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New Thought Movement

The New Thought Movement describes a set of religious developments that occurred in the United States during the late 19th century. From this movement emerged several religious denominations that remain active today, including Divine Science, Religious Science, and the Unity Church. Although Christian Science has some historical connections to the New Thought movement, it developed in a different direction and is not considered a New Thought denomination.

New Thought religions generally share a belief in the universal presence of God within the world and within all people, and place great emphasis in positive thinking, affirmations, meditation, and prayer. New Thought churches often avoid dogmatic pronouncements about the afterlife or other theological questions, and vary in the degree to which they associate themselves with Christianity. Although New Thought Churches are often identified with the New Age movement, New Thought beliefs predate contemporary New Age thinking by nearly a century.


The following individuals figured prominently in the history of the New Thought Movement:

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