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Social Gospel

The Social Gospel was a social movement within Protestantism that applied Christian ethics to social problems, especially issues of social justice such as economic inequality, poverty, alcoholism, crime, racial tensions, slums, unclean environment, child labor, lack of unionization, poor schools, and the dangers of war. It was most prominent in the early-20th-century United States and Canada. Theologically, the Social Gospelers sought to put into practice the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:10): "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". They typically were postmillennialist; that is, they believed the Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort. The Social Gospel was more popular among clergy than laity. Its leaders were predominantly associated with the liberal wing of the progressive movement, and most were theologically liberal, although a few were also conservative when it came to their views on social issues. Important leaders included Richard T. Ely, Josiah Strong, Washington Gladden, and Walter Rauschenbusch.

Contents

The term Social Gospel was first used by Charles Oliver Brown in reference to Henry George's 1879 treatise, Progress and Poverty, which sparked the single tax movement.

The Social Gospel affected much of Protestant America. The Presbyterians described their goals in 1910 by proclaiming:

The great ends of the church are the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind; the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God; the maintenance of divine worship; the preservation of truth; the promotion of social righteousness; and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.

In the late 19th century, many Protestants were disgusted by the poverty level and the low quality of living in the slums. The social gospel movement provided a religious rationale for action to address those concerns. Activists in the Social Gospel movement hoped that by public health measures as well as enforced schooling the poor could develop talents and skills, the quality of their moral lives would begin to improve. Important concerns of the Social Gospel movement were labor reforms such as abolishing child labor and regulating the hours of work by mothers. By 1920 they were crusading against the 12-hour day for workers at US Steel.

Washington Gladden

Washington Gladden (1836–1918) was an American clergyman. His words and actions earned him the title of "a pioneer" of the Social Gospel even before the term came into use. Gladden spoke up for workers and their right to organize unions.

For Gladden, the "Christian law covers every relation of life" including the relationship between employers and their employees. His 1877 book The Christian Way: Whither It Leads and How to Go On was his first national call for such a universal application of Christian values in everyday life. The book began his leadership in the Social Gospel movement. Historians consider Gladden to be one of the Social Gospel movement's "founding fathers".

In the 20th century, the mantle of leadership was passed to Walter Rauschenbusch.

Walter Rauschenbusch (1861–1918)

Another of the defining theologians for the Social Gospel movement was Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor of the Second German Baptist Church in “Hell's Kitchen”, New York.

In 1892, Rauschenbusch and several other leading writers and advocates of the Social Gospel formed a group called the Brotherhood of the Kingdom. Pastors and leaders will join the organization to debate and implement the social gospel.

In 1907, he published the book Christianity and the Social Crisis which would influence the actions of several actors of the social gospel. His work may be "the finest distillation of social gospel thought." Rauschenbusch railed against what he regarded as the selfishness of capitalism and promoted instead a form of Christian socialism that supported the creation of labor unions and cooperative economics.

A Theology for the Social Gospel (1917)

The social gospel movement was not a unified and well-focused movement, for it contained members who disagreed with the conclusions of others within the movement. Rauschenbusch stated that the movement needed "a theology to make it effective" and likewise, "theology needs the social gospel to vitalize it." In A Theology for the Social Gospel (1917), Rauschenbusch takes up the task of creating "a systematic theology large enough to match [our social gospel] and vital enough to back it." He believed that the social gospel would be "a permanent addition to our spiritual outlook and that its arrival constitutes a state in the development of the Christian religion", and thus a systematic tool for using it was necessary.

In A Theology for the Social Gospel, Rauschenbusch states that the individualistic gospel has made sinfulness of the individual clear, but it has not shed light on institutionalized sinfulness: "It has not evoked faith in the will and power of God to redeem the permanent institutions of human society from their inherited guilt of oppression and extortion." This ideology would be inherited by liberation theologians and civil rights advocates and leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.

The "Kingdom of God" is crucial to Rauschenbusch's proposed theology of the social gospel. He states that the ideology and doctrine of "the Kingdom of God," of which Jesus Christ reportedly "always spoke" has been gradually replaced by that of the Church. This was done at first by the early church out of what appeared to be necessity, but Rauschenbusch calls Christians to return to the doctrine of "the Kingdom of God." Of course, such a replacement has cost theology and Christians at large a great deal: the way we view Jesus and the synoptic gospels, the ethical principles of Jesus, and worship rituals have all been affected by this replacement. In promoting a return to the doctrine of the "Kingdom of God", he clarified that the "Kingdom of God": is not subject to the pitfalls of the Church; it can test and correct the Church; is a prophetic, future-focused ideology and a revolutionary, social and political force that understands all creation to be sacred; and it can help save the problematic, sinful social order.

In this book, he explains that Christians must be like the Almighty who became man in Jesus Christ, who was with everyone equally and considered people as a subject of love and service.

Settlement movement

Main article: Settlement movement

Many reformers inspired by the movement opened settlement houses, most notably Hull House in Chicago operated by Jane Addams. They helped the poor and immigrants improve their lives. Settlement houses offered services such as daycare, education, and health care to needy people in slum neighborhoods. The YMCA was created originally to help rural youth adjust to the city without losing their religious faith, but by the 1890s became a powerful instrument of the Social Gospel. Nearly all the denominations (including Catholics) engaged in foreign missions, which often had a social gospel component in terms especially of medical uplift. The Black denominations, especially the African Methodist Episcopal church (AME) and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church (AMEZ), had active programs in support of the Social Gospel. Both evangelical ("pietistic") and liturgical ("high church") elements supported the Social Gospel, although only the pietists were active in promoting Prohibition.

