Undergraduate Course: Social Christianity in Britain, Germany and the United States, 1848-1930 (ECHS08009)
|School||School of Divinity
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||What should be the Christian response to the problems of modern urban-industrial societies? Is it possible to maintain a Christian society amid the complexities of industrialisation, urbanisation, global trade networks and democratic politics? How much influence can the Churches as institutions exercise in the multi-ethnic cultures created by the mass migrations of peoples in the emerging global economy? This course will explore these questions by considering the responses of the Churches to modernisation in the world's three most advanced industrial nations; Great Britain, Germany and the United States; during the later nineteenth and early twentieth century. In particular, it will investigate the complex movement known as; social Christianity; or the social gospel;, in which Christians struggled to revive the idea of the Kingdom of God amid the turmoil of class strife, racial and ethnic tensions, mass deprivation, rapid social and economic change, and international rivalries. It will give special attention to Christian social thought as illustrated by certain key proponents of social Christianity, including F.D. Maurice and William Temple in Great Britain, Adolph Harnack and Karl Barth in German-speaking Europe, and Walter Rauschenbusch and Reinhold Niebuhr in the United States.
This course explores the responses of the Churches to urbanisation and industrialisation in the world┐s three most advanced industrial nations ┐ Great Britain, Germany and the United States ┐ during the later nineteenth and early twentieth century. In particular, the course investigates the complex movement known as ┐social Christianity┐, ┐Christian socialism┐, or the ┐social gospel┐, in which Christians struggled to work for meaningful social reforms amid the turmoil of class strife, racial and ethnic tensions, mass deprivation, rapid social and economic change, the struggle for women┐s rights, international rivalries, and world war. The course will give attention to Christian social thought as illustrated by certain key social activists, including F.D. Maurice and William Temple in Great Britain, Adolph Harnack and Karl Barth in German-speaking Europe, and Walter Rauschenbusch and Reinhold Niebuhr in the United States.
The course will explore Christian social beliefs and reform activities, with a strong emphasis on skills for assessing historical evidence. Themes to be studied include the European Revolutions of 1848 and the Churches, Christianity, race and slavery in the United States, evangelical social action in industrialising societies, including the work of the German Inner Mission and the British Salvation Army, High Anglican sacramental socialism, the interactions of Christianity and Marxism, Christianity and anti-Semitism, the Roman Catholic Church and social reform, women and the social gospel, and the impact of the First World War on Christian social activism. We will be reading works on social Christianity by such authors as Charles Kingsley, William Temple, Adolf von Harnack, Karl Barth, Washington Gladden, Walter Rauschenbusch and Reinhold Niehbuhr.
Student Learning Experience Information:
The course has a programme of two one-hour lectures plus a one-hour tutorial per week. The lectures are extensively illustrated with images, and there is opportunity for questions and discussion. There is a schedule of reading to be carried out before each lecture and each tutorial. Each student will be required to give a short presentation at one tutorial on the text for the day. Through participation in lectures and tutorial discussions, as well as through the written work and the examination included in the assessment schedule, students will demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should usually have at least 1 introductory level Divinity/Religious Studies course at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Recognise how social reform commitments played a major role in shaping Christian thought in the modern North Atlantic world
- Construct historical explanations and arguments drawing appropriate geographical, temporal, gender and social comparisons
- Demonstrate an understanding of the religious, social, political and economic context of the North Atlantic World in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
- Show critical awareness of both the achievements and the failings of key Christian thinkers and activists in confronting the social challenges of industrialisation, urbanisation and mass migration
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Prof Stewart Brown
Tel: (0131 6)50 8951
|Course secretary||Ms Katrina Munro
Tel: (0131 6)50 8900