Calling it "Trumpology "a politico article was the first to reveal what those that the closest thing President Trump ever had to a religious faith was the "new thought" of Norman Vincent Peale. Since few are familiar with the history of Vincent Peale's new thought we went about to trace it to its beginnings. Plus as we shall see underneath early on already there were criticism of Vincent Peale's method.
Norman Vincent Peale and the origins of Trumpology.
Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Americans scooped up dozens of titles promoting the New Thought ethos: If you feel it, it will come true. There was Charles Benjamin Newcomb’s 1897 “All’s Right With the World,” which instructed readers not to wish for betterment but to summon it through force of will. (“I am well.” “I am opulent.” “I have everything.” I do right.” “I know.”) There was William Walter Atkinson’s 1901 “Thought-Force in Business and Everyday Life.” (“Anything is yours, if you only want it hard enough. Just think of it. ANYTHING. Try it. Try it in earnest and you will succeed. It is the operation of a mighty Law.”) Capitalists like Napoleon Hill advised readers to “Think and Grow Rich” (1937). And Christians, including Quimby’s onetime patient Mary Baker Eddy, sought to blend that faith with New Thought practice, as Eddy did in establishing Christian Science.
Similar with Vincent Peale. Positive thinking, he argued, didn’t need to be constrained by reality. Rather, Peale told his readers to “make a true estimate of your own ability, then raise it 10 percent.” But since few are familiar with the history of Vincent Peale's new thought we went about to trace it to its beginnings.
"Confident living rights every wrong; / Dynamic power helps me be strong. / Confident living comforts my heart; / From such a blessing I can't depart." "Confident living fulfills my way, / Opens my channels without delay." So runs the refrain and part of one verse of a favorite hymn in Unity churches. Others like groups-Divine Science, Religious Science, and Unity-all thrived through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, bringing their versions of "It is done unto you as you believe"-confident living, to pragmatically tuned metaphysical believers and practitioners.
A strong example of the facile networking that characterized New Thought from its beginnings, Divine Science could boast a series of founders-the three Coloradobased Brooks sisters, Alethea Brooks Small, Fannie Brooks James, and, foremost, Nona Lovell Brooks (1862-1945), as well as Malinda Cramer (1844-1906), who gave the movement its name. In 1885 in San Francisco, Cramer, who had been an invalid for twenty-five years, gave up on doctors and determined to get well on her own. After that, according to her own report, she had a felt experience of the omnipresence of God and experienced, too, a sense that she herself was in God. She got well and by 1887 began teaching and also attended a class offered by Emma Curtis Hopkins in the Bay City. Cramer had likewise formed an association with a former Mary Baker Eddy student named Miranda Rice, so she must have been aware of Eddy's teaching.
The same year that Cramer took the Hopkins class, in Pueblo, Colorado, two of the Brooks sisters-Nona and Alethea-became students of Kate Bingham, a teacher who had returned from Chicago, where, she claimed, she had been healed by Hopkins. Bingham's classes, too (and not surprisingly in light of the Hopkins connection), stressed the omnipresence of God. Nona Brooks, who had a troubling throat condition unresponsive to medical treatment, took the Bingham classes and in the course of one of them claimed an experience of white light and sheer presence that left her instantly and completely healed. Meanwhile, the third sister, Fannie Brooks James, studied under Mabel MacCoy, a former Chicago Hopkins student who had first sent Bingham to her teacher there. Immersed in Hopkins teaching and teachers, the three at the same time moved away from the denials of the reality of the material order characteristic of Christian Science and Hopkins-style New Thought, affirming the creation as an expression of God that shared in the divine substance. When Cramer traveled to Denver to teach New Thought classes, Nona Brooks attended, and the two women felt a connection. The name Divine Science came from Cramer, and the Brooks sisters received permission to use it for their teaching. The two streams converged. To the Statement of Being found in one form or another in both Christian Science and New Thought groups (there is no reality but God), Divine Science added the Law of Expression - an agency-oriented formula that stressed the act of the creator as manifested in creation. The shift was subtle, but it suggests once again the preoccupation with energy that Trine had signaled and that marked the twentieth-century-and-continuing version of metaphysics so strongly.
In 1892, Nona Brooks formed the International Divine Science Federation, and in 1898 the Divine Science College was incorporated in Denver. With networking intrinsic to its style and with Brooks a prominent speaker at New Thought conventions, by 1922 Divine Science had become part of the International New Thought Alliance. By then, too, its churches were flourishing in West Coast cities and also in midwestern locations like Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio, while, in the East, Boston, New York, and Washington, D.G, all became sites for Divine Science churches. The relatively independent congregations in the movement became more formally organized in 1957 with the creation of the Divine Science Federation International. Meanwhile, Divine Science publications kept coming. In former Irish Catholic and Jesuit-trained Emmet Fox (1886-1951), with his metaphysical readings of the Bible and his "Golden Key" of reflecting on God instead of present difficulty, the movement produced one of the most well-known New Thought authors of the Depression years.
By contrast to Divine Science, the roots of Religious Science lay in the
experience and teaching of one man. Ernest Holmes (1887-1960), however, in his
combinativeness thoroughly reflected the New Thought desire for synthesis that
Divine Science also hinted. Holmes, like a series of metaphysical religious
leaders before him, did not come to his task equipped with professional
training. He never went to college, although his brother Fenwicke Holmes
graduated from Colby College in Maine, went on to Hartford Theological
Seminary, and became a Congregationalist minister on the West Coast. Fenwicke
Holmes, however, would eventually leave the ministry to work with his brother,
and it was Ernest Holmes who took the lead in the movement that became
Religious Science. Important here, from early on he was apparently an
insatiable reader. J. Stillson Judah detailed a series of authors whom Holmes
knew, including Emerson and especially his classic essay
"Self-Reliance." The future Religious Science founder was familiar
with Eddy's Science and Health, had read New Thought authors like the affective
Hopkins and Cady and the more noetic Christopher D. Larson and Orison Swett
Marden, and was drawn as well to the "Hindu" mysticism of Swami Ramacharaka.
By 1915, he had turned his attention to Hermetic materials, the Bhagavad Gita,
and even the Persian Zend-Avesta. He was also seeking to synthesize these
widely different materials with an AngloAmerican literary tradition of
reflection that included Emerson, Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, and Robert
Browning. Most of all, he found himself attracted to the English metaphysical
writer Thomas Troward (1847-1916), with his triadic understanding of body,
conscious mind, and spirit as the stuff of human existence. For Troward and for
Holmes, spirit represented both the Universal Mind (God) and the subjective, or
unconscious, mind of humans. This subjective mind mediated God's creative
power, and it responded to suggestions from the conscious mind to manifest
health or illness. Indeed, there was a mechanical quality to the divine
operation in this activity, since Universal Mind produced a form in the
objective world to match each idea - in Troward's conscious application of what
he saw as the Swedenborgian law of correspondences.1
A concise history of origin and development of the New Thought movement
Around the same time American Spiritualism was born, Mary Baker Glover's crisply titled Science and Health appeared in print.2 A work of over 450 pages, it was the culmination of a decade of metaphysical reflection and writing by a woman in her mid-fifties who counted herself thoroughly Christian. Indeed, she wrote it after she claimed a spiritual discovery that would radically reorient religion and spiritual practice for the Christian churches. Known more familiarly as Mary Baker Eddy (1821-191O)-the name she assumed after her marriage to Asa Gilbert Eddy in 1877-the author brought far less cosmopolitanism than did Olcott to a work that would go through a plethora of editions until the familiar 1906 version became the standard text.3 Science and Health stood beside the Bible for Christian Scientists, and it became the scripture that was canonically read in Christian Science services everywhere. Eddy herself would look back on the work in her later years in ways that hinted of the kind of "channeled" text that numerous spiritualists, as well as Helena P. Blavatsky, claimed to produce. When Eddy wrote it, she declared, she had "consulted no other authors and read no other book but the Bible for three years." Still more, as she said, "it was not myself, but the power of Truth and love, infinitely above me, which dictated 'Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.”4
lf Eddy had begun Christian Science in mid-life, she continued to preside over the fortunes of her religious foundation with a success that could be estimated by the imposing Boston Mother Church dedicated at the end of 1894. These times of abundance and fulfillment, however, had been preceded by a personal life more bleak and compromised. Born in Bow, New Hampshire, Mary Morse Baker had grown up in the shadow of the Congregational church with its Puritan past and was formally admitted to membership at twelve, even though she could not affirm her pastor's old-school doctrine of predestination. She would continue to affirm her connection to this Congregational world, and, in fact, the language of sin was woven in and out of her writings throughout her life. Arguably, she never gave up Calvinism when she embraced metaphysics. As earlier proto-metaphysical and metaphysical practice already demonstrates, commitments to mind and correspondence could encompass Christian categories. Now, in what would become Baker Eddy's Christian Science, we test the limits of such combinativeness.
A youthful Baker married Colonel George Washington Glover of Charleston, South Carolina, in 1843, lived with him in the South for a year, and then, when he succumbed to yellow fever, returned to New England and gave birth to a son. Glover was chronically ill, and her family was, for various reasons, unsupportive in helping to care for the boisterous child. When he was five-after her recently widowed father remarried-the little boy, George Jr., was sent away to live with a now-married former family servant with whom Glover herself had a warm relationship. She apparently agreed to the plan reluctantly. Her second marriage, with the philandering dentist Daniel Patterson, ended in divorce in 1873, but she had gone back to the surname Glover well before that.5
Hard times dogged Eddy (to use the familiar surname) as she moved from one shabby boardinghouse to the next, living with people below her social station because of the paucity of her means. Here she experienced the spiritual seeker culture of her age in a readily available world of mesmerism and spiritualism. Meanwhile, she continued to be plagued with ill health-probably mostly what George Beard would by the 1880s label "American nervousness," or neurasthenia.6 Eddy's physical complaints brought her to homeopathy, hydropathy (water cure), and mesmerism and eventually to the reformed magnetic medicine of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby (1802-1866), a well-known mental healer practicing in Portland, Maine. The teaching and practice of Quimby, placed beside the authoritative message of Congregatjonal Calvinism, became a major influence that helped to catalyze Eddy's own combinative system in Christian Science after his death in 1866.
One of the marquis de Puysegur's pupils, Charles Poyen, established an itinerant mesmerist practice in New England. Poyen remained in North America until 1840, and taught literally hundreds of people the techniques of mesmerism. Some American mesmerists followed paths reminiscent of the German proto-spiritualists. Thus, among the starting points of spiritualism sensu stricto were the Swedenborgian spirit messages received in the 1840s by the American cobbler Andrew Jackson Davies when under mesmeric trance. Others developed mesmerism into a uniquely American family of religious traditions. Quimby one of Poyen's many apprentices eschewed the ballast of metaphysical and cosmological speculation that had been part and parcel of much European mesmerism. He expressed his theories in a vague theistic language, religious enough to be acceptable to a churched country such as the USA, yet not specific enough in doctrinal contents to offend the members of any particular creed. Quimby took a practice that reeked of mysticism and transformed it into an eminently practical recipe for health, happiness and prosperity. The reason for such a radical change in mesmerism could be sought in the particular individualism of early nineteenth century American society, a mode of thinking and living that not only reworked an esoteric praxis into a recipe for living, but also remolded Old World Protestantism into prosperity thinking and Oriental philosophies into transcendentalism.