Progressives

In the United States prior to the First World War, the Social Gospel was the religious wing of the progressive movement which had the aim of combating injustice, suffering and poverty in society. Denver, Colorado, was a center of Social Gospel activism. Thomas Uzzel led the Methodist People's Tabernacle from 1885 to 1910. He established a free dispensary for medical emergencies, an employment bureau for job seekers, a summer camp for children, night schools for extended learning, and English language classes for immigrants. Myron Reed of the First Congregational Church became a spokesman, 1884 to 1894 for labor unions on issues such as worker's compensation. His middle-class congregation encouraged Reed to move on when he became a socialist, and he organized a nondenominational church. The Baptist minister Jim Goodhart set up an employment bureau, and provided food and lodging for tramps and hobos at the mission he ran. He became city chaplain and director of public welfare of Denver in 1918. Besides these Protestants, Reform Jews and Catholics helped build Denver's social welfare system in the early 20th century.

Mark A. Matthews (1867–1940) of Seattle's First Presbyterian Church was a leading city reformer, who investigated red light districts and crime scenes, denouncing corrupt politicians, businessmen, and saloon keepers. With 10,000 members, his was the largest Presbyterian Church in the country, and he was selected the national moderator in 1912. He built a model church, with night schools, unemployment bureaus, kindergarten, an anti-tuberculosis clinic, and the nation's first church-owned radio station. Matthews was the most influential clergymen in the Pacific Northwest, and one of the most active Social Gospelers in America.

The American South had its own version of the Social Gospel, focusing especially on Prohibition. Other reforms included protecting young wage-earning women from the sex trade, outlawing public swearing, boxing, dogfights and similar affronts to their moral sensibilities. The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, took on new responsibilities with the enlargement and professionalization of missionary women's roles starting in 1886 with the Southern Methodist Woman’s Parsonage and Home Mission Society. By 1900, says historian Edward Ayers, the white Baptists, although they were the most conservative of all the denominations in the South, became steadily more concerned with social issues, taking stands on "temperance, gambling, illegal corruption, public morality, orphans and the elderly."

New Deal

During the New Deal of the 1930s, Social Gospel themes could be seen in the work of Harry Hopkins, Will Alexander, and Mary McLeod Bethune, who added a new concern with African Americans. After 1940, the movement lessened, but it was invigorated in the 1950s by black leaders like Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.[citation needed] After 1980, it weakened again as a major force inside mainstream churches; indeed, those churches were losing strength.[citation needed]

Examples of the Social Gospel's continued influence can still be found in Jim Wallis's Sojourners organization's Call to Renewal and more local organizations like the Virginia Interfaith Center.[citation needed] Another modern example can be found in the work of John Steinbruck, senior pastor of Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, DC, from 1970 to 1997, who was an articulate and passionate preacher of the Social Gospel and a leading voice locally and nationally for the homeless, Central American refugees, and victims of persecution and prejudice.

Social Gospel and Labor Movements

Because the Social Gospel was primarily concerned with the day-to-day life of laypeople, one of the ways in which it made its message heard was through labor movements. Particularly, the Social Gospel had a profound effect upon the American Federation of Labor (AFL). The AFL began a movement called Labor Forward, which was a pro-Christian group who "preached unionization like a revival." In Philadelphia, this movement was counteracted by bringing revivalist Billy Sunday, himself firmly anti-union, who believed "that the organized shops destroyed individual freedom."

Legacy of the Social Gospel

The Social Gospel movement peaked in the early 20th century, but scholars debate over when the movement began to decline, with some asserting that the destruction and trauma caused by the First World War left many disillusioned with the Social Gospel's ideals while others argue that the war stimulated the Social Gospelers' reform efforts. Theories regarding the decline of the Social Gospel after the First World War often cite the rise of neo-orthodoxy as a contributing factor in the movement's decline.

While the Social Gospel was short-lived historically, it had a lasting impact on the policies of most of the mainline denominations in the United States. Most began programs for social reform, which led to ecumenical cooperation in 1910 while in the formation of the Federal Council of Churches. Although this cooperation was about social issues that often led to charges of socialism. It is likely that the Social Gospel's strong sense of leadership by the people led to women's suffrage, and that the emphasis it placed on morality led to prohibition. Biographer Randall Woods argues that Social Gospel themes learned from childhood allowed Lyndon B. Johnson to transform social problems into moral problems. This helps explain his longtime commitment to social justice, as exemplified by the Great Society and his commitment to racial equality. The Social Gospel explicitly inspired his foreign-policy approach to a sort of Christian internationalism and nation building.

The Social Gospel Movement has been described as "the most distinctive American contribution to world Christianity."

The Social Gospel, after 1945, influenced the formation of Christian democracy political ideology among Protestants and Catholics in Europe. Many of the Social Gospel's ideas also reappeared in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. "Social Gospel" principles continue to inspire newer movements such as Christians Against Poverty.

Reinhold Niebuhr has argued that the 20th century history of Western democracies has not vindicated the optimistic view of human nature which the social gospelers shared with the Enlightenment. Labor historians argue that the movement had little influence on the labor movement, and attribute that failure to professional elitism and a lack of understanding of the collective nature of the movement. Labor did not reject social gospellers because they were unaware of them but, rather, because their tactics and ideas were considered inadequate.

The Cooperative Commonwealth Federation, a political party that was later reformulated as the New Democratic Party, was founded on social gospel principles in the 1930s by J. S. Woodsworth, a Methodist minister, and Alberta MP William Irvine. Woodsworth wrote extensively about the social gospel from experiences gained while working with immigrant slum dwellers in Winnipeg from 1904 to 1913. His writings called for the Kingdom of God "here and now". This political party took power in the province of Saskatchewan in 1944. This group, led by Tommy Douglas, a Baptist minister, introduced universal medicare, family allowance and old age pensions. This political party has since largely lost its religious basis, and became a secular social democratic party. The Social Service Council (SSC) was the "reforming arm of Protestantism in Canada", and promoted idea of the social gospel. Under the "aggressive leadership of Charlotte Whitton", the Canadian Council of Child Welfare, opposed "a widening of social security protection..." and "continued to impede the implementation of provincial mothers' pensions", instead pressing for the "traditional private charity" model. Charlotte Whitton argued that children should be removed from their homes "instead of paying money to needy parents" Charlotte Whitton, as Christie and Gauvreau point out, was also a member of the SSC, The SSC's mandate included the "intensive Christian conquest of Canada".

