The following is a timeline of influential events in the history of Christian Science. It is by no means an exhaustive list, and is mostly provided as greater context, and starting place for further research. If you feel I have missed an important event, please leave a comment, or e-mail me! Various resources used to compile this list are listed below, and I have attempted to hyper-link when applicable.
Ms. Eddy as she is most famously known, went by several names over the course of her life, including:
- Mary Baker
- Mary Glover
- Mary Patterson
- Mary Baker Eddy (MBE)
I have opted to simply call her “Mary” as I have not come across any other influential “Mary” in the CS timeline.
- The Mary Baker Eddy Library has a timeline which runs from 1821-1917: http://www.marybakereddylibrary.org/mary-baker-eddy/timeline which includes far more details of the early years of Ms. Eddy’s life and founding of TMC.
- July 16 Mary Baker is born
- December Mary Baker marries George Washington Glover, a contractor
- June 27 George W. Glover dies
- George Glover (MBE’s son) is born
- Mary Baker Glover marries Daniel Patterson, a dentist
- October Daniel Patterson writes Phineas Quimby about his wife’s health (1)
- October Mary becomes patient of Phineas Quimby. She benefited temporarily by his treatment and continues under his care until 1865.
- January 16 Phineas Quimby dies
- February Mary has a fall on icy sidewalk, turns to the Bible
- “abandoned” by Patterson (2)
- Divorces Patterson on grounds of adultery
- Science & Health is published
- Mary marries Asa Gilbert Eddy
- May Second Salem Witch Trial: Lucretia L. S. Brown accused fellow Christian Scientist Daniel H. Spofford of attempting to harm her through his “mesmeric” mental powers. The judge dismissed the case. (3)
- April 12 Christian Scientist Association of Ms. Eddy voted to “organize a church designed to commemorate the word and works of our Master, which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.” (4)
- June charter for church obtained. (4)
- Mary founds the Massachusetts Metaphysical College
- Asa Gilbert Eddy dies. Mary publicly claims Asa Gilbert Eddy had died of “mental assassination“. (5)
- MIND HEALING HISTORY by Mary Baker Eddy The Christian Science Journal, June, 1887 – denounces Quimby as an influence (6)
- Nov. 5, 1888 Ms. Eddy officially adopts Dr. Foster as her son, Ebenezer J. Foster Eddy
- Closed the Massachusetts Metaphysical College to focus on a major revision of Science and Health
- Woodbury scandal (7)
- September 1892, Mary deeded a plot of land in Boston’s Back Bay to the newly formed Christian Science Board of Directors with the stipulation that a church edifice be completed within five years.
- Edifice for The First Church of Christ, Scientist was completed in Boston (The Mother Church).
- Bible and Science and Health as the pastor of The Church of Christ, Scientist, and the Sunday sermon consists of readings from these two books. Publishes church Manual
- Woodbury scandal continues, Woodbury is first member excommunicated from TMC. (7)
- Woodbury publishes “War in Heaven” – differences between her & Ms. Eddy
- The Christian Science Publishing Society founded
- Ms. Eddy retires to Concord NH. – Pleasant View
- June Woodbury – suit for criminal defamation
- Mark Twain publishes satirical diatribe attacking Eddy and her church entitled Christian Science (8)
- March Next Friends lawsuit – William Chandler, a former New Hampshire state senator, filed a suit on behalf of a group of plaintiffs referred to as Mrs. Eddy’s “next friends.” They included Mrs. Eddy’s son, George Glover, her granddaughter, Mary Baker Glover, her nephew, George W. Baker, and others. The stated object of the so-called “Next Friends” suit was to declare the 85-year-old Mrs. Eddy incompetent to manage her own interests and income. (9)
- Augusta Stetson excommunicated – ambition to become Mrs. Eddy’s successor as Leader of the Christian Science movement.
- Mary Baker Eddy dies
- A 1910 article in the British Medical Journal described how the practitioner could act from a distance, thinking the same things as would be spoken were he present at the bedside, assuring the patient that the disease was imaginary and that God would not permit sickness. The converse of mental healing was the use of mental powers to destroy people’s health – what Eddy termed “malicious animal magnetism.” She was concerned that a new practitioner could inadvertently harm a patient through unenlightened use of their mental powers, and that less scrupulous individuals could use such powers as a weapon. (10)
- H.P. Toler suicide – “victim of religious mania, believed himself persecuted by Christian Science Leaders” (11)
- Start of Great Litigation (would continue through 1924) Eustace vs. Dickey, and Dittemore vs. Dickey (12)
- Ms. Galyon notifies TMC she is to succeed MBE (13)
- Revelation of St. John an Open Book – by Irvin Clinton Tomlinson published (14)
- April a six-member committee of editors and former editors of CS periodicals was assembled “to discover just what Mrs. Eddy believed concerning herself with respect to Scriptural prophecy.” The committee was given access to Mrs. Eddy’s private correspondence, and published writings. (15)
- July Board of Directors published a statement Mrs. Eddy regarded herself as having fulfilled Bible prophecy in the July 1943 issue of the Christian Science Journal.
- The Destiny of The Mother Church, by Bliss Knapp controversy begins as Board of Directors sends letter pointing out false views. Instead of revising it, Knapp left a trust with approximately $100 million to revert to the Christian Science church if it ever published his work as “authorized literature”.
- Monitor Chanel is announced via press release (16)
- April The Destiny of The Mother Church is published as “authorized literature”
- May 15 Monitor Chanel is launched
- the details on this are vague