The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism, 1865-1915

By Charles Howard Hopkins | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XIII
WALTER RAUSCHENBUSCH FORMULATFIS
THE SOCIAL GOSPEL

My sole desire has been to summon the Christian passion for justice and the Christian powers of love and mercy to do their share in redeeming our social order from its inherent wrongs.

RAUSCHENBUSCH

THE prewar years of the twentieth century saw the rise of an immense body of literature stating the philosophy of social Christianity. Prominent metropolitan ministers and obscure country preachers, college and theological school professors, religious journalists and certain social scientists shared in this widespread concern. Most of the leaders with whose names we are familiar added to the swelling chorus and many new converts professed faith in the social gospel and wrote books and articles proclaiming it.1

Above this clamor of many voices the classic statement of

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1
Chronologically, the most important books might be listed as follows: For a complete list see the writer's forthcoming Bibliography of Social Christianity. Josiah Strong, The Next Great Awakening ( New York, 1902). Washington Gladden, Social Salvation ( Boston and New York, 1902). W. N. Sloan, Social Regeneration ( Philadelphia, 1902). Charles R. Brown, The Social Message of the Modern Pulpit ( New York, 1906). Samuel Plantz, The Church and the Social Problem (Cincinnati and New York, 1906). Shaller Mathews, The Church and the Changing Order ( New York, 1907). Washington Gladden, The Church and Modern Life ( Boston and New York, 1908). Charles D. Williams, A Valid Christianity for Today ( New York, 1909). Shailer Mathews, The Social Gospel ( Philadelphia, 1910). William J. Tucker, The Function of the Church in Modern Society ( Boston and New York, 1911). Henry C. King, The Moral and Religious Challenge of Our Times ( New York, 1911). Charles R. Zahniser, Social Christianity, the Gospel for an Age of Social Strain ( Nashville, 1911). John Haynes Holmes, The Revolutionary Function of the Modern Church ( New York, 1912). Scott Nearing, Social Religion ( New York, 1913).

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