social gospel


: the application of Christian principles to social problems
capitalized S&G : a movement in American Protestant Christianity especially in the first part of the 20th century to bring the social order into conformity with Christian principles

Examples of social gospel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After pursuing doctoral studies at Union Theological Seminary under James Cone, a central figure of Black-liberation theology, Warnock took up a series of posts at churches associated with the tradition of the Black social gospel, where, like King, he was known for political activism. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker, 20 Oct. 2022 His priestly parsimony came with a social gospel. Mark Brilliant, Washington Post, 10 July 2020 Over subsequent decades, escalating inequality has yielded a significant number of ultrawealthy individuals who heeded Novak’s call to defend capitalism against the depredations of the social gospel. Katherine Stewart, The New Republic, 9 Mar. 2021 The sermons at Bethany advanced the social gospel, aiming to attract the working poor and the foreign born to a Christian—that is, Protestant—way of living that would help them better themselves in a rapidly industrializing world. Marc Levinson, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2018 The opposite is true in other spheres of U.S. Christianity, particularly Mainline Protestantism and African American churches, where social gospel is often seen as core. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'social gospel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of social gospel was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near social gospel

Cite this Entry

“Social gospel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

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