A number of Quimby's former patients founded their own religious movements, collectively known as harmonial religions. They fall into two broad categories, Christian Science on the one hand and the various New Thought denominations on the other. If Quimby was only vaguely theistic, the harmonial religions were all the more inspired by Scripture. In several harmonial religions, and especially in Christian Science, the roots in American mesmerism are all but hidden under a christianized theology, based on scriptural interpretation. Harmonial religions, although of great intrinsic interest, fall outside the scope of the present study, except in one important respect. Throughout the development of post-theosophical esotericism, rituals and doctrines with roots in American harmonial religion have been reincorporated into a more explicitly Esoteric framework. Books by late twentieth-century writers such as Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra and Shakti Gawain as well as the channeled A Course in Miracles are among the true bestsellers of the New Age movement. They employ discursive strategies foreign to most harmonial religions which, generally speaking, attempted to find a scriptural rationale for their doctrines. Nevertheless, the doctrines themselves all lean heavily on elements borrowed from the harmonial religions.
Eddy worked with Quimby not merely as a patient-for whom the "medicine" was in large part effective - but also as a student transcribing notes of conversations with him, reading his own notes and sometimes "correcting" them, and acting increasingly as an intellectual colleague to her mentor. Moreover, as a Quimby patient-student, Eddy was hardly alone. Among the others who participated in the loose Quimby community were major early leaders in the New Thought movement. Remembering the well-known mental healer's relationship with the others, his son George Quimby recalled that his father would "talk hours and hours, week in and week out ... listening and asking questions. After these talks he would put on paper in the shape of an essay or conversation what subject his talk had covered." Eddy, as George Quimby wrote, actively participated, even as she pursued a one-on-one intellectual relationship with the doctor, and her own thinking apparently intermingled with his.7
Who was this Portland healer whose thriving practice had attracted Eddy, the ailing neurasthenic patient, and who became a major intellectual and spiritual influence on her life? An autodidact like Eddy herself, Quimby was making clocks in Belfast, Maine, when he attended the above mentioned, Charles Poyen's lectures in 1838.
Attracted to the medical applications of animal magnetism, he partnered with the youthful Lucius Burkmar in an itinerating stage demonstration of clairvoyance in healing. In performances that took place as the pair traveled the lyceum circuit, Quimby mesmerized Burkmar, Burkmar "read" the disease that afflicted an inquiring audience member, and then Burkmar prescribed the remedy that would heal the illness. As the process worked - even on Quimby himself-he raised critical questions about it and eventually became convinced that the true agent of healing success was the power of suggestion and the belief it fostered within each subject. Quimby had arrived, in an incipient way, at the notion of the power of mind. In the process, he also became confident that he, too, possessed clairvoyant powers. Subsequently parting ways with Burkmar, he began a practice that increasingly departed from its magnetic beginnings with compelling religious and theological questions Robert Peel noted that he attended Unitarian and Universalist churches.8
And Quimby surely knew the Bible, as his writings reveal. Meanwhile, his religious liberalism links him to the harmonial philosophy of Andrew Jackson Davis and other spiritualists, and some of his ideas can also be linked to those of Emanuel Swedenborg and of the American Transcendentalists. In the American culture of Quimby's era, as we have already seen, mesmerism blended with spiritualism into a viable way to think and act, to make sense of basic problems of human life in a kind of armchair philosophy that was also a pragmatic set of principles for action. Quimby's writings, rough and opaque though they often are, record his perceptions of this nineteenth-century thought world as he constructed his own. Whatever his knowledge of Davis (and there is no evidence, of which I am aware, that he ever directly read the well-known spiritualist), Quimby was intimately acquainted with spiritualism in its phenomenal form. Ervin Seale's complete edition of Quimby's writings, published only as recently as 1988, makes Quimby's familiarity with a spiritualist discourse community abundantly clear. (Seale's work overturned the partial, sanitized 1921 edition by Horatio Dresser-son of New Thought leaders Julius and Annetta Dresserwhich left out Quimby's spiritualism and idealized his materialism.)9
The man who emerges from the Seale edition attended seances frequently and could influence the phenomena that occurred in the circles. "I profess to be a medium myself and am admitted to be so by the spiritualists themselves," he owned in one essay and, in another, related an account of a seance at which he proved himself to be a "healing medium." He had become a medium, he claimed, but-like the Blavatsky of a decade or more later-he enjoyed a freedom not experienced by others. "I retained my own consciousness and at the same time took the feelings of my patient," he declared.62 Yet this Quimby-on such close terms with spiritualists and their seances and so thoroughly familiar, too, with the details of mesmeric practice-admitted the phenomena but, again like Blavatsky, thoroughly disputed their cause and conditions. For him, however, what generated mesmeric success and spiritualist manifestation were not "elementals" or "elementaries" but simple human belief and opinion.
Mesmerism and spiritualism were "phenomena without any wisdom," and a spirit was "the shadow of a person's belief or imagination." A person could not "give a fair account of the phenomena of Spiritualism" because the "experiments" were "governed by ... belief and must be so." Quimby wasted no words in pronouncing "ghosts and spirits" to be "the invention of man's superstition." "So long as people think about the dead," he stated flatly, "so long there will be spirits, for thought is spirit, and that is all the spirits there are." How did the production of spirits work, and what was the mechanism of spiritualist activity? Quimby's answer lay in the generic "power of creating ideas and making them so dense that they could be seen by a subject that was mesmerized." This was the state that; in his single-source explanation, embraced "all the phenomena of spiritualism, disease, religion and everything that affect [ ed] the mind." Nor did mesmerism and spiritualism essentially differ. "The word 'mesmerism,'" Quimby wrote, "embraces all the phenomena that ever were claimed by any intelligent spiritualists." Clearly, the "other world" was "in the mind." "The idea that any physical demonstration" came "from the dead" was to him "totally absurd." 10
Still, Quimby had bought into the spiritualist universe enough to reiterate the materialist explanation for mesmeric and similar phenomena that had been popularized by Davis and others. "Spirit" was "only matter in a rarefied form, and thought, reason and knowledge" were "the same." "Mind" was "the name of a spiritual substance that can be changed" and was, in fact, "spiritual matter." "Thought" was "also matter, but not the same matter;' just as the earth was not "the same matter as the seed which is put into it." Moreover, Quimby echoed the spiritualist seer in further ways. J. Stillson Judah decades ago pointed to parallels between Davis's and Quimby's etiology of disease in the discords of the human spirit and their perception of an "atmosphere" surrounding a human subject that could be affected, for good or ill, by another. He noticed, too, their mutual identification of God with Wisdom and a series of other similar (often Swedenborgian and Hermetic) beliefs regarding divine and human nature and human destiny.11
Regarding "spiritual matter;' so pervasive was Quimby's identification between cognitive phenomena and the material realm that it is easy to read him as a thoroughgoing materialist, given his immersion in the language world of mesmerism and spiritualism. Yet this conclusion fails to notice the rather bold departure that Quimby made from mesmeric-spiritualist canons and ideas-a departure that his patient-student Mary Baker Eddy was to take and transform in terms of Calvinist Christianity to create Christian Science. In Quimby's reconstruction of the received cosmology, he combined the materialism of his sources with an idealism that at least one mid-twentieth-century scholar linked to Transcendentalism. Quimby's knowledge of the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson and other Transcendentalists was no doubt tenuous and secondhand at best, but major newspapers habitually summarized Emerson's lyceum lectures, and idealist views were clearly there for the taking.65 Beyond that, a generalized Swedenborgianism could be argued in tandem with these ideas. Judah, for example, pointed to the essentially Swedenborgian views that Quimby held regarding what he termed the "natural" and the "spiritual man," and his preference for an analogical, or allegorical, reading of scripture in the tradition of Swedenborg.12
Whatever Quimby's sources, his writings demonstrate though going preoccupation with a wisdom that transcended the material world of mind and mesmeric play. Alternately cast, this wisdom operated as a metaphysical "solid" that suffused the world, like a ghost of the mesmeric fluidic ether but always elusively nonmaterial. Set in this cosmological situation, two kinds of humans inhabited the earth-the "natural man," caught in the error of a materialist mind and its attendant phenomena, and the "scientific man," who saw past the performance into the space of wisdom. Quimby argued for the wisdom world: Calling the power that governed the material mind "spirit," the Portland physician yet recognized "a Wisdom superior to the word mind, for I always apply the word mind to matter but never apply it to the First Cause."13
Still more, although Quimby was thoroughly anticlerical and opposed to orthodox Christianity, his familiarity with Christian scripture meant that his writings were filled with metaphysicalized biblical references to contend for his view. Indeed, in his private papers, he betrayed a kind of messianism in which he identified himself with the biblical Christ, at the same time typically separating Christ, as identical to Science, from sole attachment to the historical Jesus. "Jesus never tried to teach anything different from what I am teaching and doing every day," he testified. His statement of his own case is crucial for understanding the new production that became Eddy's Christian Science: "Now I stand as one that has risen from the dead or error into the light of truth, not that the dead or my error has risen with me, but I have shaken off the old man or my religious garment and put on the new man that is Christ or Science, and I fight these errors and show that they are all the makings of our own mind. As I stand outside of all religious belief, how do I stand alongside of my followers? I know that I, this wisdom, can go and impress a person at a distance. The world may not believe it, but to the world it is just such a belief as the belief in spirits; but to me it is a fact and this is what I shall show."14
Nor were Quimby's allusions to the higher wisdom, as Robert Peel argued problematically, "recurrent elements of spiritual idealism which contradict the author's basic position." 15 A clear hierarchy of error and truth, in fact, ran through all of Quimby's writings. Mind, with its beliefs and opinions, existed as part of a material order of error; wisdom rose above it; somehow Quimby-despite the morass in which all other mortals seemingly found themselves-lived as a "scientific man" in a realm beyond. Quimby, like Jesus, inhabited the wisdom world, and Eddy had discovered the connection. This was so much so that in late 1862 her enthusiasm for her new healer-teacher embarrassed him publicly, when letters that she wrote to the Portland Courier in the first blush of her healing experience appeared in print. Quimby stood "upon the plane of wisdom with his truth," she proclaimed in the second of these, and he healed "as never man healed since Christ." "P. P. Quimby," she exulted, "rolls away the stone from the sepulchre of error, and health is the resurrection."16
Mary Baker Eddy's relationship with Quimby ended abruptly in January 1866 when the doctor died. Bereft of both doctor and mentor (her father Mark Baker had also died three months before), she poured out her feelings in "Lines on the Death of Dr. P. P. Quimby, who healed with the truth that Christ taught, in contradistinction to all isms." The poem was published in the Lynn (Massachusetts) Weekly Reporter almost a month later. Meanwhile, less than two weeks after Quimby's death, Eddy fell on ice on her way to a meeting, experienced injuries that caused severe head and neck pain with possible spinal dislocation, and three days later, in the midst of pain that her homeopathic physician could not assuage, read a New Testament passage. An account of one of the healing miracles of Jesus, the narrative, she later claimed, triggered an intense experiential state of awareness. Eddy, according to her own report and denominational tradition, had "discovered" Christian Science.17
If so, what she took away cognitively from the experience, at least as she later constructed it, linked the wisdom discourse of Quimby to the orthodoxy of her Congregational Christian past. Now, though, instead of immersion in the world of error that pervaded most of Quimby's writings, a felt sense of God as the only reality became the key to her healing and all healing. Even as Eddy brought the unorthodox Quimby to the orthodoxy of her past, the Calvinism of her religious construction was noticeable. At least part of the attraction of the Quimby theology for Eddy was its predication of wisdom as an unchanging and transcendent reality. Whatever Eddy's connections to spiritualism-and, as we shall see, they were many-the theological immanence that spiritualism proclaimed was for her in the end untenable.
