Discovering the Discoverer

Sculpture of Mary Baker Eddy, discoverer of Christian Science, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

On a recent visit to the SAAM (Smithsonian American Art Museum), in Washington DC, I happened upon a beautiful marble sculpture of the discoverer and founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy. This super interesting museum was filled with portraits of important American thinkers.

Though Mary Baker Eddy was well known by the public at the time this sculpture was made – around 1889 by Luella Varney Serrao – she did indicate that her real being couldn’t be discovered in a personality (or for that matter a marble sculpture) but in her writings. “Those who look for me in person, or elsewhere than in my writings, lose me instead of find me.” she wrote in Miscellany, page 120.

Christian Science is not a cult – or blind worship of a person or idea. And, it has no connection with Scientology. Christian Scientists don’t worship the personality of anyone, including their leader Mary Baker Eddy. Instead, they recognize and worship God as the one infinite “Person”, or divine Principle. In the chapter called Personality in Miscellany, Mary Baker Eddy notes: “There was never a religion or philosophy lost to the centuries except by sinking its divine Principle in personality. May all Christian Scientists ponder this fact, and give their talents and loving hearts free scope only in the right direction!”

So, here’s a helpful thought. If you want to discover the discoverer of Christian Science, all you need are her books. The main one is Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and it is available in our Reading Room in Glen Ellyn. Why discover Mary Baker Eddy, you ask? The description card for this sculpture at the SAAM indicated one answer: The cure for evil, especially sickness and disease come about by spiritual means, according to Eddy. You can learn to master them, as Jesus taught, through the teachings of Christian Science.