Social Gospel


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Social Gospel,

liberal movement within American Protestantism that attempted to apply biblical teachings to problems associated with industrialization. It took form during the latter half of the 19th cent. under the leadership of Washington GladdenGladden, Washington,
1836–1918, American clergyman, writer, and lecturer, b. Pottsgrove, Pa. He was pastor of the First Congregational Church, Columbus, Ohio, from 1882 until his death.
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 and Walter RauschenbuschRauschenbusch, Walter
, 1861–1918, American clergyman, b. Rochester, N.Y. In 1886 he was ordained and began work among German immigrants as pastor of the Second German Baptist Church in New York City. He studied (1891–92) economics and theology at the Univ.
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, who feared the isolation of religion from the working class. They believed in social progress and the essential goodness of humanity. The views of the Social Gospel movement were given formal expression in 1908 when the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America adopted what was later called "the social creed of the churches." Advocated in the creed were the abolition of child labor, better working conditions for women, one day off during the week, and the right of every worker to a living wage. With the rise of the organized labor movement in the early 20th cent. the Social Gospel movement lost much of its appeal as an independent force. However, many of its ideals were later embodied in the New Deal legislation of the 1930s.
References in classic literature ?
Hence, they reject all political, and especially all revolutionary,action; they wish to attain their ends by peaceful means, and endeavour,by small experiments, necessarily doomed to failure, and by the force of example, to pave the way for the new social Gospel.
The life and writings of Josiah Strong, Protestant minister and reformer, marked the beginning of the so-called social gospel in the U.
Luker (The Social Gospel in Black and White: American Racial Reform: 1885-1912), associate professor of history at Antioch College, and Penny A.
3) Moreover, Nugent includes the Social Gospel work of Walter Rauschenbusch and others as a wing of the Progressive Movement.
She tracks his evolution as an activist from Social Gospel minister to pacifist to labor agitator revealing a history of collaboration between progressive labor, liberals, and the left.
Surprisingly, given his adoption of religion as a core theme, Reynolds makes no mention of the impactful Social Gospel minister and activist Walter Rauschenbusch (or the Social Gospel, for that matter) or of Reinhold Niebhur, the influential theologian whose works, such as The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness, helped the nation "rediscover sin" in the early Cold War years.
Gordon's brand of activism was rooted in the social gospel movement, which swept through Protestant churches in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Gruending, raised a Catholic, thinks there are two basic types of religious people engaging in politics: the right-wing sort such as fundamentalist Alberta premier Ernest Manning (father of Preston), who felt that good Christians did not need government programs, and the progressive type such as Baptist pastor Tommy Douglas, who brought a social gospel to politics based on the belief that we are our brothers' keepers.
Less convincing is his foray into Social Gospel realism in the third chapter, where he seeks to link novels by Charles Sheldon and Albion Tourgee to a mass movement.
Those with even a passing knowledge of Bland may associate him with the social gospel and labour movements of the day.
As an antidote to this sanctifying of violence, Nakashima Brock and Parker turn to the social gospel movement of the 20th century, as exemplified by such figures as Walter Rauschenbusch and Martin Luther King Jr.
These sermons, from his last five years of parish ministry, represent the maturity of Coffin's thought and the culmination of 30 years of living and preaching the social gospel.