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.
In the U.S., immigration has long been a social gospel as well a policy question; a balance of moral and practical considerations.
Du Bois and the Black Social Gospel. In that work, he looked the founders of the black social gospel movement, ministers like Reverdy C.
Gary Dorrien's profound book offers a new perspective in civil rights history by tracing the development of the black social gospel leading up to the emergence of Martin Luther King Jr.
Gilman became first a convert to the Social Gospel movement, then to outright Socialism, attending international party congresses and running repeatedly for public office.
The account of Rauschenbusch's long-term legacy begins in 1907 with the publication of Christianity and the Social Crisis, his powerfully argued proposal for churches to adopt a social gospel. This book was the culmination of twenty years of reflection while serving as minister and professor.
Du Bois and the Black Social Gospel. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018, pp.
This is by no means Christopher Evans's first foray into the history of the social gospel. His work on this subject includes a critically acclaimed biography of the father of the social gospel, Walter Rauschenbusch.
I agree that American Calvinism gave way after the Civil War to "the avuncular God of Social Gospel," whereupon Progressives undertook "political tinkering and social engineering" at home and (I argue) abroad.
But an "ethicized" Christianity, via the social gospel, is also fatal, as we figured out more than a hundred years ago.
Some sources make passing reference to something called "social gospel sociology" that was taught at a few Protestant denominational colleges early in the century, but historians of the discipline have not paid it detailed attention (Tomovic 1975; Hiller 1982: 8-11; Campbell 1983a; Helmes-Hayes 1985, 2003a; Shore 1987: 75-80; Brym 1989: 15-16; Valverde 1991: 54, 129; Christie and Gauvreau 1996: 75-6, 83-4, 89; Semple 1996: 274, 351, 375, 393; Cormier 1997).
Woods, and Florence Kelly, who were active in the social gospel and feminist pragmatist movements during the Progressive Era, from the 1890s to 1920.