Rolling Away the Stone

Rolling Away the Stone

Mary Baker Eddy's Challenge to Materialism
Stephen Gottschalk
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/23/2011
Format: Paperback 39 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22323-4
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Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2006

This richly detailed study highlights the last two decades of the life of Mary Baker Eddy, a prominent religious thinker whose character and achievement are just beginning to be understood. It is the first book-length discussion of Eddy to make full use of the resources of the Mary Baker Eddy Collection in Boston. Rolling Away the Stone focuses on her long-reaching legacy as a Christian thinker, specifically her challenge to the materialism that threatens religious belief and practice.

Author Bio

Stephen Gottschalk (1940–2005) was an independent scholar, an authority on Christian Science thought, and a former member of the Church’s Committee on Publication. His works include The Emergence of Christian Science in American Religious Life.


“This richly detailed study highlights the last two decades of a prominent religious thinker whose character and achievement are just beginning to be understood. ”

“Gottschalk's account is well told and enriched by fresh material now available from the Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity.”
 — Christian Science Monitor

“Gottschalk does a superb job of providing historical context for the chaotic events of Eddy's final decades. He analyzes frequently oversimplified disagreements between Eddy and Mark Twain, deftly highlighting the many points of agreement and parallel thinking that led Eddy and Twain to very different conclusions. Finally, Gottschalk makes accessible Eddy's mature theology, the product of controversy as well as deep reflection: a thoroughgoing rejection of all materialisms affirmed by her contemporaries (scientific, medical, ecclesiastical, spiritual) in order to seek 'something higher and better than matter, and apart from it.' ”
 — Choice

“The book includes a great deal of fresh research and honest scholarship . . . [F]or the individual wanting to sink his or her teeth into a serious study of Eddy . . . you have a lot to look forward to in reading this book.Vol. 129, No. 5 May 2011”
 — The Christian Science Journal

“Gottschalk has provided readers with a masterful account of Christian Science in its heyday. The book is a first-rate read for students of American religion and provides a look into how one of the country’s more complex religious figures dealt with materialism in the late nineteenth-century America. ”
 — Religious Studies Review

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Table of Contents



Note on Textual Usage


Prelude: The World's "leaden weight"
1. "O God, is it all!"
2. Becoming "Mrs. Eddy"
3. By What Authority? On Christian Ground
4. By What Authority? Listening and Leading
5. Woman Goes Forth
6. "The visible unity of spirit"
7. "The preparation of the heart"
8. "Ayont hate's thrall"
9. A Power, Not a Place
10. "The outflowing life of Christianity"
11. "The kingdoms of this world"
12. Elijah's Mantle
Coda: The Prophetic Voice




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