Christian Cyclopedia

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(from Russ. for “assembly; synod”). Term without exact Eng. equivalent; denotes a quality necessary for charitable cooperation in a free communion of all; disavows unity by authority alone on the one hand and fragmentation by an excess of individual liberty on the other; in application to the liturgy in corporate worship it stresses participation by the cong.; regards the ch. as consisting of those who are freely associated in Christ by faith and love (cf. the view of A. S. Khomyakov*). Related in concept to koinonic* and communio* sanctorum. Its catholicity (see Catholic) is interior. Cf. Acts 2:42.

Social Action.

Organized effort to change economic or soc. institutions; includes movements to reform politics, employer-employee relations, and race relations; operates, e.g., through propaganda and legislative lobbies. See also Social Reform; Social Work.

Social Brethren.

Formed 1867 by mem. of various chs.; evangelical.

Social Ethics.

Ethics* applied to soc. relations and problems. Christian soc. ethics have OT roots and involve man's inner and total life and his relation to Christ. M. Luther made the calling of the Christian man in family, community, and occupation the proving ground of spiritual vitality engendered by Christ. The ch. plays a proper part in soc. ethics not by invading functions of other agencies but by equipping individuals and groups to play their part in other agencies as citizens, mems. of professions, mems. of families, etc. RRC

See also Situation(al) Ethics.

P. F. Joachimsen, Sozialethik des Luthertums (Munich, 1927); H. E. Brunner, Das Gebot und die Ordnungen, tr. O. Wyon, The Divine Imperative (London, 1937); J. S. Schöffel and A. Köberle, Luthertum und soziale Frage (Leipzig, 1931); G. W. Forell, Faith Active in Love: An Investigation of Principles Underlying Luther's Social Ethics (New York, 1954); W. E. Bauer, God and Caesar: A Christian Approach to Social Ethics (Minneapolis, 1959); C. F. Sleeper, Black Power and Christian Responsibility: Some Biblical Foundations for Social Ethics (Nashville, Tennessee, 1968); M. Luther, On the Freedom of a Christian Man (1520).

Social Gospel.

Teaching of a soc. salvation whose objective is rebirth of soc. through change of the soc. order by mass or group action. Tries to persuade individuals to practice the social* ethics of Jesus. Makes little or no reference to reconciliation with God through Christ and to the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. For many it is essentially a this-worldly gospel of works, not a Gospel of grace for this life and heaven. The term “Social Gospel” is inadequate, since it is hard to separate “soc.” from “individual” gospel when applied to Christian life.

The Soc. Gospel movement, influenced by F. D. E. Schleiermacher,* A. B. Ritschl,* and K. G. A. v. Harnack,* came into prominence in the US in the 1870s, declined after WW I, perhaps affected adversely also by the Great Depression (began in the late 1920s, lasted far into the 1930s). Exponents include H. E. Fosdick,* W. Gladden,* E. S. Jones,* S. Mathews,* W. Rauschenbusch,* C. M. Sheldon.* The Soc. Creed of the FCCCA was an adaptation and expansion of the Soc. Creed of Methodism (see Methodist Churches, 2). The Soc. Gospel flourished esp. among Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, Unitarians, and Episcopalians.

Critics of the Soc. Gospel see in it an idealistic, purely humanitarian, falsely optimistic, utopian and pacifistic, soc. reformist movement not essentially Christian (since it bypasses essential elements of Christian doctrine and life). JD

See also Bellamy, Edward; Modernism, 3.

E. Troeltsch, The Social Teaching of the Christian Churches, 2 vols., tr. O. Wyon (London, 1931); C. H. Hopkins, The Rise of the Social Gospel in American Protestantism 1865–1915 (New Haven, Connecticut, 1940); W. A. Visser 't Hooft, The Background of the Social Gospel in America (Haarlem, Neth., 1928); F. E. Johnson, The Social Gospel Reexamined, 3d ed. (New York, 1940); H. P. Douglass and E. de S. Brunner, The Protestant Church as a Social Institution (New York, 1935); H. R. Niebuhr, The Social Sources of Denominationalism (New York, 1929); J. N. Hughley, Trends in Protestant Social Idealism (New York, 1948); The Hartwick Seminary Conference on the Social Mission of the Lutheran Church (Princeton, New Jersey, 1944); C. C. Morrison, The Social Gospel and the Christian Cultus (New York, 1933); E. E. Fischer, Social Problems: The Christian Solution (Philadelphia, 1927); A. Cronbach, The Bible and Our Social Outlook (Cincinnati, Ohio, 1941); R. T. Handy, The Social Gospel in America 1870–1920 (New York, 1966); P. A. Carter, The Decline and Revival of the Social Gospel [enl. ed.] (Hamden, Connecticut, 1971).


