On the 100th anniversary of its publication, leading public theologians respond to the enduring relevance of this classic of faith and politics.
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In the wake of the success of God’s Politics, comes an anniversary edition of Walter Rauschenbusch’s Christianity and the Social Crisis, a book which outsold every other religious volume for three years and which has become a classic and mainstay for any Christian seriously interested in social justice. PBS has named Rauschenbusch one of the most influential American religious leaders in the last 100 years, and Christianity Today named this book one of the top books of the century that have shaped contemporary religious thought. So it seems fitting on the 100th anniversary of the publication of Christianity and the Social Crisis that Rauschenbush’s great-grandson should bring this classic back into print, adding a response to each chapter by a well-known contemporary author such as Jim Wallis, Tony Camplo, Cornel West, Richard Rorty, Stanley Hauerwas, and others. Between 1886 and 1897, he was pastor of the Second German Baptist Church in the “Hell’s Kitchen” area of New York City, an area of extreme poverty. As he witnessed massive economic insecurity, he began to believe that Christianity must address the physical as well as the spiritual needs of humankind. Rauschenbusch saw it as his duty as a minister and student of Christ to act with love by trying to improve social conditions.About the Author:
Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918) was the primary theologian of the Social Gospel movement whose mission was to meet social needs through the ministrations of the institutional Church. Rauschenbusch gave this special emphasis a theology, legitimizing it in mainstream American Protestantism. Rauschenbusch’s work influenced Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Desmond Tutu, among others.
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