social gospel


Definition of social gospel

1 : the application of Christian principles to social problems
2 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 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, "‘Wanamaker’s Temple’ Review: Merchandise and Moral Uplift," 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, "‘These words are not of Christ’: Sunday sermons take on Trump’s reported vulgarity," 15 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'social gospel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of social gospel

1874, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about social gospel

Time Traveler for social gospel

Time Traveler

The first known use of social gospel was in 1874

See more words from the same year

Statistics for social gospel

Cite this Entry

“Social gospel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on social gospel Encyclopedia article about social gospel

Comments on social gospel

What made you want to look up social gospel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!