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Jane Addams, Apotheosis of Social Christianity


Jane Addams was not a theologian or a minister; she held no university position. However, in her role as head resident of the Hull-House settlement she became a social theorist of democracy and one of its most influential interpreters. Her primary interest was not in religious institutions, but in the moral and ethical concerns of public life in American society. Was it a good society? Did the people share in a common life? Were the least of them nurtured and protected? In 1892, Addams declared, “This renaissance of the early Christian humanitarianism is going on in America, in Chicago, if you please, without leaders who write or philosophize, without much speaking, but with a bent to express in social service and in terms of action the spirit of Christ.”

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Louise W. Knight , Citizen Jane Addams and the Struggle for Democracy (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2005)

Curti , “Jane Addams on Human Nature,” Journal of the History of Ideas 22, no. 2 (April–June 1961), 244245

Jane Addams , “The Reaction of Modern Life Upon Religious Education,” Religious Education 4 (April 1909): 29

Allen F. Davis , “The Social Workers and the Progressive Party, 1912–1916,” The American Historical Review 69, no. 3. (April 1964): 671688

Tobias Brinkmann , Sundays at Sinai (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012)

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Church History
  • ISSN: 0009-6407
  • EISSN: 1755-2613
  • URL: /core/journals/church-history
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