The Social Gospel was a significant influence in the formation of the People's Church in Brandon, Manitoba, in 1919. Started by Methodist minister A. E. Smith, the People's Church attempted to provide an alternative to the traditional church, which Smith viewed as unconcerned with social issues. In his autobiography All My Life Smith describes his last sermon before starting the People's Church, saying "The Church was afraid it might give offense to the rich and powerful." The People's Church was successful for a time, with People's Churches founded in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, and Calgary. In Winnipeg, Methodist minister and Social Gospeler William Ivens started another workers church, the "Labor Church," in 1918. Both Smith and Ivens tried to take leaves of absence from their Methodist ministries, which were initially granted. Upon a decision to bring all such special cases before the Methodist Stationing Committee, however, the decisions were rescinded.

The Social Gospel theme is reflected in the novels In His Steps (1897) and The Reformer (1902) by the Congregational minister Charles Sheldon, who coined the motto "What would Jesus do?" In his personal life, Sheldon was committed to Christian socialism and identified strongly with the Social Gospel movement. Walter Rauschenbusch, one of the leading early theologians of the Social Gospel in the United States, indicated that his theology had been inspired by Sheldon's novels.

Members of the Brotherhood of the Kingdom produced many of the written works that defined the theology of the Social Gospel movement and gave it public prominence. These included Walter Rauschenbusch's Christianity and the Social Crisis (1907) and Christianizing the Social Order (1912), as well as Samuel Zane Batten's The New Citizenship (1898) and The Social Task of Christianity (1911).

In the United States, the Social Gospel is still influential in liberal Protestantism. Social Gospel elements can also be found in many service and relief agencies associated with Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church in the United States. It also remains influential among Christian socialist circles in Britain in the Church of England, and Methodist and Calvinist movements.

  1. They rejected premillennialist theology. which held the Second Coming of Christ was imminent, and Christians should devote their energies to preparing for it rather than addressing the issue of social evils.
  2. John Witte Jr. wrote:

    Concurrent with this missionary movement in Africa, both Protestant and Catholic political activists helped to restore democracy to war-torn Europe and extend it overseas. Protestant political activism emerged principally in England, the Lowlands, and Scandinavia under the inspiration of both social gospel movements and neo-Calvinism. Catholic political activism emerged principally in Italy, France, and Spain under the inspiration of both Rerum Novarum and its early progeny and of neo-Thomism. Both formed political parties, which now fall under the general egis of the Christian Democratic Party movement.

    Both Protestant and Catholic parties inveighed against the reductionist extremes and social failures of liberal democracies and social democracies. Liberal democracies, they believed, had sacrificed the community for the individual; social democracies had sacrificed the individual for the community. Both parties returned to a traditional Christian teaching of "social pluralism" or "subsidiarity," which stressed the dependence and participation of the individual in family, church, school, business, and other associations. Both parties stressed the responsibility of the state to respect and protect the "individual in community."

