Social Science and Religion

Harry F. Ward
The Journal of Religion
Vol. 2, No. 5 (Sep., 1922), pp. 476-489
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Page Count: 14
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Social Science and Religion


Certain questions raised by Professor Ellwood's recent book, "The Reconstruction of Religion," are discussed in this article. Is social science at present prepared to furnish the technique for religious activity, which Professor Ellwood emphasizes? The prevailingly descriptive character of social study does not encourage confident judgments of value. Moreover, social laws are as yet too imperfectly known to supply authoritative guidance. The religious interpretation of social acts is a challenging problem. Is this problem solved by a social reinterpretation of the traditional theological concepts? If the religion of Jesus is to be the triumphant social religion of the future we need a much more thoroughgoing social study of the teachings of Jesus than has yet been furnished. The problem of the motivation of religion is a difficult one. The vigor of motives demands a creative consciousness which will convincingly pass judgment on the sins of the present social order.

Notes and References

This item contains 1 reference.

  • 1
    The Reconstruction of Religion. By Charles A. Ellwood. New York: Mac- millan, 1922. xv+323 pages. $2.25.