Social Gospel was a prominent Protestant movement in the late 19th and early to mid 20th century that attempted to apply Christian principles to social problems. Part of Christian "modernism" with a strong emphasis on social justice the movement was a rival to evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity. In the United States prior to World War I, the Social Gospel was the religious wing of U.S. "progressive" politics which had the aim of combating injustice, suffering and poverty in society. Sometimes called "Christian socialism" the movement was especially influential in Canada and led many ministers to become active in the socialist movement in the form of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation and later the New Democratic Party. Social Gospel is still influential in Canada's United Church and in the Anglican Church but has less influence in the United States. It also remains influential among "Christian socialist" circles in Britain in the Church of England, Methodist and Calvinist movements.
Related categories 3
Black Social Gospel
Examines African-American figures in the social gospel movement.
Capitalism in the Gilded Age: The Social Gospel
Short item on the social gospel movement with profiles of leading figures Washington Gladden and Walter Rauschenbusch.
Essay on the movement from Spartacus Schoolnet.
The Christian Socialist Movement
Based in Britain and active in the Labour Party, the CSM is in a tradition that stretches back to the early church. "We all share a belief in justice, peace and the wholeness of creation."
Fundamentalism and the Social Gospel
Background article from the companion site to PBS' American Experience episode on the Scope's Monkey Trial.
Hymn favoured by Christian socialists and the social gospel movement in Britain and North America.
Jubilee: The Social Gospel - Revival of Socialism
Christian view on the concept of the Jewish concept of Jubilee which means the redistribution of wealth, the protection of the earth, and the celebration of community.
Liberalism in Religious Thought - White Social Gospel
Background information on the social gospel movement in the twentieth century and prominent figures in it.
The Life and Times of the Prophet Vernon Johns: Father of the Civil Rights Movement
Online book by Dr. Patrick L. Cooney and Henry W. Powell examines the life of the liberal clergeyman and civil rights leader with an extensive look at liberal Christianity and its role in the social justice movements.
lifeissues.net | The Churches and the Social Gospel
Ronald Rolheiser argues that the churches have been, and still are, at those places with the poor where nobody else wants to be.
NOW with Bill Moyers. Society and Community. History of the Social Gospel | PBS
Information about the Social Gospel tradition of Christian socialism.
Practical Christian Socialism
Selections from Practical Christianity, An Epitome of Practical Christian Socialism by Adin Ballou, edited by Lynn Gordon Hughes.
The Prophetic Imperative: Social Gospel in Theory and Practice
Discussion guide to the book by Richard S. Gilbert. [PDF]
The Ram's Horn
Presenting texts and especially cartoons from The Ram's Horn, an interdenominational social gospel magazine of the 1890s in the United States.
The Reverend Henry Wallace
Paper by economics professor Richard E. Hattwick on the social gospel minister and agricultural reformer who was the grandfather of Vice President Henry A. Wallace. [PDF]
Social and Religious Context of the Social Gospel
The excesses of the Victorian age gave foundation to a number of important political and religious trends that which converged to give rise to the Social Gospel.
Short discussion of the conflict between social gospel and evangelical Christianity.
Article from the Glossary of Religion and Philosophy.
Social Gospel Theology
An explanation of the theological position of the social gospel movement.
What Was Chautauqua
Historical essay on the Christian educational movement named after the resort in New York state.
World Missions and the Social Gospel
Christian Socialism is Possible
Irving Hexham responds to John Redekopp in this Christian Week article. (December 17, 1996)
Last update:June 22, 2015 at 6:05:05 UTC