  1. Tichi 2009, pp. 206, 220–221.
  2. Gill 2011, p. 33.
  3. Ahlstrom 1974; White 1990.
  4. Muller 1959.
  5. Marty 1986, p. 286.
  6. Rogers & Blade 1998, pp. 181, 183.
  7. Byers 1998, pp. 356–357.
  8. Gladden 1909, pp. 252, 292.
  9. Sklar 2005, p. 105.
  10. "Biography". Washington Gladden Society. Retrieved24 July 2018.
  11. Alexandra Kindell, Elizabeth S. Demers Ph.D., Encyclopedia of Populism in America: A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, US, 2014, p. 594
  12. Donald K. Gorrell, The age of social responsibility: the social gospel in the progressive era, 1900–1920, Mercer University Press, US, 1988, p. 18
  13. Hans Schwarz, Theology in a Global Context: The Last Two Hundred Years, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, US, 2005, p. 145
  14. Christopher H. Evans, The Social Gospel in American Religion: A History, NYU Press, US, 2017, p. 78
  15. Shepherd 2007, p. 739.
  16. Kutler 2003.
  17. Kee et al. 1998, p. 478.
  18. Rauschenbusch 1917, p. 1.
  19. Rauschenbusch 1917, p. 2.
  20. Rauschenbusch 1917, p. 5.
  21. Rauschenbusch 1917, p. 131.
  22. Rauschenbusch 1917, p. 132.
  23. Rauschenbusch 1917, pp. 133–134.
  24. Rauschenbusch 1917, pp. 134–137.
  25. Susan Curtis, A Consuming Faith: The Social Gospel and Modern American Culture, University of Missouri Press, US, 2001, p. 111
  26. Hopkins 1940.
  27. Luker 1991.
  28. Marty 1986.
  29. Bonner 2004, p. 370.
  30. Russell 1979.
  31. Tatum, Noreen Dunn (1960). A Crown of Service: A story of women's work in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, from 1878–1940. Nashville, TN: Parthenon Press.
  32. Ayers 1992, p. 170.
  33. Kee et al. 1998, pp. 479–480.
  34. Handy 1966; White & Hopkins 1975.
  35. Visser 't Hooft 1928.
  36. Ahlstrom 1974; Handy 1966; Hopkins 1940; White & Hopkins 1975.
  37. Woods 2006, pp. 27, 430, 465–466, 486.
  38. Witte 1993, p. 9.
  39. Evans 2001, p. 149.
  40. Reinhold Niebuhr, "Walter Rauschenbusch in historical perspective." Religion in Life (1958) 27#4 pp. 527–536.
  41. John R. Aiken, and James R. McDonnell, "Walter Rauschenbusch and labor reform: A social Gospeller's approach." Labor History 11.2 (1970): 131–150.
  42. "A Brief History of the NDP". Retrieved14 October 2009.[permanent dead link]
  43. Mooney 2006.
  44. Guest 1997, p. 70.
  45. Guest 1997, p. 59.
  46. Carniol 2005, p. 45.
  47. Christie & Gauvreau 2001, p. 124.
  48. Christie & Gauvreau 2001, p. 214.
  49. Smith 1949, p. 60.
  50. Mitchell 1994, pp. 129–143.
  51. Goldsborough, Gordon (2018). "Memorable Manitobans: William 'Bill' Ivens (1878–1957)". Winnipeg, Manitoba: Manitoba Historical Society. Retrieved24 July 2018.
  52. J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedia of Protestantism, Infobase Publishing, USA, 2005, p. 500
  53. Mark Juergensmeyer, Wade Clark Roof, Encyclopedia of Global Religion, Volume 1, Sage, US, 2012, pp. 704–705
  54. Christopher H. Evans, The Social Gospel in American Religion: A History, NYU Press, US, 2017, p. 202
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Social Gospel
Social Gospel Language Watch Edit 160 160 Redirected from Social gospel The Social Gospel was a social movement within Protestantism that applied Christian ethics to social problems especially issues of social justice such as economic inequality poverty alcoholism crime racial tensions slums unclean environment child labor lack of unionization poor schools and the dangers of war It was most prominent in the early 20th century United States and Canada Theologically the Social Gospelers sought to put into practice the Lord s Prayer Matthew 6 10 Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven 1 They typically were postmillennialist that is they believed the Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort a The Social Gospel was more popular among clergy than laity 2 Its leaders were predominantly associated with the liberal wing of the progressive movement and most were theologically liberal although a few were also conservative when it came to their views on social issues 3 Important leaders included Richard T Ely Josiah Strong Washington Gladden and Walter Rauschenbusch 4 Contents 1 History 1 1 Washington Gladden 1 2 Walter Rauschenbusch 1861 1918 1 2 1 A Theology for the Social Gospel 1917 1 3 Settlement movement 1 4 Progressives 1 5 New Deal 1 6 Social Gospel and Labor Movements 1 7 Legacy of the Social Gospel 2 Canada 3 In literature 4 The twenty first century 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 Further readingHistory EditThe term Social Gospel was first used by Charles Oliver Brown in reference to Henry George s 1879 treatise Progress and Poverty 5 which sparked the single tax movement The Social Gospel affected much of Protestant America The Presbyterians described their goals in 1910 by proclaiming The great ends of the church are the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind the shelter nurture and spiritual fellowship of the children of God the maintenance of divine worship the preservation of truth the promotion of social righteousness and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world 6 In the late 19th century many Protestants were disgusted by the poverty level and the low quality of living in the slums The social gospel movement provided a religious rationale for action to address those concerns Activists in the Social Gospel movement hoped that by public health measures as well as enforced schooling the poor could develop talents and skills the quality of their moral lives would begin to improve Important concerns of the Social Gospel movement were labor reforms such as abolishing child labor and regulating the hours of work by mothers By 1920 they were crusading against the 12 hour day for workers at US Steel Washington Gladden Edit Washington Gladden 1836 1918 was an American clergyman His words and actions earned him the title of a pioneer of the Social Gospel even before the term came into use Gladden spoke up for workers and their right to organize unions 7 For Gladden the Christian law covers every relation of life including the relationship between employers and their employees 8 His 1877 book The Christian Way Whither It Leads and How to Go On was his first national call for such a universal application of Christian values in everyday life The book began his leadership in the Social Gospel movement 9 Historians consider Gladden to be one of the Social Gospel movement s founding fathers 10 In the 20th century the mantle of leadership was passed to Walter Rauschenbusch Walter Rauschenbusch 1861 1918 Edit Another of the defining theologians for the Social Gospel movement was Walter Rauschenbusch a Baptist pastor of the Second