The issue of housing insecurity faces many individuals and families today. In fact it has been a challenge throughout human history. In a nineteenth-century context, Mary Baker Eddy experienced something akin to what today is sometimes known as “doubling up”—living in other peoples’ homes because having a place of one’s own is not within reach (for more on this, see A Couch is not a Home in the June 4, 2021, Christian Science Monitor). This episode explores how Eddy responded to extenuating circumstances around housing, particularly during the formative years of her writing and teaching on Christian Science. Guests include Mike Davis, author of How did Eddy face times of housing insecurity? and Rivi Feinsibler, author of From the Collections: Mary Baker Eddy and the Wentworths.

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Podcast guests

Mike DavisMike Davis has worked for over 30 years with the historical collections now housed in The Mary Baker Eddy Library. He holds a master’s in library science from San Jose State University. He has given talks on the history of Christian Science and is the author of several historical articles published in the Christian Science periodicals. His current work is primarily with the Mary Baker Eddy Papers Project, annotating Eddy’s correspondence and providing context for it in writing historical essays.

Rivi FeinsilberRivi Feinsilber is Assistant Archivist in the Library’s Special Collections division. Her work includes processing collections, cleaning up data, writing articles, fulfilling research requests, and transcribing oral histories. She holds a master’s in library science with a concentration in archives management from Simmons University, as well as a master’s in history from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her current research work includes Jewish colonial religious history, with an emphasis in the British North American colonies and the plan to expand to the Caribbean in the same period.


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