Form of soc. organization in which propperty is controlled for common good. It has appeared in several forms.

1. Socialization of resources in an originally capitalistic state, to prevent exploitation for private gain of natural or economic resources.

2. Soc. security for capitalistic purposes, as when the purpose of soc. security, med. and unemployment insurance, etc. is to thwart the rise of workers against capitalistic control.

3. Fascism (from It. for “bundle; pol. group”), assoc. with the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini (1883–1945) in It., and Nazism (Ger. fascism; see also Germany, C 4; Kirchenkampf) opposed socialism. In It., the organized socialist movement was destroyed when Fascism (see also Pareto, Vilfredo) came into power 1922. In Ger., socialism existed under Nazism only as an underground movement; many of its followers were imprisoned, some were executed, some fled the country. Fascism conflicts with socialism in that it operates with totalitarianism and concomitant exploitation and oppression; the socialist movement was outlawed in Fascist Sp. when Francisco Franco (b. 1892) came to power 1939.

4. Communism, a revolutionary movement, is also to be distinguished from socialism, which tries, in democratic and constitutional ways, gradually to nationalize only essential means of production and to distribute justly to all acc. to amount and quality of work; operates with the maxim “from each acc. to his capacity, to each acc. to his need.” In Marxist theory, socialism is transitional bet. capitalism and communism; in areas under communist control socialist parties have been liquidated or become only nominally socialist.

To the extent that the individual is subordinated to social considerations, individual freedom is drawn into tension, including freedom of religion. Socialism and communism were promoted largely by agnostic and antiecclesiastical thinkers; as a result, chs. took an opposing stand (see, e.g., Encyclicals). But many aims of the Social* Gospel found parallels in socialism; hence, though motives differed, some criticism of socialism was blunted. The search continues for solution to problems involved without violence to Christian faith. RRC

See also Christian Socialism; Engels, Friedrich; Marx, Karl Heinrich.

K. H. Marx and F. Engels, Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (London, 1848), tr., ed., and annotated F. Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party (Chicago, 1945); V. I. Lenin, The State and Revolution (London, 1919); N. A. Berdyaev, The Origin of Russian Communism, tr. from the Russ. by R. M. French, new ed. (London, 1948); W. Temple, Christianity and Social Order, 3d ed. (London, 1950); E. Heimann, Communism, Fascism, or Democracy? (New York, 1938); Encyclicals of Leo XIII (cf., e.g., Social Wellsprings, selected, arranged, and annotated by J. Husslein, I [Milwaukee, 1940]); R. Niebuhr, An Interpretation of Christian Ethics (New York, 1935); H. E. Brunner, Justice and the Social Order, tr. M. Hottinger (New York, 1945); J. C. Bennett, Christianity and Communism Today (New York, 1960); M. Harrington, Socialism (New York, 1972).

Social Reform.

Soc. reform is not revolutionary: it does not aim at complete change of the soc. order, as social* action may. It accepts the existing fundamental soc. and economic structure of soc. but tries to eliminate the evils that result from improper or faulty functioning of the soc. system. Its motivation derives from individual and group distress that soc. work tries to alleviate; it proceeds beyond alleviation and tries to remedy the causes of distress insofar as they may seem to result from maladjustments in the soc. order. Temperance movements and antivice crusades are examples of soc. reform movements.

Social Work****

(soc. service; welfare work). A. Definition. Social (from Lat. socialis, from socius, “companion; ally; associate”) work has been defined as any activity to promote soc. welfare and described as the processes involved in adjusting an individual's relationships with other persons and with his wider soc. and economic development. Since it deals with human personalities, created not only by heredity but also developed by many changing environmental factors, and with changing society, the best picture of soc. work is obtained through study of its hist., goals, and present stage of development.

B. History.

1. Soc. work arises out of the responsibility of one for the welfare of another (cf. Gn 4:9). The pre-Christian world did not lack humanitarian impulses; writings of all ancient nations tell of efforts in behalf of poor and sick. In the NT, Christian love of God and fellowman became the motive (Jn 13:34); resultant charitable service was regarded as a fruit of faith and love (Gl 5:6; 1 Jn 3:17).

2. In the early ch. this service was rendered personally or through others (Acts 6:1–6). A form of voluntary Christian communism was apparently practiced briefly (Acts 2:44–45). Later the ch. exercised almost complete control over work and institutions of charity. Institutional care was fostered by religious orders; other work was supervised by priests. Encouragement of indiscriminate almsgiving led to widespread mendicancy requiring mass relief in large pop. centers. By the end of the Middle Ages, relief of poor was a major issue.