German Baptist Church in Hell s Kitchen New York 11 In 1892 Rauschenbusch and several other leading writers and advocates of the Social Gospel formed a group called the Brotherhood of the Kingdom 12 Pastors and leaders will join the organization to debate and implement the social gospel 13 In 1907 he published the book Christianity and the Social Crisis which would influence the actions of several actors of the social gospel 14 His work may be the finest distillation of social gospel thought 15 Rauschenbusch railed against what he regarded as the selfishness of capitalism and promoted instead a form of Christian socialism that supported the creation of labor unions and cooperative economics 16 A Theology for the Social Gospel 1917 Edit The social gospel movement was not a unified and well focused movement for it contained members who disagreed with the conclusions of others within the movement 17 Rauschenbusch stated that the movement needed a theology to make it effective and likewise theology needs the social gospel to vitalize it 18 In A Theology for the Social Gospel 1917 Rauschenbusch takes up the task of creating a systematic theology large enough to match our social gospel and vital enough to back it 18 He believed that the social gospel would be a permanent addition to our spiritual outlook and that its arrival constitutes a state in the development of the Christian religion 19 and thus a systematic tool for using it was necessary In A Theology for the Social Gospel Rauschenbusch states that the individualistic gospel has made sinfulness of the individual clear but it has not shed light on institutionalized sinfulness It has not evoked faith in the will and power of God to redeem the permanent institutions of human society from their inherited guilt of oppression and extortion 20 This ideology would be inherited by liberation theologians and civil rights advocates and leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr The Kingdom of God is crucial to Rauschenbusch s proposed theology of the social gospel He states that the ideology and doctrine of the Kingdom of God of which Jesus Christ reportedly always spoke 21 has been gradually replaced by that of the Church This was done at first by the early church out of what appeared to be necessity but Rauschenbusch calls Christians to return to the doctrine of the Kingdom of God 22 Of course such a replacement has cost theology and Christians at large a great deal the way we view Jesus and the synoptic gospels the ethical principles of Jesus and worship rituals have all been affected by this replacement 23 In promoting a return to the doctrine of the Kingdom of God he clarified that the Kingdom of God is not subject to the pitfalls of the Church it can test and correct the Church is a prophetic future focused ideology and a revolutionary social and political force that understands all creation to be sacred and it can help save the problematic sinful social order 24 In this book he explains that Christians must be like the Almighty who became man in Jesus Christ who was with everyone equally and considered people as a subject of love and service 25 Settlement movement Edit Main article Settlement movement Many reformers inspired by the movement opened settlement houses most notably Hull House in Chicago operated by Jane Addams They helped the poor and immigrants improve their lives Settlement houses offered services such as daycare education and health care to needy people in slum neighborhoods The YMCA was created originally to help rural youth adjust to the city without losing their religious faith but by the 1890s became a powerful instrument of the Social Gospel 26 Nearly all the denominations including Catholics engaged in foreign missions which often had a social gospel component in terms especially of medical uplift The Black denominations especially the African Methodist Episcopal church AME and the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church AMEZ had active programs in support of the Social Gospel 27 Both evangelical pietistic and liturgical high church elements supported the Social Gospel although only the pietists were active in promoting Prohibition 28 Progressives Edit In the United States prior to the First World War the Social Gospel was the religious wing of the progressive movement which had the aim of combating injustice suffering and poverty in society Denver Colorado was a center of Social Gospel activism Thomas Uzzel led the Methodist People s Tabernacle from 1885 to 1910 He established a free dispensary for medical emergencies an employment bureau for job seekers a summer camp for children night schools for extended learning and English language classes for immigrants Myron Reed of the First Congregational Church became a spokesman 1884 to 1894 for labor unions on issues such as worker s compensation His middle class congregation encouraged Reed to move on when he became a socialist and he organized a nondenominational church The Baptist minister Jim Goodhart set up an employment bureau and provided food and lodging for tramps and hobos at the mission he ran He became city chaplain and director of public welfare of Denver in 1918 Besides these Protestants Reform Jews and Catholics helped build Denver s social welfare system in the early 20th century 29 Mark A Matthews 1867 1940 of Seattle s First Presbyterian Church was a leading city reformer who investigated red light districts and crime scenes denouncing corrupt politicians businessmen and saloon keepers With 10 000 members his was the largest Presbyterian Church in the country and he was selected the national moderator in 1912 He built a model church with night schools unemployment bureaus kindergarten an anti tuberculosis clinic and the nation s first church owned radio station Matthews was the most influential clergymen in the Pacific Northwest and one of the most active Social Gospelers in America 30 The American South had its own version of the Social Gospel focusing especially on Prohibition Other reforms included protecting young wage earning women from the sex trade outlawing public swearing boxing dogfights and similar affronts to their moral sensibilities The Methodist Episcopal Church South took on new responsibilities with the enlargement and professionalization of missionary women s roles starting in 1886 with the Southern Methodist Woman s Parsonage and Home Mission Society 31 By 1900 says historian Edward Ayers the white Baptists although they were the most conservative of all the denominations in the South became steadily more concerned with social issues taking stands on temperance gambling illegal corruption public morality orphans and the elderly 32 New Deal Edit During the