Eddy did, to be sure, teach what might be called a Christian version of final union with an Oversoul become God. In the first edition of her textbook Science and Health, for example, she wrote that "we are never Spirit until we are God; there are no individual 'spirits.''' She went on to exhort that "until we find Life Soul, and not sense, we are not sinless, harmonious, or undying. We become Spirit only as we reach being in God; not through death or any change of matter, but mind, do we reach Spirit, lose sin and death, and gain man's immortality." But the journey was decidedly one to a transcendental state and order. The published 1876 edition of Eddy's teaching pamphlet Science of Man, for example, declared that "Intelligence" was "circumference and not centre" and that "Soul and Spirit" were "neither in man nor matter." Similarly, the standard edition of Science and Health from 1906 affirmed "God as not in man but as reflected by man" and warned against "false estimates of soul as dwelling in sense and of mind as dwelling in matter." In her "new departure of metaphysics," Eddy elsewhere told followers, God was "regarded more as absolute, supreme;' while "God's fatherliness as Life, Truth, and Love" made "His sovereignty glorious." In practical terms, testimonies of healing the sick through Christian Science treatment would be the means to glorify God and scale "the pinnacle of praise."18 Thus the Eddy who rejected the predestinarian views of her childhood church still exalted the supreme majesty of God in ways that proclaimed the underlying Calvinism of her past.
Christian Science scholar Stephen Gottschalk notes these connections in his theological study of Eddy's place in American religious culture, and he notices as well the essential Calvinism of the metaphysical dualism she propounded. "In Christian Science as in Calvinism," Gottschalk observes, "one is clearly confronted with the Pauline antithesis of the Spirit and the flesh." It is arguable, too, that the warfare model that permeates so much of Eddy's writing reinscribes Calvinism with its traditional narratives of the battle between good and evil, between God and the devil, in the life of the soul. In fact, any sustained contact with the corpus of Eddy's writings reveals the periodic invocation of "sin" as a habitual way to distinguish reprehensible states of mind and life. We have already seen her identifying the loss of "sin" in "Life Soul" in the first edition of Science and Health. Later, both in the Manual of the Mother Church (1895) and in the standard (1906) edition of Science and Health, Scientists and seekers could find among the six "Tenets" of the Mother Church one that acknowledged "God's forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal." "Rule out of me all sin;' the Church Manual asked Scientists to pray daily.18
Ostensibly committed to the unreality of sin and evil, Eddy's writings-with their warfare mentality that equaled or amplified Quimby's polemical stancehid a Calvinist devil lurking beneath the metaphysical surface, an evil that displayed a very tangible presence. Toward the end of Eddy's life, that presence took the form of a heightened personal fear of "malicious animal magnetism" ("M.A.M."), as prayer workers stationed outside her door through the night contended against claimed magnetic onslaughts. But much earlier, it is hard not to detect a palpable sense of evil that preoccupied her. Her contentious relationships with students and former students were cast by Eddy in terms that invited, for her, a felt sense of sin (of others toward her) and the presence of Satan, even if the name itself was banished to the outer darkness of theological incorrectness. On paper, sin was "the lying supposition that life, substance, and intelligence are both material and spiritual, and yet are separate from God." But Eddy herself allowed that sin was "concrete" as well as "abstract," and in many life situations the concreteness was manifest. Sin was a "delusion" and a "lie," but even if she told her followers not to fear it, she acted as though she feared it herself.19
More than that, in the consistent Christian Science language of "mortal mind" that Eddy created it is hard not to read a transliterated script for sin and, indeed, for the old Calvinist theology of the total depravity of humankind. Eddy herself was uneasy about the term, calling it a "solecism in language" that involved "an improper use of the word mind." However, she was willing to live with the "old and imperfect" in her "new tongue." In this context, mortal mind meant "the flesh opposed to Spirit, the human mind and evil in contradistinction to the divine Mind, or Truth and good." Still further, her "Scientific Translation of Mortal Mind" announced its "first degree" to be "depravity," identifying depravity with the physical realm of "evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear, depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, deceit, hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death." Eddy was adamant in her insistence that, seen from and in the divine Mind, evil itself was unreal and that, therefore, mortal mind was mind existing in a state of error. Still for all that, the language of recrimination that she cast upon it, with its emotional tone of repugnance and rebuke, suggests that she was making something out of this nothing in her act of warfare against it. As Ann Braude has stated, Eddy "had no doubt that the mortal, human aspects of each person reflected the total depravity of Adam's legacy;' and she was "preoccupied with fighting the dangerous temporal effect of the belief in evil."20
Eddy also feared a lifestyle that emphasized ease, relaxation, and pleasure, this expressed in tones that suggest the Calvinist ethos that shaped her. In the spring of 1906, for example, she wrote to the young John Lathrop, who formerly served as household staff, telling him of her sorrow "over the ease of Christian Scientists." She lamented that they were habituated in the "pleasures" of "sense." "Which drives out quickest the tenant you wish to get out of your house, the pleasant hours he enjoys in it or its unpleasantness?" she asked rhetorically. A few years later, toward the very end of her life, her household staff, who had typically observed a Puritan rigor, began to relax in ways that distressed her. Staff Scientists were less vigilant in protecting her against M.A.M., and they read the Boston newspapers, played golf, went for auto rides, and stopped sometimes at libraries in the neighborhood. On one late-summer occasion, recounts Stephen Gottschalk, Eddy looked out of her window as two staff members threw a ball back and forth and another attempted to walk on his hands. She endured, as Gottschalk quotes from Calvin Frye's diary, "a very disturbed night and a fear she could not live !"21
The perils of flesh and spirit, however, deferred to the presence of spirits when Mary Glover's first edition of Science and Health appeared in print in 1875. Published nine years after Quimby's death, the work displayed a woman who now spoke with an authority of her own and a sense of knowledge gained through hard-won experience. The text likewise displayed a woman at pains to separate herself from mesmeric and mediumistic phenomena, so that the new warfare of the spirit that Eddy waged was clearly directed against spiritualism and its magnetic culture. Like her former mentor Phineas Quimby and like the founders of Theosophy, she saw in mesmerism "unmitigated humbug," and her estimate of spiritualism was equally denunciatory. In the three-page preface to her ambitious first edition, Eddy (then Glover) singled out mesmerism for direct rebuke. "Some shockingly false claims" had already been made regarding the work in which she was engaged. "Mesmerism" was one, she stated flatly, and her denial was total. "Hitherto we have never in a single instance of our discovery or practice found the slightest resemblance between mesmerism and the science of Life."22
If Eddy seemed defensive, she had reason to be. In her Quimby years, she had surely traveled in mesmeric and spiritualist circles, and even as she took her first steps in Lynn as a practitioner of what became Christian Science many who were close to her thought of her as a medium. Her early advertisement of her new system of healing through "Moral Science" in the spiritualist Banner of Light in 1868 no doubt helped to fuel the assumption, and so, no doubt, did her outsider stance toward conventional medical methods.23 That acknowledged, the vehemence of her condemnation of mesmerism and spiritualism was still startling. Eddy, by virtue of her emotional engagement, ended up affirming what she denied. Matter became real and so did mesmeric influence and spirit contact with it when she fought them so strenuously. From another point of view, Beryl Satter has suggested that Eddy's "healing process bore a family resemblance to mesmeric or hypnotic healing," 24 and although the divine Mind that healed and mortal minds caught in the morass of error were profoundly different in her system (and so not exactly comparable), still the ghost of resemblance was there.
