November 23, 2009
In his talk, "The Rebellion of 1888 and the Open Door of Christian Science," Brad Stock took a Longyear audience through the years 1888 to 1891, beginning with a rebellion by a group of students against their Leader in 1888, followed by several critical decisions Mrs. Eddy made in the wake of this event.
With disobedient students mixing her teaching with theosophy or medicine, and after the defection of some thirty others, two questions Mrs. Eddy faced in the years 1888 to 1891 were: how to maintain the purity of her discovery, and how to place her church on a firm foundation.
What would emerge from this tumultuous period of Christian Science history, Brad Stock told a Longyear audience of about 120 on November 15, would be a church that would ultimately be less dependent on her personally, and that could stand the test of centuries.
In pivotal events, these three years saw Mrs. Eddy teach her last Primary class (1889); revise Science and Health (1890); resign as Pastor of the church in Boston; dissolve the Christian Scientists Association and the Massachusetts Metaphysical College; and disorganize her Church.
Dr. Stock quoted from a number of Mrs. Eddy's articles published in The Christian Science Journal during this period, in which Mrs. Eddy's words take on added significance when considered in their historical context.
For example, referring to the many public assertions of those who claimed to be Christian Scientists but who were in fact practicing very differently from Mary Baker Eddy's teachings Mrs. Eddy stated in her article "Vainglory" (Journal, November 1887): "We are in the Valley of Decision."
The momentous events of the three years that followed the publication of this article indicate that the Christian Science Movement itself was in "the Valley of Decision."
Brad Stock has worked at Parker Brothers, Principia College, Tufts University, and The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Currently, he manages Glenmont, a Christian Science nursing facility in Ohio.View All News