New Deal of the 1930s Social Gospel themes could be seen in the work of Harry Hopkins Will Alexander and Mary McLeod Bethune who added a new concern with African Americans After 1940 the movement lessened but it was invigorated in the 1950s by black leaders like Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement citation needed After 1980 it weakened again as a major force inside mainstream churches indeed those churches were losing strength citation needed Examples of the Social Gospel s continued influence can still be found in Jim Wallis s Sojourners organization s Call to Renewal and more local organizations like the Virginia Interfaith Center citation needed Another modern example can be found in the work of John Steinbruck senior pastor of Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington DC from 1970 to 1997 who was an articulate and passionate preacher of the Social Gospel and a leading voice locally and nationally for the homeless Central American refugees and victims of persecution and prejudice Social Gospel and Labor Movements Edit Because the Social Gospel was primarily concerned with the day to day life of laypeople one of the ways in which it made its message heard was through labor movements Particularly the Social Gospel had a profound effect upon the American Federation of Labor AFL The AFL began a movement called Labor Forward which was a pro Christian group who preached unionization like a revival 33 In Philadelphia this movement was counteracted by bringing revivalist Billy Sunday himself firmly anti union who believed that the organized shops destroyed individual freedom 33 Legacy of the Social Gospel Edit The Social Gospel movement peaked in the early 20th century but scholars debate over when the movement began to decline with some asserting that the destruction and trauma caused by the First World War left many disillusioned with the Social Gospel s ideals 34 while others argue that the war stimulated the Social Gospelers reform efforts 35 Theories regarding the decline of the Social Gospel after the First World War often cite the rise of neo orthodoxy as a contributing factor in the movement s decline 36 While the Social Gospel was short lived historically it had a lasting impact on the policies of most of the mainline denominations in the United States Most began programs for social reform which led to ecumenical cooperation in 1910 while in the formation of the Federal Council of Churches Although this cooperation was about social issues that often led to charges of socialism 33 It is likely that the Social Gospel s strong sense of leadership by the people led to women s suffrage and that the emphasis it placed on morality led to prohibition 33 Biographer Randall Woods argues that Social Gospel themes learned from childhood allowed Lyndon B Johnson to transform social problems into moral problems This helps explain his longtime commitment to social justice as exemplified by the Great Society and his commitment to racial equality The Social Gospel explicitly inspired his foreign policy approach to a sort of Christian internationalism and nation building 37 The Social Gospel Movement has been described as the most distinctive American contribution to world Christianity 10 The Social Gospel after 1945 influenced the formation of Christian democracy political ideology among Protestants and Catholics in Europe 38 b Many of the Social Gospel s ideas also reappeared in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s Social Gospel principles continue to inspire newer movements such as Christians Against Poverty 39 Reinhold Niebuhr has argued that the 20th century history of Western democracies has not vindicated the optimistic view of human nature which the social gospelers shared with the Enlightenment 40 Labor historians argue that the movement had little influence on the labor movement and attribute that failure to professional elitism and a lack of understanding of the collective nature of the movement Labor did not reject social gospellers because they were unaware of them but rather because their tactics and ideas were considered inadequate 41 Canada EditThe Cooperative Commonwealth Federation a political party that was later reformulated as the New Democratic Party was founded on social gospel principles in the 1930s by J S Woodsworth a Methodist minister and Alberta MP William Irvine Woodsworth wrote extensively about the social gospel from experiences gained while working with immigrant slum dwellers in Winnipeg from 1904 to 1913 His writings called for the Kingdom of God here and now 42 This political party took power in the province of Saskatchewan in 1944 This group led by Tommy Douglas a Baptist minister introduced universal medicare family allowance and old age pensions 43 This political party has since largely lost its religious basis and became a secular social democratic party The Social Service Council SSC was the reforming arm of Protestantism in Canada and promoted idea of the social gospel 44 Under the aggressive leadership of Charlotte Whitton the Canadian Council of Child Welfare opposed a widening of social security protection and continued to impede the implementation of provincial mothers pensions instead pressing for the traditional private charity model 45 Charlotte Whitton argued that children should be removed from their homes instead of paying money to needy parents 46 Charlotte Whitton as Christie and Gauvreau point out was also a member of the SSC 47 The SSC s mandate included the intensive Christian conquest of Canada 48 The Social Gospel was a significant influence in the formation of the People s Church in Brandon Manitoba in 1919 Started by Methodist minister A E Smith the People s Church attempted to provide an alternative to the traditional church which Smith viewed as unconcerned with social issues In his autobiography All My Life Smith describes his last sermon before starting the People s Church saying The Church was afraid it might give offense to the rich and powerful 49 The People s Church was successful for a time with People s Churches founded in Vancouver Victoria Edmonton and Calgary 50 In Winnipeg Methodist minister and Social Gospeler William Ivens started another workers church the Labor Church in 1918 51 Both Smith and Ivens tried to take leaves of absence from their Methodist ministries which were initially granted Upon a decision to bring all such special cases before the Methodist Stationing Committee however the decisions were rescinded In literature EditThe Social Gospel theme is reflected in the novels In His Steps 1897 and The Reformer 1902 by the Congregational minister Charles Sheldon who coined the motto What would Jesus do In his personal