The Social Gospel Movement

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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This essay is about the social gospel movement, it's ideas, and views of the Social Gospelers themselves. It compares and contrasts views of both Social Gospelers and business tycoons known as the Robber-Barons. It will also focus on two important leaders of the Social Gospel and mention their ideas and history.

The term Social Gospel refers to a movement concerned with the distribution of wealth, unequally and unethically. Its goal was to bring the kingdom of God to America. The Social Gospelers influence covered the time period of the Civil War (1861-1865) and through to World War I. The peak time for the Gospelers was during the first two decades of the 20th century. It also influenced other countries and people, such as Charles Kingsley of England, and J.S.Woodsworth of Canada.

The Social Gospel grew from liberal theory and it's views of progress. The ending of slavery meant God had opened the way for our social system and it;s new beginning and the fight against evil would no longer be a daily happeneing because in the end, good will prevail.

For the clerymen, like Winthrop Hudson, God was believed to be a moral example, or a loving presence whose ideas were now being acknowledged and put into action.

The foremost speaker was Walter Rauschenbush (1861-1918). He was a minister and professor of the history of church at Rochester Divinity School in New York. He knew Antibaptism and the Mennoites both very well. Walter translated a volume of gospel songs into the German language. Rauschenbush was also a pacifist and believed sin was the cause of the nation's decline. Though he never joined the Socialists Party, he considered himself a Christian Socialist.

In the beginning, the Social Gospel was more like a movement of the clergy, rather than a...