Robert Peel, “Mrs. Eddy as a Spiritual Thinker,” The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, August 1985.

From a talk given at the denomination’s Mother Church in Boston to a meeting of Christian Scientist college and university students:

“We’re all familiar with a sentence on the very first page of Science and Health: ‘The time for thinkers has come.’ Mrs. Eddy obviously didn’t mean to confine the word ‘thinkers’ to intellectuals, though intellectual liveliness is certainly one of the elements of good thinking. So what did she mean by thinkers?

“For an answer, let’s take a quick look at her own life.

“In our mind’s eye, perhaps we see her as she was in the famous balcony picture taken at the end of the last century – a little old lady with white hair and a little Victorian bonnet and a funny little ermine cape – a sweet, gentle, motherly person. But nothing there suggests that one is looking at one of the boldest thinkers of all history, what one might call a spiritual and intellectual revolutionary. How are we to account for the fact that this woman – who had started life as a little farm girl with a pretty informal education – was now asking her thousands of followers to give deep thought every six months to the question: ‘Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?’ And this was some years before the emergence of relativity theory, quantum physics and microbiology.

“Well, from her earliest years she had shown a lively in ideas as well as in the world around her….”

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