NewThoughtHistory.com

New Thought, Ancient Wisdom

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New Thought is a mind-healing movement that originated in the 19th-century United States. It has no one creed, but its fundamental teaching is that spirit is more real and more powerful than matter and that the mind has the power to heal the body.
Major groups within the New Thought movement include the Unity Church, Church of Religious Science, and Universal Foundation for Better Living

Many, but not all, New Thought groups are based in Christianity. New Thought is related to
Christian Science both historically and philosophically, but Christian Science is more organized and doctrinal than the New Thought movement. In addition, New Thought does not reject modern medicine.

The three major religious denominations within the New Thought movement are Religious Science, Unity Church and the Universal Foundation for Better Living. There are many other smaller churches within the New Thought movement, as well as schools and umbrella organizations. Check out the charts on the reference page for more info.

Books on New Thought:

Enter the name for this tabbed section: Early History
The "Movement of New Thought" does not get formalized until the 19th Century in the rich and fertile soil of American "New World" thinking. However long before this - there are many foundational thinkers and philosophers who prime the pump of the realm of consciousness and pave the way for New Thought.
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Jakob Böhme (1575 – 1624) was a German Christian mystic and theologian. He is considered an original thinker within the Lutheran tradition. His emphasis was on faith and self-awareness rather than strict adherence to dogma or scripture.
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Anton Mesmer

began the study of animal magnetism and the power of the sub-conscious mind. This work became known as hypnotism and eventually caught the attention of P.P. Quimby.
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Emanuel Swedenborg [1688-1772]
Swedish Scientist, Philosopher, Mystic
At age 65 begins spiritual quest to reveal the true nature of Christianity. He believed that Jesus freed himself from material boundaries and the bible is a map for everyman's freedom.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: 1800's
By the mid 1800's Swedenborg's mind expanding religious thoughts, mental healing methods and the transcendental movement's inquiry into nature and God began to swirl together in the intellectual circles throughout New England. The result was a uniquely American Renaissance that challenged the religious status quo on doctrine, explored the powers of the mind and empowered women and men alike to take charge of their destiny through the power of thought.
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Phineas P. Quimby (1802–66) is usually cited as the founder or earliest proponent of New Thought. A native of Portland, Maine, Quimby was a clockmaker with little traditional education but an inquiring mind. After observing the power of the mind to heal through hypnosis, suggestion and the placebo effect, Quimby began to practice mesmerism (hypnotism) and develop the view that illness is a matter of the mind. He opened an office for mentally aided healing in Portland, Maine in 1859.
Another figure considered a founder of New Thought is Emma Curtis Hopkins (1849-1925), a former student of Mary Baker Eddy. Inspired by the medieval mystic Joachim of Fiore, Hopkins viewed the Christian Trinity as three aspects of divinity, each playing a role in different historical epochs: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Mother-Spirit. Hopkins believed that the changing roles of women indicated the beginning of a new epoch—the reign of the Mother aspect of God. She wrote High Mysticism and Scientific Christian Mental Practice and founded the Emma Hopkins College of Metaphysical Science, where the vast majority of graduates were women.
Julius Dresser (1838–93) and his son Horatio Dresser (1866–1954) are usually considered the founders of New Thought as a named movement. Julius was a popular lecturer who emphasized the theories of Quimby, and his son Horatio spread the elder Dresser's teachings and later edited The Quimby Manuscripts (1921).
Enter the name for this tabbed section: 1900-1920's
In the early 1900's New Thought had officially become a fast growing movement. With Emma Curtis Hopkins in Chicago and Mary Baker Eddy in Boston, the movement spread like wild fire with Hopkins' seminary students fanning out across the country starting new works, independent ministries to whole denominations….
Numerous churches and groups developed within the New Thought movement. One of the oldest is Unity or the Unity Church, founded by the married couple Myrtle and Charles Fillmore in 1891. Myrtle Fillmore was frequently ill throughout her life and became very ill in 1886. She did not expect to get better, but after Charles and Myrtle attended a class taught by Dr. Eugene B. Weeks, Myrtle began praying with a new perspective. She said, "I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness."
Myrtle did get better. Charles was impressed by her recovery and began to study world religions, philosophy and the links between religion and science, and they both began to write about their beliefs and discoveries and hold meetings after church on Sundays. They published a magazine in 1889 and named the movement "Unity" in 1891. The Unity Church is the largest New Thought movement today, with about 600 Churches worldwide
Divine Science was also founded in the late 19th century. It is based on the teachings of Emma Hopkins, who had been a student of Mary Baker Eddy (founder of Christian Science). When Nona L. Brooks became ill with a severe throat illness, she was persuaded by a friend, who had been healed by Emma Hopkins, to attend a class. After several sessions with Hopkins, Brooks suddenly found herself healed. Another of Hopkins' students, Melinda Cramer, who had had a similar experience, met with Nona Brooks and together they initiated Divine Science. Ernest Holmes was Ordained by a Divine Science Church, however only a handful of Divine Science churches remain today.
Enter the name for this tabbed section: 1930-50's
pastedGraphicAnother major New Thought church, the United Church of Religious Science, was founded by Ernest Holmes in 1927. Holmes grew up in Maine and was the sort of person who never stopped asking questions. He never had any dramatic experiences, just an inquiring mind that became interested in the matters of the mind, healing and metaphysics. He was a great fan of Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose writings Holmes said "are like water to me." At school in Boston, several of his friends were Christian Scientists.
Holmes moved to Los Angeles where his brother had been living, and continued his reading and study. Like-minded friends began asking him to give talks, and he soon became a popular lecturer. The crowds grew, and the United Church of Religious Science was founded as a non-profit religious organization in 1927. Holmes had written Science of Mind, which remains the fundamental text of Religious Science, in 1926. In 1958, Holmes declared, "We have launched a Movement which, in the next 100 years, will be the great new religious impulsion of modern times."
Enter the name for this tabbed section: 1960-90's
COMING SOON….
Enter the name for this tabbed section: Current History
COMING SOON….

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