Walter Rauschenbusch and Charles Gore: Divergent Paths Towards a Christian Social Ethic

Craig Vance


Walter Rauschenbush and Charles Gore were contemporaries who had profound impacts in North America and England respectively in the area of Christian social thought. While they both provided theological justification for a moderate gradualist socialism their theologies are in many ways antithetical. Rauschenbusch’s “social gospel,” which has been predominant in North American liberal protestantism, is contrasted with Gore’s “sacramental socialism,” which is predominant in liberal Anglocatholicism. This essay argues for the revival of the sacramental socialist tradition on the basis of comparison with theorists as varied as Max Horkheimer, George Lindbeck, George Grant and the Radical Orthodoxy project of John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock.


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ISSN (Print): 1705-2947
ISSN (Online): 1712-5634