The Social Gospel Of English Canada Essay

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I. The social gospel movement in English Canada A. This was a religious revival movement aimed at solving all of the social ills of society through the application of Christian principles. B. This movement was composed of several basic ideas. 1. The belief that most people were good and that when they did wrong they were displaying weaknesses of character not a sinful nature. A person’s character was determined by his environment; therefore, improving his social conditions would improve his character. 2. The belief that God was immanent in the world and could be found in one’s fellow man. C. Some famous social gospellers included: 1. J.S. Woodsworth, a Methodist minister and politician 2. A.E. Smith, a radical minister expelled from the Methodist church for his communistic beliefs. 3. William Lyon Mackenzie King D. Some social gospellers sought to regenerate society by giving direct and immediate assistance. 1. Through the founding of mission houses and settlement homes. 2. One famous group was the Salvation Army. a. It was started by William Booth in England and travelled to Canada after 1882, establishing centres to help the poor. b. They enlisted 150,000 “soldiers” to fight sin and poverty. E. Another group of social gospellers felt that the way to solve social issues was to attempt to change people’s attitudes. F. A third group asked for governmental involvement in social reform. True social reform meant replacing capitalism with a socialist Christian society. II.
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