History of New Thought

Forefathers of the New Thought Movement


Phineas Parkhurt Quimby
(February 16, 1802 – January 16, 1866) was an American spiritual teacher. Quimby was a philosopher, magnetizer, mesmerist, healer, and inventor, who resided in Belfast, Maine. Quimby’s work is widely recognized as leading to the New Thought movement.


Ralph Waldo Emerson
(May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid- 19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of transcendentalism in his 1836 essay “Nature”.


Mary Baker Eddy
(July 16, 1821 – December 3, 1910) was the founder of Christian Science, a new religious movement in the United States in the latter half of the 19th century.Eddy wrote the movement’s textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (first published 1875) and founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879. She also founded the Christian Science Publishing Society (1898), which continues to publish a number of periodicals, including The Christian Science Monitor (founded in 1908).


Thomas Troward
(1847–1916) was an English author whose works influenced the New Thought Movement and mystic Christianity.  He was a divisional Judge in British-administered India. His avocation was the study of comparative religion.


Emma Curtis Hopkins
(September 2, 1849–April 8, 1925) was an American spiritual author and leader. She was involved in organizing the New Thought movement and was a primary theologian, teacher, writer, feminist, mystic, and prophet who ordained hundreds of people, including women, at what she named (with no tie to Christian Science) the Christian Science Theological Seminary of Chicago. Emma Curtis Hopkins was called the “teacher of teachers” because a number of her students went on to found their own churches or to become prominent in the New Thought Movement.


Malinda Cramer
(February 12, 1844 – August 2, 1906) was a founder of the Church of Divine Science, a healer, and an important figure in the early New Thought movement.  In 1887, she began to practice faith-healing herself. In October 1888, Cramer inaugurated Harmony, a monthly journal. In May 1888, she and her husband opened what would become the Home College of Divine Science.


Charles Sherlock Fillmore
(August 22, 1854 – July 5, 1948) founded Unity, a church within the New Thought movement, with his wife, Myrtle Page Fillmore, in 1889. He became known as an American mystic for his contributions to spiritualist interpretations of biblical Scripture.


Mary Caroline “Myrtle” Page Fillmore
(August 6, 1845 – October 6, 1931) was the co-founder of Unity, a church within the New Thought Christian movement, along with her husband Charles Fillmore. Prior to that time, she worked as a schoolteacher.


Ernest Holmes
(January 21, 1887 – April 7, 1960) was an American New Thought writer, teacher, and leader. He was the founder of a Spiritual movement known as Religious Science, a part of the greater New Thought movement, whose spiritual philosophy is known as “The Science of Mind.” He was the author of The Science of Mind and numerous other metaphysical books, and the founder of Science of Mind magazine, in continuous publication since 1927.





Ernest Holmes’s New Thought Map

Unity New Thought Map

Divine Science New Thought Map

Centers for Spiritual Living New Thought Map




Spread the love and share with your friends: