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‘Mary Baker Eddy Mentioned Them’: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

From the June 2016 issue of The Christian Science Journal subscribers can listen to all the podcasts in this series, “Mary Baker Eddy Mentioned Them.” Visit

Anyone who has taken a calculus class has probably heard of philosopher, mathematician, and statesman Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Visitors to Paris may have encountered a street there named after him, the Rue Leibniz.

In her Message to The Mother Church for 1901, Mary Baker Eddy wrote: “Christian Science is more than two hundred years old. It dates beyond Socrates, Leibnitz, Berkeley, Darwin, or Huxley” (p. 24). She also mentions Leibniz in her pamphlet No and Yes, along with a collection of other well-known philosophers. For Mary Baker Eddy, philosophy, to be relevant to the needs of humanity, had to include healing, something she found mostly lacking in the philosophy of many philosophers, including Leibniz. She wrote in Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896 that Christian Science “is the soul of divine philosophy, and there is no other philosophy” (p. 364).

Leibniz did not detail his philosophy in one single work but rather presented his ideas in shorter manuscripts, notes, and letters, which he compiled throughout his life. Leibniz believed in a beneficent God who created the best possible world. He once wrote, “Everything that is possible demands to exist,” and in his philosophy everything consisted of an infinity of indivisible complete ideal concepts called monads. According to Leibniz, monads are “the true atoms of Nature—the elements out of which everything is made.”

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