another of Eddy’s autobiographical works, Footprints Fadeless, was composed between 1901 and 1902 largely as a reply to one of her critics. It is an unfinished and unedited manuscript that she chose not to publish at the time based on the advice of her lawyers.
Footprints Fadeless furnishes a glimpse of what Eddy faced as a reformer and as a woman who introduced bold new concepts to nineteenth century society and beyond. Of these challenges, she writes in Footprints Fadeless, “I have faced the destiny of a discoverer and founder from first to last.”
Mary Baker Eddy, Speaking for Herself, published in October 2002, collects both autobiographical works in one anthology and marks the first publication of Footprints Fadeless in its entirety, with only minor editing of punctuation and spelling. Additionally, the new book includes an introduction by Jana K. Riess, Religion Book Review Editor for Publishers Weekly, which places Eddy’s autobiographies in historical context, giving a sense of her times and how her lifework was viewed then—and now. Photographs throughout the text and notes at the end of the book provide important background information.
In addition to her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, and some autobiographical reflections, Mary Baker Eddy wrote and published many other works during her lifetime, including the following:
Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896
Mary Baker Eddy believed that this collection of writings was so important, that in 1897 she requested that students of her ideas spend the next year thoroughly reading it. The diverse articles, addresses, letters, and poems—on topics such as mental healing, forgiveness, angels, and marriage—are based on the author’s own experiences in putting her system of healing into practice. Considered by Eddy to be a book that would help readers better understand Science and Health, it contains dozens of letters from people healed just by reading that work.
“Hope,” “Woman’s Rights,” and “Resolutions for the Day” are just some of the titles in this inspiring book of verse. It contains 48 of Mary Baker Eddy’s original poems written from childhood through adult life. Poems includes a number of verses that were printed in various publications of her time, as well as seven that have been set to music as hymns (“Satisfied,” “Mother’s Evening Prayer,” “Feed My Sheep,” “Love,” “Christ My Refuge,” “Christmas Morn,” and “Communion Hymn”).
Unity of Good
In this publication, Mary Baker Eddy writes about how a better understanding of God as completely good can bring healing to one’s life. Fifteen short, individual chapters address subjects such as “The Ego,” “Soul,” and “The Deep Things of God.”
Christ and Christmas
This unique fifteen-verse poem is accompanied by eleven charcoal and wash color drawings by artist James Gilman.
Pulpit and Press
As the Original Edifice of The Mother Church in Boston rose week by week in 1894, the world watched. The completion of this new church caught the attention of journalists, public officials, and ordinary citizens throughout America and beyond. Pulpit and Press documents the completion and dedication of the Church, as well as the broad and diverse media coverage of the event. It contains excerpts from the dedication service (including Eddy’s dedicatory sermon), over 60 pages of reprints from newspaper articles, and more.
Rudimental Divine Science
This work answers some of the most commonly asked questions about Christian Science and how it heals.
No and Yes
A thought-provoking look at Christian Science in relation to other Christian faith traditions.
Christian Science versus Pantheism
Mary Baker Eddy’s 1898 message to the Church of Christ, Scientist, discusses how pantheistic beliefs have no relation to the concept of one universal God caring for man.
Mary Baker Eddy explains how the healings performed by Jesus and his early followers are possible today.
The People’s Idea of God—Its Effect on Health and Christianity
This publication looks at how individuals’ lives are influenced by their views of God, and the life-transforming effect of spiritual ideas.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany
Part I of this two-part book is a collection of messages, addresses, letters, and newspaper articles about the building and dedication of The Mother Church Extension in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1906. Part II contains articles and letters written by Mary Baker Eddy to the public and to Churches of Christ, Scientist. Topics include peace and war, personality, health, Christmas, and more.
Manual of The Mother Church
This concise set of By-laws written by Mary Baker Eddy continues to guide all the activities of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, such as classes on Christian Science healing, public lectures, and church services. It outlines the unique system of government Mary Baker Eddy established for her Church and provides direction on the individual practice of Christian healing.
Message to The Mother Church for 1900
Includes a discussion of the “right thinker and worker,” obedience to God, love for mankind, and more.
Message to The Mother Church for 1901
Mary Baker Eddy speaks to the Church on such topics as “Christ is One and Divine,” “My Childhood’s Church Home,” and “Medicine.”
Message to The Mother Church for 1902
An in-depth look at the First Commandment and Jesus’ commandment to “love one another.”