One thing I learned about this week: The Social Gospel Movement

The Social Gospel movement happened during the progressive era between the 1890s and the 1910s.  The Social Gospel Movement took place in Canada and the United States and it tried to apply Christian ethics to social problems. The Social Gospelers thought that the second coming of Jesus would not happen unless humankind relieved itself from social evil.  They thought that human effort could fix those evils.

The leaders of the Social Gospel Movement were associated with the liberal wing of the Progressive movement. The Progressive movement was a group of rich people that tried to corrupt both public and private life through activities such as trust busting, the regulation of railroads, provisions for the people to vote on laws themselves through referendum, and the election of the Senate by the people rather than by state legislatures. We know the Social Gospel movement began in the 19th century, however we do not know when it officially ended. We don’t know why the Social Gospel Movement ended.  There are many theories suggesting why it ended. One theory cites the rise of neo-orthodoxy as a contributing factor in the movement’s decline.  Neo-orthodoxy was a movement in Protestant theology that was against the Social Gospel movement.  The  Social Gospel movement affected more  protestants in America than members of any other religion. The Social Gospel Movement held events to get people to join their movement because events drew lots of people.

The social Gospel Movement also had a big effect upon the American Federation of Labor. Under the influence of the social Gospel Movement, the AFL started a movement called Labor forward.  The Labor Forward movement was pro-Christian and “preached unionization like revival” in Philadelphia.

Those are only a few examples of what the Social Gospel Movement did. If you want to learn more, you can research it for yourself.  I learned about the Social Gospel Movement using the Liberty Classroom course on the progressive era.


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