Beacon Street Diary blog

Spiritual Intersections in Boston History at The Mary Baker Eddy Library

Here at the CLA, we are privileged to hear our Executive Director Peggy Bendroth speak on historical topics frequently. If you would like to hear her, but can't make it to our events, we hope you can attend one of her other upcoming appearances. The next will be this coming Tuesday.

In the early 1880s, Mary Baker Eddy opened the Massachusetts Metaphysical College at 569 Columbus Avenue in Boston's South End. There she taught Christian Science, a new religious system she had recently founded. Only a few blocks away and a few years earlier, Boston's rapidly growing Catholic population embraced a new spiritual center, with the dedication at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Washington Street. Meanwhile the Congregational Church, descendant of Boston's Puritan founders, was reconfiguring its position in a city where it was once but no longer culturally dominant.

Please join us for an informal panel discussion with experts on Boston's religious history, to explore the cultural and spiritual dynamics of the city in the late 19th century.

The Panel includes:

  • Dr. Christopher Evans (moderator), Professor of the History of Christianity and Methodist Studies at the Boston University School of Theology. Among his courses, he teaches a class on the religious history of Boston. He is the author of Histories of American Christianity: An Introduction (Baylor University Press, 2013).
  • Dr. Margaret Bendroth (panelist), Executive Director of the Congregational Library and Archive in Boston, and author of many books, including Fundamentalists and the City: Conflict and Division in Boston's Churches, 1885-1950 (Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • Dr. James O'Toole (panelist), Professor and Clough Millennium Chair in History at Boston College. Among his publications are The Faithful: A History of Catholics in America (Belknap Press, 2008) and Boston's Histories: Essays in Honor of Thomas H. O'Connor, co-edited with David Quigley (Northeastern University Press, 2004). Dr. O'Toole also served as Archivist, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, from 1978 to 1986.
  • Judy Huenneke (panelist), Senior Research Archivist, The Mary Baker Eddy Library.


Tuesday, March 31st
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Christian Science Publishing House
200 Massachusetts Avenue
3rd floor conference room

This program is free and no RSVP is required. If you have further questions, please contact Jonathon Eder at or 617-450-7131.