life Sheldon was committed to Christian socialism and identified strongly with the Social Gospel movement Walter Rauschenbusch one of the leading early theologians of the Social Gospel in the United States indicated that his theology had been inspired by Sheldon s novels Members of the Brotherhood of the Kingdom produced many of the written works that defined the theology of the Social Gospel movement and gave it public prominence 13 These included Walter Rauschenbusch s Christianity and the Social Crisis 1907 and Christianizing the Social Order 1912 as well as Samuel Zane Batten s The New Citizenship 1898 and The Social Task of Christianity 1911 The twenty first century EditIn the United States the Social Gospel is still influential in liberal Protestantism 52 53 54 Social Gospel elements can also be found in many service and relief agencies associated with Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church in the United States It also remains influential among Christian socialist circles in Britain in the Church of England and Methodist and Calvinist movements See also Edit Christianity portal Catholic social teaching Catholic temperance movement Chartism Christian humanism Christian left Christian pacifism Christian Social Union Church of England Christian socialism Christian vegetarianism Emerging church Evangelical left Methodist Federation for Social Action The Gospel of Wealth Prosperity theology Quakers Salem Bland Temperance movementNotes Edit They rejected premillennialist theology which held the Second Coming of Christ was imminent and Christians should devote their energies to preparing for it rather than addressing the issue of social evils John Witte Jr wrote Concurrent with this missionary movement in Africa both Protestant and Catholic political activists helped to restore democracy to war torn Europe and extend it overseas Protestant political activism emerged principally in England the Lowlands and Scandinavia under the inspiration of both social gospel movements and neo Calvinism Catholic political activism emerged principally in Italy France and Spain under the inspiration of both Rerum Novarum and its early progeny and of neo Thomism Both formed political parties which now fall under the general egis of the Christian Democratic Party movement Both Protestant and Catholic parties inveighed against the reductionist extremes and social failures of liberal democracies and social democracies Liberal democracies they believed had sacrificed the community for the individual social democracies had sacrificed the individual for the community Both parties returned to a traditional Christian teaching of social pluralism or subsidiarity which stressed the dependence and participation of the individual in family church school business and other associations Both parties stressed the responsibility of the state to respect and protect the individual in community 38 References Edit Tichi 2009 pp 206 220 221 Gill 2011 p 33 Ahlstrom 1974 White 1990 Muller 1959 Marty 1986 p 286 Rogers amp Blade 1998 pp 181 183 Byers 1998 pp 356 357 Gladden 1909 pp 252 292 Sklar 2005 p 105 a b Biography Washington Gladden Society Retrieved 24 July 2018 Alexandra Kindell Elizabeth S Demers Ph D Encyclopedia of Populism in America A Historical Encyclopedia ABC CLIO US 2014 p 594 Donald K Gorrell The age of social responsibility the social gospel in the progressive era 1900 1920 Mercer University Press US 1988 p 18 a b Hans Schwarz Theology in a Global Context The Last Two Hundred Years Wm B Eerdmans Publishing US 2005 p 145 Christopher H Evans The Social Gospel in American Religion A History NYU Press US 2017 p 78 Shepherd 2007 p 739 Kutler 2003 Kee et al 1998 p 478 a b Rauschenbusch 1917 p 1 Rauschenbusch 1917 p 2 Rauschenbusch 1917 p 5 Rauschenbusch 1917 p 131 Rauschenbusch 1917 p 132 Rauschenbusch 1917 pp 133 134 Rauschenbusch 1917 pp 134 137 Susan Curtis A Consuming Faith The Social Gospel and Modern American Culture University of Missouri Press US 2001 p 111 Hopkins 1940 Luker 1991 Marty 1986 Bonner 2004 p 370 Russell 1979 Tatum Noreen Dunn 1960 A Crown of Service A story of women s work in the Methodist Episcopal Church South from 1878 1940 Nashville TN Parthenon Press Ayers 1992 p 170 a b c d Kee et al 1998 pp 479 480 Handy 1966 White amp Hopkins 1975 Visser t Hooft 1928 Ahlstrom 1974 Handy 1966 Hopkins 1940 White amp Hopkins 1975 Woods 2006 pp 27 430 465 466 486 a b Witte 1993 p 9 Evans 2001 p 149 Reinhold Niebuhr Walter Rauschenbusch in historical perspective Religion in Life 1958 27 4 pp 527 536 John R Aiken and James R McDonnell Walter Rauschenbusch and labor reform A social Gospeller s approach Labor History 11 2 1970 131 150 A Brief History of the NDP Retrieved 14 October 2009 permanent dead link Mooney 2006 Guest 1997 p 70 Guest 1997 p 59 Carniol 2005 p 45 Christie amp Gauvreau 2001 p 124 Christie amp Gauvreau 2001 p 214 Smith 1949 p 60 Mitchell 1994 pp 129 143 Goldsborough Gordon 2018 Memorable Manitobans William Bill Ivens 1878 1957 Winnipeg Manitoba Manitoba Historical Society Retrieved 24 July 2018 J Gordon Melton Encyclopedia of Protestantism Infobase Publishing USA 2005 p 500 Mark Juergensmeyer Wade Clark Roof Encyclopedia of Global Religion Volume 1 Sage US 2012 pp 704 705 Christopher H Evans The Social Gospel in American Religion A History NYU Press US 2017 p 202Bibliography EditAhlstrom Sydney E 1974 A Religious History of the American People Ayers Edward L 1992 The Promise of the New South Life after Reconstruction Bonner Jeremy 2004 Religion In Newby Rick ed The Rocky Mountain Region Westport Connecticut Greenwood Press Byers Paula K ed 1998 Encyclopedia of World Biography 6 Detroit Michigan Gale Research ISBN 978 0 7876 2546 7 Retrieved 24 July 2018 Carniol Ben 2005 Case Critical Social Services and Social Justice in Canada 5th ed Toronto Between The Lines Carter Paul A The Decline and Revival of the Social Gospel Social and Political Liberalism in American Protestant Churches 1920 1940 Cornell UP 1956 online free to borrow Christie Nancy Gauvreau Michael 2001 1996 A Full Orbed Christianity The Protestant Churches and Social Welfare in Canada 1900 1940 Montreal McGill Queen s University Press Evans Christopher H 2001 The Social Gospel Today Louisville Kentucky Westminster John Knox Press Gill Jill K 2011 Embattled Ecumenism The National Council of Churches the Vietnam War and the Trials of the Protestant Left DeKalb Illinois Northern Illinois University Press ISBN 978 0 87580 443 9 Gladden Washington 1909 Recollections Boston Houghton Mifflin Company LCCN 09028138 Retrieved 24 July 2018 Guest Dennis 1997 The Emergence of Social Security in Canada 3rd ed Vancouver University of British Columbia Press Handy Robert T ed 1966 