Social Gospel Movement

Social Gospel

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 Gladden and Walter Rauschenbusch, 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.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Social Gospel Movement: Selected full-text books and articles

FREE! A Theology for the Social Gospel By Walter Rauschenbusch Abingdon Press, 1917
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Protestant Search for Political Realism, 1919-1941 By Donald Meyer Wesleyan University Press, 1988 (2nd edition)
Christian Faith and Society By Gordon Harland University of Calgary Press, 1988
The Character of God: Recovering the Lost Literary Power of American Protestantism By Thomas E. Jenkins Oxford University Press, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. Nine "The Social Gospel and its Critics"
Christian Ethics and Political Economy in North America: A Critical Analysis By P. Travis Kroeker McGill-Queens University Press, 1995
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "the Cooperative Commonwealth and the Kingdom of God: The Social Gospel Quest for a Public Morality"
Christianity and the Problem of History By Roger Lincoln Shinn Charles Scribner's Sons, 1953
Librarian's tip: "The Social Gospel and Its Heirs" begins on p. 120
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