"Mesmerism," she told students, was "a belief constituting mortal mind," and "error" was "all there is to it, which is the very antipode of science, the immortal mind." "Mesmerism" was "a direct appeal to personal sense ... predicated on the supposition that Life is in matter, and a nervo-vital fluid at that." It was "error and belief in conflict" and "one error at war with another"; it was "personal sense giving the lie to its own statements, denying the pains but admitting the pleasures of sense." Why was it so dangerous? The answer lay in its proximity to Spirit, its ability to function as a lying proxy for the truth. "Electricity," she wrote, "is the last boundary between personal sense and Soul, and although it stands at the threshold of Spirit it cannot enter into it, but the nearer matter approaches mind the more potent it becomes, to produce supposed good or evil; the lightning is fierce, and the electric telegram swift." Eddy's argument, in fact, replicated the theoretical model of homeopathy in which infinitesimal doses were more potent than gross ones. Homeopaths believed that the same substance that caused the symptoms of a given disease in a well person would cure the disease in a patient who was suffering from it. The key, however, was the "potentization" of remedies by increasingly radical dilutions to the point that, physically speaking, not even a trace of the original substance remained. Now, in Eddy's warning model, not only homeopathy but also the assorted healing modalities that kept it company achieved heightened power with the increased dilution of their physicality. "The more ethereal matter becomes according to accepted theories, the more powerful it is; e.g., the homoeopathic drugs, steam, and electricity, until possessing less and less materiality, it passes into essence, and is admitted mortal mind; not Intelligence, but belief, not Truth, but error."25
Siding with the mentalists and not the fluidic theorists regarding mesmeric and related electrical phenomena, she declared electricity to be "not a vital fluid; but an element of mind, the higher link between the grosser strata of mind, named matter, and the more rarified called mind." Rarefied or gross, the danger in the magnetic world and its environs was ubiquitous. Thus phrenology fared no better in Eddy's estimate, making an individual "a thief or Christian, according to the development of bumps on the cranium." "To measure our capacities by the size or weight of our brains, and limit our strength to the use of a muscle;' she admonished, "holds Life at the mercy of organization, and makes matter the status of man." Taking aim at the health reform movement of the era, which bowed "to flesh-brush, flannel, bath, diet, exercise, air, etc.;' she declared "physiology" to be "anti-Christian." Meanwhile, not only magnetism but also "mediumship" and "galvanism" were "the right hands of humbug;' and mediumship by itself was an "imposition" and a "catch-penny fraud."26
In Eddy's reading, mesmerism and mediumship were clearly intertwined, lumped together as, for practical purposes, they had functioned in the spiritualist community in which she had sometimes, if warily, participated. Moreover, she had been called a spirit medium, not a mesmerist, and so she experienced mediumship as an especially potent enemy against which she needed to contend. "We have investigated the phenomenon called mediumship both to convince yourself of its nature and cause, and to be able to explain it;' she told the student readers of Science and Health, although she expressed some reservations about her ability to do the second. Her critique, though, was undeterred, and it was trenchant. The Rochester rapping’s "inaugurated a mockery destructive to order and good morals." Likewise, the "mischievous link between mind and matter, called planchette, uttering its many falsehoods," was "a prototype of the poor work some people make of the passage from their old natures up to a better man." Eddy did not deny the sincerity of many involved in the seances, enjoining readers to "make due distinction between mediums hip and the individual" and affirming that there were "undoubtedly noble purposes in the hearts of noble women and men who believe themselves mediums." But like the (later co-founders of the Theosophical Society in New York), Madame Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott at the (ironically named) Eddy farm, she pointed to the loss of mastery that accompanied mediumistic work. Mediumship, she warned, was a "belief of individualized 'spirits,' also that they do much for you, the result of which is you are capable of doing less for yourself."27
Eddy bristled angrily at mediumistic claims. Mediumship presupposed that "one man" was "Spirit," and that he controlled "another man" that was "matter." It taught that "bodies which return to dust or new bodies called 'spirits'" were "experiencing the old sensations, and desires material, and mesmerizing earthly mortals." It taught, too, that "shadow" was "tangible to touch" and that it produced "electricity" and similar phenomena. She found these conclusions to be "ridiculous." The spirit manifestations were the "result of tricks or belief, proceeding from the so-called mind of man, and not the mind of God." Mediumship itself overlooked "the impossibility for a sensual mind to become spirit, or to possess a spiritual body after what we term death," something that science revealed as "more inconsistent than for stygian darkness to emit a sun-beam." "To admit the so-called dead and living commune together," Eddy asserted categorically, was "to decide the unfitness of both for their separate positions." "Mediumship assigns to their dead a condition worse than blighted buds or mortal mildew, even a poor purgatory where one's chances for something narrow into nothing, or they must return to the old stand-points of matter." Its foundations lay in "secretiveness, jugglery, credulity, superstition and belief." Because of its mystical ambience, it could "do more harm than drugs."28
As warrior of the spirit, Eddy with her pungency equaled or exceeded the contentiousness of Quimby, making a similar case but making it now out of a heterodox Calvinism instead of her mentor's heterodox liberal Christianity. And like the unsystematic short pieces left by Quimby, her more systematic work pointed beyond the language of argument to a lived engagement with powerful ideas. The center of Eddy's work was practice, and the center of her healing practice was argument. In the language game that was her metaphysical system, the practitioner argued against the error that was matter, against the mortal mind of the patient-client in its mesmerized "Adam-dream" - until the healer broke through to Truth and Principle. The absolutism of Eddy's stance was uncompromising. The false belief in matter condemned people to the scenarios of illness and pain that they experienced. The healing role of the Christian Science practitioner was meant not so much to provide compassionate care as to demonstrate Truth in an ideal order that reduced the physical to the nothing that it was, an order that, in short, proved the claims of the Christian gospel as Eddy herself understood them. Like the utterly sovereign, utterly transcendent God of Calvinism, like the God out of the whirlwind in the book of Job, Truth brooked no compromise and demonstrated its reality by vanquishing the appearance of disease and disorder. Christian Science healing existed not to enhance matter and materially based humanity. It existed only to advance the Truth, the Principle, of God.
There was, of course, a cutting irony in Eddy's adamant antimaterialism-an antimaterialism that Stephen Gottschalk in recent work has noticed so clearly when juxtaposed to the early wealth of the Christian Science Mother Church and the rising status of its mostly female practitioners.29 But a facile coupling of the material success of the movement to the basic Eddy theology does not stand up to scrutiny when the founder's essentially Calvinist heterodoxy is understood. Still more, the easy identification of Christian Science as a species of what Sydney Ahlstrom called "harmonial religion" is problematic. Although the term has obscured more than it reveals even for New Thought, in the case of Christian Science it misreads the evidence on almost all counts. For Ahlstrom, "harmonial" religion signified "those forms of piety and belief in which spiritual composure, physical health, and even economic well-being" were "understood to flow from a person's rapport with the cosmos." But with human lives mired in sickness, sin, and death-the triadic legacy of mortal mind-Eddy's system taught no harmony at all for the material realm but instead total and uncompromising war. Moreover, when a "saved" Christian Scientist lived out of Truth and Principle, seeing evil for the nothing that it was, there was quite literally nothing with which to harmonize. One lived in Truth, or one did not. One could simply not harmonize nonexistence with Principle. Eddy's antimaterialist "scientific statement of being;' in the familiar 1906 edition, brought home the point: "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. Spirit is immortal Truth; matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore, man is not material; he is spiritual."30
Christian Scientists did, of course, at times speak colloquially, as other Christians did, about getting into harmony with God. Eddy herself had taught that sickness, sin, and death were "inharmonies" and had pronounced all past, present, and future existence to be "God, and the idea of God, harmonious and eternal." "Harmonious action," she wrote, "proceeds from Principle; that is, from Soul; in harmony has no Principle." She had suggested in Science and Health, too, that the discovery of "Life Soul" would make one harmonious. Moreover, at the very core of a formulaic healing event lay an intense realization on the part of a Science practitioner of the unreality of the patient's particular plight or illness and the divine perfection that instead was and had been ever present. Such realizations could be couched in the language of harmony. But perusal of Christian Science literature reveals no preference for the term or the discourse of harmony, and, still more, Christian Science healers were accustomed to describing their healing work not only as "treatment" but also, and quite typically, as "argument." When they healed, they spoke of "demonstrating over" illness in a metaphor that evokes science and contest at once. As Stephen Gottschalk notes, "the aims and theological standpoint of Christian Science and of harmonialism differ so markedly that the two cannot be assumed to represent the same tendency." Pointing as well to the pain and suffering that characterized Eddy's personal life, he found the harmonial ascription especially inappropriate. Eddy needed to be saved, to be born again; and she felt in her "discovery" of Christian Science that her new birth in the spirit had happened.31
Yet if Eddy was a decided antimaterialist, and if she fought fiercely against the lingering shadows of mesmerism and spiritualism, the connections between her new "Truth" and these former partners would not go away. In the case of mesmerism, we know that early Christian Science practice included some rubbing or touching of the afflicted area of a patient's body in the style of mesmerists (and, imitating them, spiritualist healers). This essentially followed Quimby's practice growing out of his earlier healing technique in animal magnetism, and he had typically employed water as a medium for the work. Eddy herself acknowledged that when she started teaching she had "permitted students to manipulate the head, ignorant that it could do harm, or hinder the power of mind." According to report, she at first actively instructed students to rub and touch-not for the patent efficacy of these gestures but, as Quimby did, because of the belief that they fostered in the patient: ''As we believe and others believe we get nearer to them by contact and now you would rub out a belief, and this belief is located in the brain." Like a doctor's poultice applied for pain, so the healer should place her "hands where the belief is to rub it out forever."32 Added to this, we have already seen Eddy's demonstrated fear, stronger as she aged, of malicious animal magnetism.
In the case of spiritualism, Ann Braude has pointedly noticed the overlap between Eddy's theologically driven healing method and the discursive world of the spiritualist community. Aside from the shared social context in which both flourished and the similarity of the needs that drew converts to both spiritualism and Science, the denial of evil in Christian Science from one perspective made the movement look like spiritualism because of its overt rejection of this major Calvinist category. Likewise, both spiritualism and Christian Science exalted science to deific proportions; both opposed orthodoxies in medicine as well as religion; and both encouraged egalitarianism by promoting women as leaders and by supporting lay ability to function as healers. In other words, in both systems the patient could easily take charge, and each system thus operated on a more or less level playing field. Moreover, as Braude argues, the "most significant" agreement came with the belief that there was "no change at death." True the lack of change existed, for spiritualists, as a function of the continuing material existence of spirit bodies after the change called death and, for Scientists, in the fact that there were never any real material bodies anyway. Even so, an underlying model of permanence and denial of death's edge characterized both movements.33
The language of the "Father-Mother God," the "Christ Principle," and God as Principle was, as we have already seen, part of the rhetorical world of spiritualism. Beyond that, Eddy's early Christian Science followers seemed to move easily in and out of the spiritualist community. Were the new practitioners mostly women (in the ranks as well as leaders, as we will see) - former spirit mediums? Did they transpose their performances from spirits to Spirit in the same manner that the women whom Ann Braude has studied left trance mediumship on public stages for feminist speeches in their own names? Except for a few cases, no clear answers can be given. But the questions hang there for the asking. Braude has, for example, identified the combinative thrust of the Boston periodical The Soul in the 1880s, a periodical at home in both spiritualist and Christian Science circles. At least one medium and her husband-the later well-known Swartses-attended a Christian Science course taught by Eddy, even as the husband tried to teach what he learned from Eddy in spiritualist contexts. Beyond this, there was the over-protest of Eddy's relentless attack on spiritualism- "mesmerism, manipulation, or mediumship" as "the right hand of humbug, either a delusion or a fraud." As Braude observes, Eddy's preoccupation with separating Science from spiritualism suggests "that she viewed Spiritualism as the religion with which her own faith could be most easily confused."34
Still, like Blavatsky and Olcott-from whom she strenuously separated herself as well- Eddy recognized clairvoyance as fact and thought that spiritual manifestations involved mind reading on the medium's part. However, unlike Theosophists, who looked to elementals for the production of phenomena, she thought that materializations were the products of the mediumistic mind. Yet she did not think that, in theory, spirit communication was impossible. Rather, the reality of spirit communication needed to be demonstrated outside of matter since, by definition, matter was irrevocably yoked to appearance and unreality. Spirits, in the plural, were "supposed mixtures of Intelligence and matter" that, "science" revealed, could not "affinitive or dwell together." But Spirit itself, in the singular, was a thoroughly different case: there was "no Intelligence, no Life, no Substance, no Truth, no Love but the Spiritual." Eddy recognized, too, the existence of trance states and the power they gave to otherwise reticent speakers.35 Finally, like the spiritualists, in her own way she supported and promoted feminism even if she had difficulties yielding authority to talented individual women who came to her.
