Christian Socialism

Christian socialism, term used in Great Britain and the United States for a kind of socialism growing out of the clash between Christian ideals and the effects of competitive business. In Europe, it usually refers to a party or trade union directed by religious leaders in contrast to socialist unions and parties. The movement was begun in England in 1848, after the failure of Chartism. Influenced by Carlyle, Southey, Coleridge, and the Fourierists, rather than by Marx, such men as John Ludlow, Frederick Denison Maurice, and Charles Kingsley sought to encourage the laboring masses and the church to cooperate against capitalism. They published periodicals and tracts, promoted workingmen's associations, founded (1854) a workingmen's college, and helped achieve some general reforms. Though their experiments in producers' cooperation failed, their traditions were carried on by the Fabian Society, by adherents of guild socialism, and by several Roman Catholic groups. The movement in the United States was organized with the formation (1889) of the Society of Christian Socialists, although there had been earlier activity by Washington Gladden, Richard Theodore Ely, and others.

See C. E. Raven, Christian Socialism,1848–1854 (1920, repr. 1968); J. C. Cort, Christian Socialism (1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Christian Socialism: Selected full-text books and articles

Origin and History of Christian Socialism, 1848-54 By Torben Christensen Universitetsforlaget, vol.3, 1962
The Dream of Christian Socialism: An Essay on Its European Origins By Bernard Murchland American Enterprise Institute, 1982
F. D. Maurice and the Crisis of Christian Authority By Jeremy Morris Oxford University Press, 2005
Librarian’s tip: "Christian Socialism" begins on p. 139
Prophet of the Christian Social Manifesto: Joseph Husslein, S.J., His Life, Work & Social Thought By Stephen A. Werner Marquette University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "Christian Socialism" begins on p. 71
Social Reformers: Adam Smith to John Dewey By Donald O. Wagner Macmillan, 1934
Librarian’s tip: "Christian Socialism" begins on p. 253
The Cross & the Sickle: Sergei Bulgakov and the Fate of Russian Religious Philosophy By Catherine Evtuhov Cornell University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Six "Christian Socialism"
Religion and Radical Politics: An Alternative Christian Tradition in the United States By Robert H. Craig Temple University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: "Christians and Socialism" begins on p. 97
Socialism and Christianity in Early 20th Century America By Jacob H. Dorn Greenwood Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "A Spiritual and Moral Socialism": Franklin Spencer Spalding and Christian Socialism, 1901-1914"
The Forging of American Socialism: Origins of the Modern Movement By Howard H. Quint Bobbs-Merrill, 1964
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "The Christian Socialist Crusade"
Christianity and the Social Revolution By John Lewis; Karl Polanyi; Donald K. Kitchin C. Scribner's, 1936
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VII "Christian Socialism in England in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries"
The Radical Kingdom: The Western Experience of Messianic Hope By Rosemary Radford Ruether Harper & Row, 1970
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Christian Socialism and the Social Gospel"
The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism, 1865-1915 By Charles Howard Hopkins Yale University Press, 1940
Librarian’s tip: Chap. X "Christian Socialism"
Churches and the Working Classes in Victorian England By K. S. Inglis Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "Christian Socialism" begins on p. 262
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