New Thought

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New Thought,

popular philosophical movement with religious implications; it affirms "the creative power of constructive thinking." A successor of New England transcendentalismtranscendentalism
[Lat.,=overpassing], in literature, philosophical and literary movement that flourished in New England from about 1836 to 1860. It originated among a small group of intellectuals who were reacting against the orthodoxy of Calvinism and the rationalism of the
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, New Thought grew out of the healing practices of P. P. Quimby and the "mental science" of W. F. Evans, a Swedenborgian minister. From its initial emphasis on the healing of disease it developed into an intensely individualistic and optimistic philosophy of life and conduct. The name was adopted in the 1890s to indicate this broader interest. Annual national conventions were held from 1894, and in 1914 the International New Thought Alliance was formed, with branches in England, Australia, and elsewhere. Composed of many smaller groups, such as Divine Science, UnityUnity,
religious movement incorporated as the Unity School of Christianity, with headquarters at Lee's Summit, Mo. Although the movement used the name Unity after 1891, it was founded earlier by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore as a spiritual healing movement, with affinity to
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 (until 1922), and Home of Truth, the alliance is held together by one central teaching, namely, that people through the constructive use of their minds can attain freedom, power, health, prosperity, and all good, molding their bodies as well as the circumstances of their lives. The doctrine was widely popularized by such writers as O. S. Marden and Ralph Waldo Trine, especially in the latter's In Tune with the Infinite (1897). Beyond this unifying principle of the constructive power of the mind and the prevailing optimism of the movement, there are a great variety of diverse and often mutually contradictory ideas in New Thought. Individual New Thought leaders have employed concepts from every variety of idealistic, spiritualistic, pantheistic, kabbalistic, and theosophical thought, as well as from Christianity. There are also frequent overtones of the mystical and occult in New Thought literature.


See H. W. Dresser, A History of the New Thought Movement (1919); C. S. Braden, Spirits in Rebellion: The Rise and Development of New Thought (1963); M. A. Larson, New Thought or a Modern Religious Approach (1985).

References in classic literature ?
No truth so sublime but it may be trivial to-morrow in the light of new thoughts.
The poet did not stop at the color or the form, but read their meaning; neither may he rest in this meaning, but he makes the same objects exponents of his new thought.
He sat by the corpse thinking; thinking very actively, thinking very new thoughts.
But he was too perplexed with the new thoughts she had put into his head to take advantage of the situation.
He wished to be alone with some new thoughts that had lately come to him.
Amid his new thoughts and ideas there came, once or twice, the image of Nastasia Philipovna.
New Thought Unity Center of Cincinnati is considered one of the greatest rooms for sound healing in the U.
Out of that freedom of expression came the New Thought movement, a uniquely American tradition started in the mid-1800s.
The city absolutely has taken a lead on a progressive new thought, which is involving teens in the decisions that most affect them,'' Johnstone said.
Beryl Satter, Each Mind a Kingdom: American Women, Sexual Purity, and the New Thought Movement, 1875-1920 (U of California P, 1999), 382 pp.
Have you ever heard of an idea that sounded crazy at first, but within 10 minutes you're convinced it's the best new thought you've come across in years?
Author Sherry Evans applys her years of study in Astronomy, Physics, and Philosophy to The Roads To Truth: In Search of New Thought's Roots, a serious treatise concerning the nature of New Thought.