Given all of this, the Christian Science that Eddy shaped in her mature years reconstituted spiritualism, turning it inside out to craft a monistic system based on nonmaterial spirit and inverting its liberalism in her lingering Calvinism. Her reconstitution achieved manifest success, shaping its metaphysics to a new and Christian organization that demonstrates the extent to which metaphysical combinativeness could reach. The formerly self-effacing Eddy spoke and acted with decisive authority as a new religious leader, and she made and unmade institutions in the service of her cause. The roster of her doings and undoings quickly tells the story. She established the Christian Scientists' Association in 1876 and restructured it into the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879. By 1882, she founded the state-chartered Massachusetts Medical College in Boston and, by 1886, the National Christian Science Association. In these years of rapid growth and development, she encouraged graduates of the college to create regional institutes that would spread Christian Science throughout the nation. In the states of Iowa and Illinois alone, according to Rennie Schoepflin, sixteen institutes arose on the Eddy model in the 1880s and the 189os. But in 1889, with divisiveness in church governance and increasing independence among former students, she dissolved the Christian Science Association, closed her college, and disbanded the Church of Christ, Scientist, all in moves to centralize and to regain control. Several months later, in 1890, she requested that the National Christian Scientist Association adjourn for a three-year period. Then, in 1892, she reorganized the Boston church, founding the "Mother Church" so that Scientists from all across the country would need to apply for membership therein to remain within the institution.36
Organization proceeded apace with Eddy's publication, in 1895, of the Manual of the Mother Church, legislating governance matters in detail, and with the creation, in 1898, of the main administrative units that would promote her teaching. So tightly did she organize governance that Stephen Gottschalk could remark, "Perhaps the most amazing thing about Mrs. Eddy's death was the fact that it had so little apparent effect on the movement."37 At the same time, Eddy had committed her faith to the printed word as a major means to disseminate her new reading of the Christian gospels. From early on, practitioners and patients alike were urged to read Science and Health. Less than a decade later (in 1884), the first number of the Journal of Christian Science appeared (called the Christian Science Journal from 1885), with Eddy herself as editor until she turned the journal over to other promising women, like Emma Curtis Hopkins, who was soon fired and went on to become a prominent New Thought leader. In addition, Eddy created, in 1898, the Christian Science Weekly, subsequently renamed the Christian Science Sentinel, and the same year, too, established the Christian Science Publishing Society. When the well-known Christian Science Monitor was founded in 1908 to provide a Christian Science perspective on national and international news, it came under the aegis of the publishing society, as did numerous other promotional materials for the church and for Christian Science theology.
Eddy left Boston, where she had lived at the center of her movement for seven years, and in 1882 took up residence more reclusively near Concord, New Hampshire. Later, in 1908, she moved to Chestnut Hill, not far from Boston, where she ended her days. During her senior years, she oversaw a thriving movement that attracted increasing numbers of followers and received considerable notice in the press and public mind, some favorable and some decidedly less so. In Lynn, where Eddy had gathered her earliest class of students, they came mostly from the working class. But as the movement took off, this profile began to change. Stephen Gottschalk, who has pointed to occupation as an indicator of class status, notes-summarizing a Harvard doctoral dissertation-that by the year of Eddy's death Christian Scientists largely came from the middle class, a situation that Gottschalk sees as mostly "consistent" from 1900 to 1950.38 Most had come, too, as believing Protestant Christians, although they had their quarrels with orthodoxy. Meanwhile, as the prominence of female leadership already suggests, many more women than men joined the movement. By the last decade of the nineteenth century, five times as many woman practitioners could be counted as men. By the next decade, in 1906, Christian Science membership was 72-4 percent female, at a time when all denominations together averaged 56,9 percent women in their ranks. The pattern apparently continued through the twentieth century, since in the 1970s the ratio of women to men within the denomination was eight to one.39 Arguably, a new form of mediumship had arisen in their midst, as women mediated no longer the spirits from the second or further spheres but instead what Scientists claimed was Spirit itself-Principle, Truth, God, and (when gender references were made) Eddy's Father-Mother God. Without their "realization" as practitioners of each patient's "true" state, the Truth-and healing-would not be manifested in particular human lives. So the women put up shingles, placed advertisements, and collected set fees-professionalizing their healing work as the seance mediums had earlier professionalized their services.40
Nor did the women shun the mission field. They roamed widely as itinerant teachers, bridging the gap between domestic and public spaces and garnering a swiftly building membership for Christian Science. Rennie Schoepflin has cited statistics, for example, showing a net gain of an astounding 2,50 percent in Christian Science membership between 1890 and 1906, when 40,011 Scientists were claimed. Although Eddy banned the publication of membership figures after 1908, the number of practitioners continued to grow in the early twentieth century, with 5,394 globally in 1913 and 10,775 in 1934.41 Like the earlier mediums who spoke in public when the spirits prompted, Christian Science women apparently felt compelled by their sense of Truth to spread a public gospel. The complex motivations of their missionary impulse point, once again, to the combinative milieu in which American metaphysical religion arose and flourished. In that milieu, too, despite all of Eddy's efforts to build an ecclesial edifice unmoved by religious change and reconstruction, the religious work that was Christian Science repeatedly exhibited the combinations and recombination’s that were continually remaking metaphysics.
To some extent, Eddy's very claims to uniqueness (even if partially correct), and to permanence and impermeability, brought change to her door. As the standard narrative of the discovery of Christian Science took shape in her remembered past and its public reconstruction, the gradualism of her early healing practice gave way before Eddy's testimony to a startling single moment of Truth. The mentorship of Quimby dissolved before the direct visitation of Spirit. Others, however, did not forget. Quimby's former patient-students Warren Felt Evans, Julius Dresser, and Annetia Seabury Dresser either indirectly (Evans) or directly (the Dressers) challenged Eddy's erasure of the Quimby legacy, even as the legacy continued to function in a rising "mind-cure" movement. At the same time, disenchanted Christian Scientists left Eddy when their views conflicted with her vision or their persons with her personality. They believed that they found in the growing mental healing movement a kinder, gentler, and more expansive version of what they had learned in Eddy's world. Healers shared their skills and news with clients who, in turn, became other healers, other sharers. The term "Christian Science" was invoked freely, used in a generic sense as a description of the new vision and healing practice. Numerous periodicals showed what was happening (Gary Ward Materra discovered some 117 in existence by 1905), and so did popular books and monographs (Materra found 744 booklength works for the same period). A networking movement had begun and was spreading fast.42
It was not until the 1890S that a clear New Thought identity would be posited, and that would occur in the context of Eddy's copyright on the term "Christian Science" in the early part of the decade and at least partially because of it,98 But the rift between Eddy's Christian Science and this developing "mental science" or generic Christian Science movement existed already in the tensile structure of Quimby's thought, held together, as it was, by his ability to contain paradox and anomaly in a persuasive metaphorical quasi system. Certainly his "wisdom" transcending the error-ridden minds of his patients and their sickness affirmed the ideal order that Eddy later promoted as Spirit, Substance, Intelligence, Truth, and the like. But, as we have also seen, Quimby saw wisdom not only as transcendent but also as a solid or even fluidic substance pervading all reality, much in the manner of the old magnetic fluid. He was facile enough mostly to avoid the terms fluid and ether, but nonetheless their presence remained in the characteristics that he attributed to wisdom.43 Even as Eddy became an absolutist of the ideal, Quimby straddled both worlds-affirming a wisdom beyond sense and matter and yet introducing sensate concepts as palpable, lived metaphors for the experience of wisdom. Nowhere can this be seen more than in Quimby's homegrown speculations on smell and its relationship to a wisdom transcending the senses yet within them. Quimby smelled wisdom, and he smelled sickness. He thought of the odors that he absorbed as so many particles of the divine in a kind of etheric atmosphere surrounding a subject,lOo And he linked their diffusion as mediumistic bearers of knowledge, or wisdom, to words and language, which also functioned as mediumistic bearers of the same.
In so doing, Quimby hinted once more of his debt to spiritualism and, especially, to Andrew Jackson Davis. In his speculations on magnetism, Davis had taught that each human soul was encircled by an "atmosphere" that was "an emanation from the individual, just as flowers exhale their fragrance." Moreover, he had posited, because of the emanation, "a favorable or unfavorable influence" that one person could have over another (this last a source, perhaps, of Eddy's later notion of M.A.M.). In his turn, Quimby pushed the metaphor and materialized it further. He likened the "brain or intellect" to a rose, and he thought that intelligence came through its smells as they emanated. Again, each belief, for Quimby, contained "matter or ideas which throw off an odor like a rose." In fact, humans typically threw off "two odors: one matter and the other wisdom." Matter, identified with the human mind (not wisdom), produced an odor that was like a "polished mirror," with fear reflected in it as "the image of the belief." Wisdom was wise because it could "see the image in the mirror, held there by its fear." Quimby was the case in point, for it was his "wisdom" that disturbed his patient's reflected "opinion," deadening the mirror "till the image or disease" had disappeared. Mostly, in the terms of the analogy, Quimby focused on the smell of matter and its manifestation as illness in the life of a patient. "The mind is under the direction of a power independent of itself," he explained, "and when the mind or thought is formed into an idea, the idea throws off an odor that contains the cause and effect." The odor was "the trouble called disease," and-unlike the doctors who knew nothing about it-Quimby himself smelled the "spiritual life of the idea" that was error. From there he could launch his healing work to banish it.44
This was because Quimby could also smell wisdom - a different odor - which his ailing patients were unable to detect, even though the smell of wisdom could, at least theoretically, come to them. "As a rose imparts to every living creature its odor, so man become impregnated with wisdom, assumes an identity and sets up for himself;' he argued. This wisdom might be called the "first cause" and might be construed, too, to exude an "essence" that pervaded "all space." Yet, in a distinction that was crucial for Quimby, the sense of smell and the other senses belonged not to the "natural man" but to his "scientific" counterpart. Such a "scientific man" - Quimby himself-knew odor to be the most potent of the senses, conveying knowledge of good (as in savory food) and of danger, for smell was an "atmosphere" that surrounded an object or subject. Thus-and this was where he was headed-the common atmosphere of humans in similar states of fear (in the presence of danger) led to "a sort oflanguage, so that language was invented for the safety of the race." Quimby, in short, had arrived at the idea that "the sense of smell was the foundation of language" and at the overarching conviction that from the material process came the higher wisdom. "Forming thought into things or ideas became a sense;' and the process was "spiritual."45
Moreover, if the sense of smell was, indeed, the "foundation of language;' it was also itself a language. Humans, like roses, threw off odors; odors enabled Quimby to diagnose erroneous states of mind being manifested as diseases; odors also conveyed character. Still further, distance was no factor in intuiting smells and odors. Situated in wisdom, he claimed, "my senses could be affected ... when my body was at a distance of many miles from the patient. This led me to a new discovery, and I found my senses were not in my body but that my body was in my senses, and my knowledge located my senses just according to my wisdom."46 Quimby's thinking on these matters was often circular, muddled, and less than clear. But through his sometimes strained efforts to explain he was laying the groundwork for later New Thought theologies of immanence and panentheism. Profoundly different from the hauntingly Calvinist transcendent God of Eddy, with an ultimate divine alterity, the New Thought deity would beckon as the God within and the God who, like a superconscious etheric fluid, permeated all things.
It was Warren Felt Evans (1817-1889), Quimby's other major theological student alongside Eddy, who would articulate - much further and more clearly than Quimby-the possibilities and powers of the resident God. At the same time, like his doctor-teacher, Evans protected the twofold nature of divinity, Mind transcendent and Mind within. Son of a Vermont farming family, Evans attended Chester Academy, spent a year at Middlebury College, and then transferred, in 1838, to Dartmouth in New Hampshire. He never graduated, since midway through his junior year he felt a calling to the Methodist ministry. According to Charles Braden, he held, at various times, eleven different positions for the denomination. Then, in 1864, he joined the Swedenborgian Church of the New Jerusalem, and the profound and abiding influence of Swedenborg became apparent in his subsequent writings. The break from his Methodist past and his move in an unorthodox spiritual direction were probably at some level stressful, for he experienced both serious and chronic "nervous" disease. Close to the time he officially became a Swedenborgian, his physical condition brought him to Quimby's Portland door. Like Eddy, Evans was healed, became a Quimby student, and also felt a calling to be a healer himself. He began a mental healing practice in Claremont, New Hampshire, but by 1867 had moved to the Boston area, where, with his wife M. Charlotte Tinker, he spent over twenty years practicing and teaching. Unlike Eddy and other mental healing professionals, he charged no fees and accepted only free will offerings. He also apparently read copiously and wrote a series of widely influential books on mental healing in a religious context.47 If we track the changes from the earliest to the latest of these works, we gain a sense of the shifting discourse community of American metaphysics as it transitioned from high-century phrenomagnetic and Swedenborgian seance spiritualism to the theosophizing world of the late 1870s and 1880s.
The earliest of Evans's six mental healing books (he had previously written four short works on aspects of Swedenborgian theology) appeared in 1869 and the latest in 1886, together revealing a disciplined, ordering mind and a facility in argument and exposition. Evans was bibliographically responsible in ways that signal a professionalism and attention to detail not found in earlier, and especially vernacular, authors. Often, but not always, he parenthetically cited sources of quotations, giving an author's surname, a short title, and the page or pages. Aside from the general sophistication of these works and their at-homeness in both religious and scientific worlds of contemporary discourse, they were cast in a decidedly different tone from the work of either Quimby or Eddy. Instead of polemicism and battle, in Evans readers could find affirmation and a kind of irenic catholicity that consciously combined sources in an almost theosophical style.
The first of the mental healing books, The Mental-Cure, disclosed an Evans who was a thorough Swedenborgian and also comfortable in a spiritualist milieu that resonated with the harmonial theology of Davis. Mind was an "immaterial substance," but matter was also a substance, one associated with the sense experience of resistance and force. All humans were "incarnations of the Divinity," love was supreme, and the good lay within, with "great futurities ... hidden in the mysterious depths of our inner being."48 A combined Swedenborgian-spiritualist millennialism pervaded the text with its noticeable allusions to a coming (uppercase) "New Age" (of the Holy Spirit), which was "now in the order of Providence dawning upon the world." Meanwhile, its easy assumptions regarding the real existence of spirits, its familiar references to the "Seeress of Prevorst" its citation of the ubiquitous spiritualist Samuel B. Brittan, and its doctrine of spiritual spheres pointed in the same Swedenborgian-spiritualist direction. So did its understanding of death as a "transition to a higher life" and "normal process in development." References to Gall and to phrenology as well as magnetic allusions indicated Evans's familiarity with spiritualist discourse, and there was the by now well-recognized caveat regarding magnetic power and peril ("a power that can be turned to good account, or perverted to evil"). Still more, in the Swedenborgian reading that Evans gave to "modern spiritualism," we can see the easy conflation that he and so many others were making between the sources out of which they built their world. Expounding on the "Swedish philosopher" and his doctrine of spiritual influx, Evans saw inspiration and "the commerce of our spirits with the heavens above" as "the normal state of the human mind." In that context, what was "called modern spiritualism" was "only an instinctive reaction of the general mind against the unnatural condition it has been in for centuries."49
The plan of Evan's work was generally speaking Swedenborgian, and he was hardly bashful about acknowledging his debt, for he quoted Swedenborg frequently and in admiring terms (Braden, in fact, found seventeen references).50 Always though, Evans focused his account on the phenomenon of illness. Bodily dysfunction signaled spiritual dysfunction, and the way to correct the body lay in correction of the spirit.
Nor was there a conceptual gap between the two in the Swedenborgian universe that Evans inhabited. Citing the authority of his Swedish mentor as well as the New Testament Paul, Evans declared for the existence of a "spiritual body" bridging the gap between the "curious and wonderful" external body and the mind. The spiritual body functioned as one among innumerable "intermediates, through which influx descend[ed] from the higher to the lower" - part of a pattern in all creation. Compounded of "a substance intermediate between pure spirit and matter," it was for Evans "a sort of tertium quid," literally, a "third thing" that, for many in the developing New Thought movement, would seriously alter the orthodox anthropology of human body and soul. Here the (inner or interior) spiritual body became the harbinger of a series of multiplying bodily spheres that traced a path from gross matter to highest spirit. The spiritual body became, too, the harbinger of the energy pathways that traced the same route; and, already in Evans, the roadmap was ready. "This inner form," he reported, "is the prior seat of all diseased disturbances in the body." For Blavatsky and the theosophical movement, the spiritual body (significantly, close to her "astral" body of less than a decade after Evans's book) would later be subsumed into a series of clairvoyantly visible bodies manifested with each human frame. For many in the New Thought movement, more abstractly, it would-in a transformed version - become part of the triad of body, soul, and spirit.51
Where was Phineas Quimby in The Mental-Cure? He was there as a kind of ghost among the spirits: Evans could apparently find no methodologically viable way to acknowledge his debt. (In Mental Medicine, Evans's second book on mental healing-published in 1872-he did acknowledge Quimby briefly.) Yet between the lines, as it were, Evans had surely inscribed his former mentor. In the magnetic-spiritualist and, specifically, Davis harmonial tradition, he had affirmed that "every material body" was "surrounded by an atmosphere generated by a subtle emanation of its own substance." He had gone on to declare that "the air enveloping the globe we inhabit" was "charged with the minute particles proceeding from the various objects of nature." But Evans's explanation of the emanation in terms of the olfactory sense, his specific use of a rose as an example, and his identification of a spiritual cause for smells and of something analogous "in the world of the mind" all smacked of Quimby-a Quimby easily conflated with Swedenborg as Evans's text progressed. Evans emulated Quimby also (and no doubt without direct control) in the quasi-shamanic quality of his sometime relationships with patients. Reflecting on his experiences with absent healing (a familiar Quimby technique), he owned that he had on occasion "been sensibly affected with their diseased state both of mind and body." "Once," he divulged, "where the patient was troubled with almost perpetual nausea, it occasioned vomiting in us." Still, as Braden noted, citing Mental Medicine of 1872, Evans thought that the effects of client illness on the healer were fleeting and easily dismissed -a "few minutes of tranquil sleep" would do it.52
For all his intellectual expansiveness, with Swedenborg and like Quimby, Evans always returned to Christian moorings to explain and affirm what was happening. According to John Teahan, well before Evans met Quimby-and fifteen years before the inaugural publication of the Glover (Eddy) book Science and Health - Evans had used the term "Christian Science" in print in his short work The Happy Islaqds. But more than Quimby, the early Evans evinced a clear orthodoxy regarding the person of Jesus- he was the "one and only God made flesh, and dwelling among us." Jesus healed by moving from cause to effect, in a model that Evans and other mental healers should copy, discarding the glib Baconianism of their culture for a compelling (Christian) alternative. In a particularly cogent statement that drew a line between scientific and general cultural orthodoxy, on the one hand, and the new metaphysical faith, on the other, Evans declared for principle (read "Cause," "Truth;' "Mind;' "Intelligence;' and so forth). "We hold to the heresy," he announced, "that principles come before facts in the true order of mental growth, and the knowledge of things in their causes, is of more worth than a recognition of effects. This we acknowledge is not the Baconian method of philosophizing."53
Yet just as the spiritual body bridged the world of pure spirit and the material realm of the body, Evans-with a strong pragmatism-saw a bridge between principles and facts, between causes of illness and their unpleasant effects. The bridge, as a chapter title announced, was the "sanative power of words." Words functioned as "one of the principal mediums through which mind acts upon mind." They could be written or spoken, but either way they potentially could contain "the vital force of the soul." Evans went on for pages celebrating the blessings and wonders of words, proclaiming within them "a greater power ... than men are aware of" and telling of their creative power even as he cited German Romantic philosopher Friedrich von Schlegel's Philosophy of History (translated in 1835) to support his views. For Evans, the case par excellence was Jesus, who "employed certain formulas or expressive sentences into which he concentrated and converged his whole mental force, and made them the means of transmitting spiritual life to the disordered mind." The moral of his story was clear; a physician's words "oftentimes" accomplished more than "his medical prescriptions." Evans had arrived at the doorstep of New Thought affirmation and affirmative prayer. 54
By the time he published his third healing book, Soul and Body, in 1876, Evans was familiarly evoking his goals for the "restoration of the phrenopathic method of healing practised by Jesus, the Christ, and his primitive disciples." If the neologism phrenopathy hints of former Methodist minister and latter-day spiritualist La Roy Sunderland's "pathetism," it signals, too, a continuing comfort in the older spiritualist discourse community. In a work that aimed to be "scientifically religious, without being offensively theological," Evans had already raised his Swedenborgian-banner on the title page of the volume, quoting from Swedenborg's Arcana Coelestia (on correspondences) to set the tone. Still, the easy allusions of the volume suggest that Evans was immersing himself increasingly in the Hermetic tradition that supported, if mostly covertly, "modern" spiritualism. He acclaimed "John Baptist Van [Jan Baptista van] Helmont;' the seventeenth century Flemish physician and scientist who was also a speculative mystic. He knew Jacob Boehme, and he linked his notion of the "spiritual body" to the "perisprit" of the French spiritualist theorist and mystic Allan Kardec (Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail), whose Book of the Spirits (1858) he had apparently read. He linked his "spiritual body" as well to the "nerve-projected form" of Justinus Kerner, whose work had brought the Seeress of Prevorst to public notice.ll2 Yet arguably, there was nothing here that a widely read spiritualist would not cite or invoke, and the discourse world of Evans was yet conjoined to the older spiritualist community.
It was Evans's next book, The Divine Law of Cure (1881), that marked his entry into an expanded theoretical discourse to ground his metaphysical healing practice-at this juncture, however, solely in terms of the West. Now Evans was reading the Hermetic legacy in idealist terms more absolute and encompassing, grounding his increasingly philosophical idealism in the philosophy of the Continent and of England. Evans's new cast of characters included Bishop George Berkeley, whose subjective idealism taught that matter did not exist independent of perception and that the apparent existence of matter was a function of the divine Mind. The new cast likewise included the German idealist philosophers Georg W. F. Hegel, Friedrich von Schelling, Johann Fichte, and Friedrich Jacobi, as well as the French eclectic philosopher Victor Cousin and the English Romantic poet and synthetic theorist of language Samuel Taylor Coleridge - all, significantly, beloved of the New England Transcendentalists.ll3 Still, though, the idealism that Evans taught was a fudging idealism, one that could yet speak to the spiritual materialism of Davis and his sympathizers. Unlike the categorical denial of matter that had been spread abroad by Eddy, Evans's statement did not deny the actuality of bodily existence but instead asserted its contingency: It always and ever lived from the mind. Idealists, he told readers, did not deny "the reality of external things" but only that they had "any reality independent of mind." "The world of matter with all it contains," he attested, was "bound up in an indissoluble unity with the world of mind, and in fact exists in it." It followed that bodily properties were "only modifications of our minds." They were "reducible to feelings or sensations in the soul."55 Enter Evans's phrenopathic mental healing method to reap the pragmatic benefits of the philosophic situation. Unthought pain was unfelt pain; and disease, without wrong thought, was as nothing. Banish the thought, and you banished the disease. Here was the "grand remedy, the long sought panacea ... the fundamental principle in the phrenopathic cure." 56
The coming of Norman Vincent Peale and Trump
The material world as such was not totally denied in those movements, but to them it was clear that the material world was contingent upon the mind. The spiritual level of the world was the absolute truth, the absolute reality. Therefore, the conclusion had to be: sickness and especially its cure lie within the power of the human mind. The causality was pretty simple: positive thoughts create positive circumstances and negative thoughts create negative circumstances.57 A basic thought that will reappear in Norman Vincent Peale’s work as well as in the prosperity gospel many times.
