COURAGE, CONVICTION AND CONSCIOUSNESS  provides more than 365 inspirational messages from more than 100 Women of New Thought.  The book thereby offers glimpses into the spiritual core of those who took a leap of faith into a fresh spiritual journey of  joy and discovery in New Thought – and then sought to spread the Good Word in their own unique ways.  What you’ll therefore find within this loving volume are the voices of many of those who (along with their male counterparts) built and sustained the New Thought movement through its first 150 years.  Many of them will be known to you.  Some will at first appear somewhat less familiar.  All have messages of Truth to share that were written especially for you. 



In 1979 I was handed a book, The Game of Life and How To Play It, by a woman named Florence Scovel Shinn.  I devoured the information. It was the first time that I had seen, in writing, what I had believed all of my life.  It was the first time that someone was saying that I had a direct connect to Spirit and could create the life of my dreams. 

Shortly after that, I entered my first Religious Science community and was amazed that there were women ministers and teachers and that the classes referenced the teachings of great metaphysical women.  I never had heard of Emma Curtis Hopkins, Mary Baker Eddy or Malinda Cramer.  I was astounded to read their books and writings. It gave me such a wonderful feeling of being empowered.  It was also insightful to learn that Ernest Holmes, whose wisdom I loved, was taught by a woman called the “teacher of teachers.”

The religion of my childhood did not lift up women as teachers. In fact, women were not exalted as thought leaders, healers, and gifted philosophers.  My grandmother took me to see a woman named Kathryn Kuhlman, a faith healer, when I was quite young.  I loved her presence but it didn’t mean much because many people in my church considered her a fake.  It was many years later, when I was on a committed spiritual path that I realized what she was preaching from the stage was new thought wisdom.

As I grew I learned how many women have played incredible roles as prominent figures in religion. The mainstream audience is aware that there has been great intrigue about Esther, Ruth, Mary Magdalene, St. Claire of Assisi, Hildegard Von Bingen, Joan of Arc, St. Theresa of Avila and Mother Theresa. Each of these women was gifted at bringing the message of divinity in their own unique way. However, many New Thought women were as profound and prolific as those mentioned above.

C. Will Mercer has assembled a powerful book of writings and quotes from an extraordinary list of historical and contemporary New Thought women.  Courage, Conviction and Consciousness is a perfect title.  The women in this book are authors, teachers and healers.  Each woman’s writing invites the reader to explore different avenues of divine inspiration. Each teacher took a stand for her beliefs when it was not easy or accepted.  They were often misunderstood and pushed away for honoring their convictions.  Even so, they stood and encouraged us all to look within and discover the divinity that lives at the core of our being. 

I invite you to read this book from cover to cover. Use it as a daily guide to support your shifts, challenges and growth opportunities.  The wisdom in these pages will lift your spirits, invite you to contemplate more deeply and give you opportunities to dive deeper into the minds of amazing women. Enjoy!

Rev. Cynthia James,
Author, Speaker, Teacher
Mile Hi Church, Special Ministries
Denver, Colorado 


Some months ago, my editor presented me with a manuscript accompanied by a letter from its author inquiring if I would consider contributing a foreword to his soon-to-be published book.  The title piqued my immediate interest, but it was upon turning to the first page that I blurted out, “It’s about time!”  And indeed it is, because as the history of New Thought proves, it was its women teachers and students who, beginning in the 1800s, pioneered and grounded a movement that to this day impacts our post-modern spiritual and cultural landscape.

Most notable among them is Emma Curtis Hopkins, who was known to have been a feminist in her generation, as well having said that she and the women she ordained were messengers of “the new era of the Holy Mother Spirit.”  She also taught many suffragettes, including Ella Wheeler Wilcox who, in 1915, sold 50,000 copies of her booklet, What I Know About New Thought, which was published by Elizabeth Towne, president of the International New Thought Alliance in 1924. From Myrtle Fillmore and Nona Brooks to more contemporary teachers such as Johnnie Colemon and Mary Tumpkin, these visionary ministers and practitioners filled positions of leadership under the umbrella of New Thought including Mental Science, Divine Science, Unity, and Religious Science.

The women whose works are included and celebrated in this book were contributors not only to New Thought, but also to a new formation of selfhood for women, one that to this day affects political, social, spiritual, and economic reform.  Nowhere will you find such a comprehensive collection of Spirit-inspired writings by such extraordinary women as Dr. Will Mercer has brought together within these pages.

May you draw great inspiration, encouragement, and heartfelt enthusiasm to cultivate your own spiritual practice that this book offers as a teaching in how to live a life centered in Spirit, unconditional love, compassion, peace, creativity, wholeness and abundance in harmony with the laws governing the universe.

Michael Bernard Beckwith
Founder, Agape International Spiritual Center
Author of Spiritual Liberation and Life Visioning