The Social Gospel in America 1870 1920 New York Oxford University Press Hopkins Charles Howard 1940 The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism 1865 1915 New Haven Connecticut Yale University Press Kee Howard Clark Albu Emily Lindberg Carter Frost Jerry W Robert Dana L 1998 Christianity A Social and Cultural History 2nd ed Upper Saddle River New Jersey Prentice Hall Kutler Stanley I ed 2003 Social Gospel Dictionary of American History 7 New York Thomson Gale Retrieved 24 July 2018 Luker Ralph E 1991 The Social Gospel in Black and White American Racial Reform 1885 1912 Chapel Hill North Carolina University of North Carolina Press published 1998 ISBN 978 0 8078 4720 6 Marty Martin E 1986 Modern American Religion Volume 1 The Irony of It All 1893 1919 Chicago University of Chicago Press published 1997 ISBN 978 0 226 50894 8 Mitchell Tom 1994 From the Social Gospel to The Plain Bread of Leninism A E Smith s Journey to the Left in the Epoch of Reaction after World War I Labour Le Travail 33 125 151 doi 10 2307 25143791 ISSN 0700 3862 JSTOR 25143791 Mooney Elizabeth 2006 Social Gospel The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan Regina Saskatchewan University of Regina Archived from the original on 9 November 2016 Retrieved 14 October 2009 Muller Dorothea R 1959 The Social Philosophy of Josiah Strong Social Christianity and American Progressivism Church History 28 2 183 201 doi 10 2307 3161456 ISSN 1755 2613 JSTOR 3161456 Rauschenbusch Walter 1917 Theology for the Social Gospel New York Macmillan Company Retrieved 24 July 2018 Rogers Jack B Blade Robert E 1998 The Great Ends of the Church Two Perspectives The Journal of Presbyterian History 76 3 181 186 ISSN 1521 9216 JSTOR 23335460 Russell C Allyn 1979 Mark Allison Matthews Seattle Fundamentalist and Civic Reformer Journal of Presbyterian History 57 4 446 466 ISSN 0022 3883 JSTOR 23328145 Shepherd Samuel C Jr 2007 Social Gospel In Goldfield David R ed Encyclopedia of American Urban History 2 Thousand Oaks California Sage Publications pp 738 740 doi 10 4135 9781412952620 n405 ISBN 978 1 4129 5262 0 Sklar Kathryn Kish 2005 Ohio 1903 Heartland of Progressive Reform In Parker Geoffrey Sisson Richard Coil William Russell eds Ohio and the World 1753 2053 Essays toward a New History of Ohio Columbus Ohio Ohio State University pp 95 128 ISBN 978 0 8142 0939 4 Smith Albert 1949 Ally My Life Toronto Progress Books ISBN 978 0 919396 41 8 Tichi Cecelia 2009 Civic Passions Seven Who Launched Progressive America and What They Teach Us Chapel Hill North Carolina University of North Carolina Press ISBN 978 0 8078 3300 1 Visser t Hooft Willem A 1928 The Background of the Social Gospel in America White Ronald C 1990 Liberty and Justice for All Racial Reform and the Social Gospel 1877 1925 White Ronald C Hopkins C Howard 1975 The Social Gospel Religion and Reform in Changing America Witte John Jr 1993 Introduction In Witte John Jr ed Christianity and Democracy in Global Context Boulder Colorado Westview Press ISBN 978 0 8133 1843 1 Woods Randall B 2006 LBJ Architect of American Ambition Further reading EditBateman Bradley W 2008 The Social Gospel and the Progressive Era Diving America Religion in American History Research Triangle Park North Carolina National Humanities Center Archived from the original on 15 October 2008 Retrieved 28 July 2018 Batten Samuel Zane 1911 The Social Task of Christianity A Summons to the New Crusade New York Fleming H Revell Company Retrieved 24 July 2018 Curtis Susan 1991 A Consuming Faith The Social Gospel and Modern American Culture Baltimore Maryland Johns Hopkins University Press ISBN 978 0 8018 4167 5 Dorn Jacob H 1993 The Social Gospel and Socialism A Comparison of the Thought of Francis Greenwood Peabody Washington Gladden and Walter Rauschenbusch Church History 62 1 82 100 doi 10 2307 3168417 ISSN 1755 2613 JSTOR 3168417 Retrieved 24 July 2018 ed 1998 Socialism and Christianity in Early 20th Century America Contributions in American History 181 Westport Connecticut Greenwood Press ISBN 978 0 313 30262 6 ISSN 0084 9219 Douglas T C 1982 Thomas Lewis Herbert ed The Making of a Socialist The Recollections of T C Douglas Edmonton Alberta University of Alberta Press ISBN 978 0 88864 070 3 Evans Christopher H 2017 The Social Gospel in American Religion A History New York New York University Press ISBN 978 1 4798 6953 4 Fraser Brian J 1990 The Social Uplifters Presbyterian Progressives and the Social Gospel in Canada 1875 1915 Gladden Washington 1891 Who Wrote the Bible A Book for the People Boston Houghton Mifflin and Company Retrieved 24 July 2018 Hartley Benjamin L 2010 Evangelicals at a Crossroads Revivalism and Social Reform in Boston 1860 1910 Durham New Hampshire University of New Hampshire Press Hutchison William R 1975 The Americanness of the Social Gospel An Inquiry in Comparative History Church History 44 3 367 381 doi 10 2307 3164037 ISSN 1755 2613 JSTOR 3164037 Latta Maurice C 1936 The Background for the Social Gospel in American Protestantism Church History 5 3 256 270 doi 10 2307 3160788 ISSN 1755 2613 JSTOR 3160788 Marty Martin E 1991 Modern American Religion Volume 2 The Noise of Conflict 1919 1941 Chicago University of Chicago Press ISBN 978 0 226 50895 5 Mathews Shailer 1916 The Spiritual Interpretation of History Cambridge Massachusetts Harvard University Press Retrieved 24 July 2018 1928 Jesus on Social Institutions New York Macmillan Peabody Francis Greenwood 1900 Jesus Christ and the Social Question An Examination of the Teaching of Jesus in Its Relation to Some of the Problems of Modern Social Life New York Macmillan published 1901 Retrieved 24 July 2018 Rader Benjamin G 1966 Richard T Ely Lay Spokesman for the Social Gospel Journal of American History 53 1 61 74 doi 10 2307 1893930 ISSN 1936 0967 JSTOR 1893930 Rauschenbusch Walter 1907 Christianity and the Social Crisis New York Macmillan Retrieved 24 July 2018 1914 Dare We Be Christians New York Pilgrim Press Retrieved 24 July 2018 Sheldon Charles M 1897 In His Steps What Would Jesus Do Chicago Advance Publishing Co Retrieved 24 July 2018 Smith Gary Scott 1991 To Reconstruct the World Walter Rauschenbusch and Social Change Fides et Historia 23 2 40 63 ISSN 0884 5379 Social Gospel Movement Ohio History Central Archived from the original on 16 December 2017 Retrieved 28 July 2018 Strong Josiah 1893 The New Era Or The Coming Kingdom New York Baker amp Taylor Co Retrieved 24 July 2018 Find out more on Wikipedia s Sister projects Media from Commons Quotations from Wikiquote Data from Wikidata Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Social Gospel amp oldid 1032500872, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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