There were also certain traits in the Christian Science community that laid an emphasis on wealth issues. Although it certainly was not a focus of the movement, some businesspeople who were part of the community discovered Christian Science also as a means to make good business decisions.58
Over the years, prosperity became a steadily increasing theme in New Thought literature. It often occurred in connection with the thought that “the greatest discovery of the human race was the realization that humans possessed all the powers that formerly had been ascribed to God. This meant that each had the ability to accomplish any purpose formed in the mind.”59 Books by Helen Wilmans and Elizabeth Towne in the early 20th century are early examples of prosperity literature.60 Another example is Frank Channing Haddock, who published a socalled The Power Book series, which started in 1907. He touched on topics like the power of affirmation and suggestion in order to achieve personal or financial gain.61
After World War I, there was an ever-increasing outpour of literature that could be more and more considered self-help books and were already sold in the millions with a stronger focus on getting rich.62 Napoleon Hill’s 1937 book Think and Grow Rich, which proclaimed that by knowing one secret, various people like Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller made a fortune. And of course, Hill shared that secret method in his book, which was a mixture of auto-suggestion, discipline, inspiration, persistence, but also transcendental intuition. His book was a major success, made Hill a national celebrity, and had sold more than 20 million copies when the author died in 1970.63
After World War II, success literature, that was often heavily influenced by New Thought themes began to pop up all over the country. “After World War II, it would resurface in the mainline American religious imagination as ‘positive thinking,’ equal party psychology, business, self-help, and metaphysics.”64 This brand of thinking quickly also influenced the American mainstream religious and cultural landscape and tremendously shaped the modern prosperity gospel.65 One book stood out among hundreds of publications during this time: Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking.
In fact, Norman Vincent Peale was specifically relevant for the popularization of self-help culture, “[a]s a popularizer of the mentalistic self-help tradition, Peale is without peer, past or present.”66 He also had a significant influence on the Word of Faith movement. When he died in 1993 The New York Times published an obituary that read: “He told Presidents and business executives and millions of other people that a proper state of mind, induced by simple prayer, could produce spiritual and material success on earth, which he demonstrated by becoming a wealthy man.”67 This description could also easily fit for the Word of Faith Movement as such.
In 1935, he began hosting a radio program, which later turned into a television show and set the foundation of his popularity. One of his first efforts in literature was You Can Win, which he published in 1938. The book did not sell many copies, but it already showed some of Peale’s major themes.68 In the preface to this book, he writes: “Life has a key, and to find that key is to be assured of success in the business of living…. To win over the world a man must get hold of some power in his inward or spiritual life which will never let him down.”69
In 1945 Peale began another endeavor that helped him become publicly known. He founded the magazine Guideposts, which still had a circulation of almost four million copies in the early 1980s around the time of Peale’s death. Peale’s official biographer called the magazine “(...) a sort of spiritual newsletter for businessmen or factory workers with simple, down-to-earth stories of religious faith in action.”70 In his autobiography Peale himself elaborates on this, calling the premise for this magazine that “if a person thinks positively, is of good character, works hard and practices his or her faith (…) the sky was the limit under the American way of life.”71 This style of writing, illustrating his thoughts and the underlying message with dozens of personal stories, would later also be used in his work The Power of Positive Thinking.
After World War II, two of his books finally sky-rocketed him to nationwide fame and became best sellers. A Guide to Confident Living was published in 1948, and his most famous work The Power of Positive Thinking in 1952. The latter had sold some 2 million copies during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961).224 It was also on The New York Times best-seller list continuously for over three years, after having been additionally popularized by Peale’s appearance on two highly-rated television shows.72
Not new Peale himself confessed that large portions of his ideas were borrowed from New Thought philosophy.73
Trump pictured with Norman Vincent Peale
In 1953 the American magazine Newsweek put Norman Vincent Peale on the cover of its Christmas issue. The title was “An Articulate Leader of Christianity.”74 This shows how great his influence on American religiosity was during this period. But of course, there was also some criticism of his unique method.
It was criticized that by giving so much focus to God’s power, other attributes that are important like the love of transcendence are marginalized. Also, by giving so much power to the right prayer, God Himself actually lost some of His freedom, seemingly having to answer only to rightful prayers for success and healing. Equally, the attention given to succeeding and being happy was seen as too much in line with consumerism.75
In 1955 Professor William Lee Miller of Smith College published essays on Peale in which he touched that subject. He wondered “if Peale has not gained his success by selling out his religion to his culture, becoming a prophet of a civil religion in which there is no distance between the words of a preacher and the idols and values of culture.”76 He especially criticized that in Peale’s theory, faith merely becomes a means by which people can achieve what they desire. This occurs not in a spiritual way or world, but in the material world, and by that it enforces what popular culture (or the American Dream, as we will examine later) lets people believe what they really want.77 One of the most famous critics around that time was also theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who called the method “dubious” and one-dimensional, among other things.78
Another branch of criticism dealt with the psychological implications and arguments Peale’s theory made. Donald Meyer of Harvard criticized his approach for not being “the mastery of skills or tasks, but the mastery of fleeing and avoiding one’s own ‘negative thoughts.’”79 Psychiatrist Robert C. Murphy rebuked the selectiveness of human emotions to which Peale subscribed.80
Trump's admitted influence by Vincent Peale
In an article on National Public Radio, Trump is quoted as saying: “Norman Vincent Peale, the great Norman Vincent Peale, was my pastor. ... He was so great. And what he would do is, he’d bring real-life situations, modern-day situations, into the sermon. And you could listen to him all day long.”81
Therefore, it is not surprising that today Donald Trump is known to surround himself with prosperity teachers like Paula White-Cain who spoke at his inauguration ceremony.82
A televangelist and exponent of the “health, wealth and prosperity” movement, White-Cain preaches the “prosperity gospel”, an unorthodox approach to Christianity that says God wants people to be rich, and that he makes them wealthy as a sign of his blessing. So the richer you are, the more obvious it is that God loves you, and the stronger your faith is.
White teaches that God rewards “faithful” people who invest in His promised providence. You invest by making deposits,faith, prayers and gifts of money, to God (the church, naturally, is the “steward” of your financial gifts). So if you want to be healthy and wealthy, all you need to do is give, and then believe, and all your heart’s desires will be realized. The more you invest, the greater the likely rewards.
Like The Power of Positive Thinking shaped the church growth movement, the “health wealth and prosperity” movements, and many other expressions of capitalist-friendly evangelicalism and fundamentalism. The hypothesis was simple: if you believe it enough, have the faith for it and keep saying it enough, it will be so. Your mind and your language, if fully positive, will ultimately reify your goal.
Its message of health and wealth speaks especially to people who dream of a better life and who struggle with realizing that dream.
“In times of uncertainty, especially where material success is a central cultural value, there may be a cognitive need to attempt to create wealth and health by metaphysical means and to predict with some measure of assurance outcomes that are uncertain to realization.”83.
The hypothesis was simple: if you believe it enough, have the faith for it and keep saying it enough, it will be so. Your mind and your language, if fully positive, will ultimately reify your goal.
In some respects, then, we already know how Trump’s mantra, “Make America great again”, will pan out. The president believes in the vision. If it doesn’t happen, it won’t be his fault: it will be yours. Not enough people have faith; too many doubt. Blame the faithless.
1. See Judah, History and Philosophy of the Metaphysical Movements, 207-9; Braden, Spirits in Rebellion, 287-89.
2. Mary Baker Glover, Science and Health (Boston: Christian Scientist Publishing, 1875).
3. Mary Baker G. Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (Boston: J. Armstrong, 1906). This edition would continue to appear after Eddy's death in 1910 with Trustees under the Will of Mary Baker G. Eddy listed as publisher.
4. Mary Baker Eddy, The First Church of Christ Scientist and Miscellany (1916), as quoted in Rennie B. Schoepflin, Christian Science on Trial: Religious Healing in America (Boston: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), 28.
5. For Eddy's theologically driven account of most of these events, see Mary Baker Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection (1891; rpt., Boston: First Church of Christ, Scientist, n.d.), 13-14 ("Theological Reminiscence"), 19-21 ("Marriage and Parentage"). For a judicious sifting of the evidence regarding the surrender of Mary Glover's son George, see Gillian Gill, Mary Baker Eddy (Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus, 1998), 86-9.
6. George Miller Beard, American Nervousness, Its Causes and Consequences: A Supplementto Nervous ExhcluLUstion (Neurasthenia) (New York: Putnam, 1881). On Eddy's involvement with spiritualism, see, for example, Gill, Mary Baker Eddy, 152-53, 172-80.
7. The construction of Eddy's Quimby years is fraught with difficulty. For a careful reading that still stresses differences between Eddy and Quimby, see Robert Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1966), esp. 180-83- George Quimby is quoted in Horatio W. Dresser, ed., "Appendix;' The Quimby Manuscripts (1921; rpt., Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel, 1969), 438.
8. Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery, 162.
9. Dresser, ed., Quimby Manuscripts; Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, The Complete Writings, ed. Ervin Seale, 3 vols. (Marina del Rey, Calif.: DeVorss, 1988), although this is still not a critical edition. On the general direction of Dresser's changes, see Hazen, Village Enlightenment, 144-45.
10. Quimby, Complete Writings, 2: 411; 3: 251, 248.
11. Ibid., 2: 92, 144, 148, 206, 340; 3: 246, 343.
12. Ibid., 2: 142; 3: 195-96; J. Stillson Judah, The History and Philosophy of the Metaphysical Movements in America (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1967), 150-54. For materialist readings of Quimby, see my earlier work, Catherine L. Albanese, Nature Religion in America: From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), 1°7-15; and, still more thoroughgoing, Hazen, Village Enlightenment, 113-46.
13. For a sense of this process in the case of Emerson, see, e.g., Willard Thorp, "Emerson on Tour," Quarterly Journal of Speech 16, no. 1 (February 1930): 19-34; Hubert H. Hoeltje, "Ralph Waldo Emerson in Minnesota;' Minnesota History: A Quarterly Magazine 11, no. 2 (June 1930): 145-59; Russel B. Nye, "Emerson in Michigan and the Northwest," Michigan History Magazine 26, no. 2 (Spring 1942): 159-72; and Lynda Beltz, "Emerson's Lectures in Indianapolis," Indiana Magazine of History 60, no. 3 (September 1964): 269-80. For a similar rehearsal regarding Henry David Thoreau, see Walter Harding, "A Check List of Thoreau's Lectures;' Bulletin of the New York Public Library 52 (1948): 78-87. For the Transcendentalist reading of Quimby, see Stewart W. Holmes, "Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: Scientist of Transcendentalism;' New England Quarterly 17 (September 1944): 356-80.
14. For the Swedenborgianism, see Judah, History and Philosophy of the Metaphysical Movements, 149-50; and, for another quick digest, see Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery, 162-63, 338 n26.
15. Quimby, Complete Writings, 3: 196; for a discussion of Quimby's notion of wisdom, see Hazen, Village Enlightenment, 133-43.
16. Quimby, Complete Writings, 3: 371. In view of the pervasive nature of Quimby's "wisdom" discourse and its consistency, I find it strained at best to read the Quimby material, as Robert Peel did, in terms of Eddy's possible interpolations as an amanuensis and editor (see Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery, 182). Similarly, Quimby's apparent denial that he was making himself equal to Christ seems miscast, although Charles Braden took it at face value (see Charles S. Braden, Spirits in Rebellion: The Rise and Development of New Thought [1963; rpt., Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1984], 78).
17. Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery, 182.
18. Mary M. Patterson to the Portland Conrier, as quoted in Georgine Milmine, The Life of Mary Baker G. Eddy and the History of Christian Science (1909; rpt., Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1971), 60.
19. See Peel, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Discovery, 195-97; see, also, for a useful sifting of the evidence, Gill, Mary Baker Eddy, 161-65.
20. Glover, Science and Health, 435; Mary Baker Glover, The Science of Man, By Which the Sick Are Healed, Embracing Questions and Answers in Moral Science (1876; rpt., New York: Rare Book, n.d.), 5; Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 467, 311; Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 (1896; rpt., Boston: Trustees under the Will of Mary Baker G. Eddy, 1924), 234; Mary Baker Eddy, Manual of the Mother Church (Boston: First Church of Christ, Scientist, 1895), 47, as cited and quoted in Stephen Gottschalk, Rolling Away the Stone: Mary Baker Eddy's Challenge to Materialism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006), 320.
21. Stephen Gottschalk, The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), 48-50, 284-85, 120; Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 497; Eddy, Manual of the Mother Church, 1516; Eddy, Manual of the Mother Church, 41, as quoted in Gottschalk, Rolling Away the Stone, 196.
22. Eddy, Retrospection and Introspection, 67; Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, 108-9 (emphasis in original). Beryl Satter has read Eddy's repudiation of matter/evil/sin in terms of the body, and especially the female body with its sexual vulnerability and social subordination. In this context, she points to an Eddy doing "apocalyptic battle, in which woman would conquer the falsehoods of the Adam-dream." See Beryl Satter, Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), 67-68.
23. Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 114-15; see, also, Gottschalk, Emergence of Christian Science, 67; Braude, Radical Spirits, 186.
24. Mary Baker Eddy to John Lathrop, 9 May 1906, as quoted in Gottschalk, Rolling Away the Stone, 356; Calvin Frye Diary, 21 August 1910, as quoted in Gottschalk, Rolling Away the Stone, 402 (the description of the entire episode is taken from Gottschalk's account).
25. Glover, Science and Health, 90, 5.
26. See Schoepflin, Christian Science on Trial, 26,24,15, for her putative spirit mediumship and for quotations from her Banner of Light advertisement.
27. Satter, Each Mind a Kingdom, 65.
28. Glover, Science and Health, 112-13 (emphasis in original).
29. Ibid., 27, 328-29, 93, 96.
30. Ibid., 84, 92, 100, 88, 87.
31. Ibid., 71-72, 64, 65, 66, 67, 70, 74.
32. See Gottschalk, Rolling Away the Stone.
33. Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972), 1019-62; Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, 468.
34. Glover, Science of Man, 7, 10; Glover, Science and Health, 435. For formulaic utterances and typical language, see, e.g., Schoepflin, Christian Science on Trial, 55-72, 75-77; Stephen Gottschalk, "Christian Science and Harmonialism," in Charles H. Lippy and Peter W. Williams, eds., Encyclopedia of the American Religious Experience, 3 vols. (New York: Scribner's, 1988), 2: 901-2.
35. Glover, Science of Man, 12; Mary Baker Eddy, as remembered in 1875 by Samuel P. Bancroft from 1870 and as quoted in Schoepflin, Christian Science on Trial, 25.
36. Braude, Radical Spirits, 183-84.
37. Glover, Science of Man, 12; Braude, Radical Spirits, 185-86.
38. Braude, Radical Spirits, 187; Glover, Science of Man, 4-5.
39. Schoepflin, Christian Science on Trial, 47, 106; Gottschalk, Emergence of Christian Science, 175.
40. Gottschalk, Emergence of Christian Science, 175.
41. Ibid., 257. Gottschalk based this assessment on Neal DeNood, "The Diffusion of a System of Belief" (Ph.D. diss., Harvard University, 1937)'
42. Gottschalk, Emergence of Christian Science, 234,244; Schoepflin, Christian Science on Trial, 34.
43. On the business of being a Christian Science practitioner, see Schoepflin, Christian Science on Trial, 48-52.
44. See ibid., 53.
45. For a succinct summary of this process, see Gary Ward Materra, "Women in Early New Thought: Lives and Theology in Transition, from the Civil War to World War I" (Ph.D. diss., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1997), 64-67, 110, 117.
46. On the copyrighting and its results, see Satter, Each Mind a Kingdom, 96.
47. Hazen, Village Enlightenment, 139-41.
48. See Quimby, Complete Writings, 1: 186.
49. Andrew Jackson Davis, "What Is the Philosophy of Healing?" in Andrew Jackson Davis, The Great Harmonia, vol. 1, The Physician (1850), 13th ed. (Boston: Banner of Light, n.d.), Quimby, Complete Writings, 1: 160,24-41.
50. Quimby, Complete Writings, 1: 412; 2: 152-53; 3: 90, 93-95. 103.
51.Ibid., 3: 323-24.
52. See Braden, Spirits in Rebellion, 90-91; and John F. Teahan, "Warren Felt Evans and Mental Healing: Romantic Idealism and Practical Mysticism in Nineteenth-Century America," Church History 48, no. 1 (March 1979): 90. Evans's six books on mental healing were Rev. W[arren]. F[elt]. Evans, The Mental-Cure, Illustrating the Influence of the Mind on the Body Both in Health and Disease, and the Psychological Method of Treatment (Boston: H. H. and T. W. Carter, 1869); W[arren]. F[elt]. Evans, Mental Medicine: A Theoretical and Practical Treatise on Medical Psychology (Boston: Carter and Pettee, 1872); W[arren]. F[elt]. Evans, Soul and Body; or, The Spiritual Science of Health and Disease (Boston: Colby and Rich, 1876); W[arren]. F[elt]. Evans, The Divine Law of Cure (Boston: H. H. qarter, 1881); W[arren]. F[elt]. Evans, The Primitive Mind-Cure: The Nature and Power of Faith; or, Elementary Lessons in Christian Philosophy and Transcendental Medicine (Bostoq: H. H. Carter and Karrick, 1885); W[arren]. F[elt]. Evans, Esoteric Christianity and Mental Therape"4tics (Boston: H. H. Carter and Karrick, 1886).
53. Evans, Mental-Cure, 28, 32,45, 55. Evans"Was apparently at this date still styling himself a "Reverend" (perhaps an attempt to sell books?), even though it was already five years since he had left the Methodist ministry. Evans's four earlier publications, all published in Boston and none of them explicitly focused on healing, were Divine Order in the Process of Full Salvation (186o), The Happy Islands; or, Paradise Restored (186o), The Celestial Dawn; or, Connection of Earth and Heaven (1862), and The New Age and Its Messenger (1864). The "messenger" of the "New Age" (of the Holy Spirit) was Emanuel Swedenborg.
54. For the New Age, see Evans, Mental-Cure, 57, 119, 191, 211, 258, passim; for spirits, see, for example, ibid., 79-80, 181,288,360; for the Seeress of Prevorst, see ibid., 133, 136,266, 357; Brittan is cited ibid., 291; for spiritual spheres, see ibid., 70; for death, see ibid., 108; for phrenology and magnetism, see ibid., 102, 273 passim; for modern spiritualism, see ibid., 79-80.
55. Braden, Spirits in Rebellion, 93. Gail Thain Parker read Evans rather superficially in terms of these Swedenborgian correspondences, focusing only on The Mental-Cure except for some earlier attention to his New Age and Its Messenger, ignoring the more complex aspects of Evans's work, and ignoring, even further, the dramatic expansion of his ideas in his five subsequent mental healing books. See Gail Thain Parker, Mind Cure in New England: From the Civil War to World War I (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1973),49.
56. Evans, Mental-Cure, 58-59,62-63 (emphases in original).
57. Bowler, Kate. Blessed. A History of the American Prosperity Gospel. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013, 14.
58. Stephen Gottschalk, The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973), 252-254.
59. Hudson, Winthrop. Religion in America. An Historical Account of the Development of American Religious Life. 4th ed. New York: MacMillan, 1987, 221.
60. Haller Jr., John S. The History of New Thought. From Mind Cure to Positive Thinking and the Prosperity Gospel. West Chester, PA: Swedenborg Foundation Press, 2012, 222.
61. Weiss, Richard. The American Myth of Success. From Horatio Alger to Norman Vincent Peale. New York: Basic Books, 1969. Reprinted. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988. Page references are to the 1988 edition, 217.
62. Haller, History of New Thought, 233-234.
63. Ibid., 238.
64. Bowler, Blessed, 36.
65. Ibid., 33-36.
66. Weiss, American Myth of Success, 224.
67. George Vecsey, “Norman Vincent Peale, Preacher of Gospel Optimism, Dies at 95,” The New York Times, December 26, 1993, http://www.nytimes.com/1993/12/26/obituaries/norman-vincent-peale-preacher-of-gospeloptimism-dies-at-95.html.
68. Ahlstrom, Religious History, 1033 and Haller, History of New Thought, 240 and Anker, Self Help, 107.
69. Quoted in Ahlstrom, Sydney E. A Religious History of the American People. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1972, 1033.
70. Quoted in Anker, Roy M. Self-Help and Popular Religion in Modern American Culture. An Interpretive Guide. Westport and London: Greenwood Press, 1999, 111.
71 Quoted in Ibid., 112.
72. Ahlstrom, Religious History, 1033.
73. Anker, Self-Help, 113.
74. Ibid., 102-103.
75. Anker, Self-Help, 123.
76. Anker, Self-Help, 118.
77. Ibid., 124.
78. Ibid., 124-125.
79. Ibid., 130.
80. Lane, Christopher. Surge of Piety. Norman Vincent Peale and the Remaking of American Religious Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016), 90.
81. Ibid., 90-91.
82.Tom Gjelten, “How Positive Thinking, Prosperity Gospel Define Donald Trump's Faith Outlook,” All Things Considered, NPR, August 3, 2016, accessed August 8, 2017, http://www.npr.org/2016/08/03/488513585/how-positive-thinking-prosperity-gospel-definedonald-trumps-faith-outlook
83. Gjelten, “Positve Thinking, Prosperity Gospel.”