3. The Reformation and accompanying changes swept away old concepts of charity and the old system of relief. Recognition of poverty as a soc. rather than individual problem led to the Eng. poor-law system, beginning ca. 1573, and to later large-scale development of soc. work in Eng. and Am.

4. In the 1890s the concept of character deficiency as primary cause of poverty gave way to recognition of environmental causes. Soc. action movements developed to abolish soc. inequities and economic and pol. ills that seemed to produce poverty and attendant evils.

5. Modern soc. casework began after WW I. Mary Ellen Richmond (1861–1928; b. Belleville, Illinois; soc. worker) wrote Social Diagnosis (New York, 1917) and What Is Social Case Work? (New York, 1922). Thorough investigation, accurate diagnosis, and specific treatment came to be recognized as indispensable. Emphasis on self-help grew. The family was recognized as basic in society; relationships of the family to the soc. order received much attention. The psychol. approach was developed. Personality problems came to be recognized as a potent cause of soc. maladjustment, esp. since the start of WW II 1939. Growing knowledge of the dynamics of soc. behavior provides new tools for soc. workers.

C. Types of Soc. Work.

1. Soc. work may be classified as casework, group work, and community service. Casework: work with individuals or closely knit small groups. Group work: work with larger or more loosely knit groups. Community service: work with communities. Cf. “Social Casework,” “Social Group Work,” and “Community Organization” in Encyclopedia of Social Work (successor to Social Work Year Book), 15th issue, ed. H. L. Lurie (New York, 1965).

2. Casework tries to make specialized services available, e.g., in child welfare, family service, service to transients, med., soc. service, psychiatric soc. service.

D. Organization of Social Work Agencies.

1. Pub. agencies are gen. administered as a function of local, state, or nat. govt.. They are created by legal enactment and are supported by taxes. Fed. govt. concern for soc. welfare is expressed, e.g., in the 1964 antipoverty legislation and the 1935 Soc. Security Act and its subsequent amendments. WW II and its aftermath led to expansion of govt. assistance, esp. to the internat. field through the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. A Dept. of Health, Educ., and Welfare was est. 1953.

2. Services offered by pub. agencies exceed those of private agencies in terms of funds expended, number of clients served, and variety of services rendered.

3. Private agencies are agencies founded by private initiative, governed by privately chosen bds. or committees, and supported by voluntary contributions. Many private agencies have combined under United Funds (Community Chests) and similar movements in an endeavor to secure equitable distribution of funds. Some religious private agencies operate on basis of denominational support.

E. Christian Soc. Service.

1. Gen. follows methods, techniques, and service classifications of secular service. Sponsored by Christian groups. Governed by Christian principles that vary with the tenets of sponsoring groups.

2. Distinguished from secular service in motivation. Secular service is motivated by humanitarian principles, a sense of justice and fair play, or expediency. Christian service is motivated by Christian love, a fruit of faith (Gl 5:6).

3. Distinguished from secular service also in areas served. Secular service commonly deals with biological, psychological, and soc. needs. Christian service includes spiritual needs.

4. Looks beyond this world to the world to come.

F. Lutheran Soc. Work.

1. Exalts the love and mercy of God; goes beyond soc. action and soc. reform in that it both serves individuals in time and points the way to eternity with God.

2. Luth. soc. work in Am. was first called charity. Now it is gen. called soc. service or soc. work. HFW JCC

See also Associated Lutheran Charities; Bünger, Johann Friedrich; Charities, Christian; Deaconesses; Child and Family Service Agencies; Duemling, Enno A.; Herzberger, Frederick William; Inner Mission; National Association of Social Workers; Passavant, William Alfred; Social Action; Social Reform; Sociology.

Theology and Social Welfare: Redemption and Good Works. Papers delivered at the Soc. Work Conf. sponsored by the Luth. Academy for Scholarship, March 29–30, 1968, Valparaiso (Indiana) U. (Saint Louis, 1968).

Societas Divini Salvatoris

(Salvatorians). Founded 1881 Rome, It., as Societas Apostolica Instructiva; received final papal approbation 1911; advances RCm through teaching.

Société évangélique de Genève

(Ev. Soc. of Geneva). Founded 1831 as a cen. of orthodoxy over against rationalism; est. a theol. school at Geneva, Switz., which stressed Bible-centered instruction; conducted SS., Bible study, revival hrs., served Fr. prisoners of war in Germany; active also in France and It.; emphasized colportage. See also Gaussen, François Samuel Robert Louis; Merle d'Aubigné, Jean Henri.

Society for Advancing the Christian Faith in the British West India Islands

(Christian Faith Soc.). Began in the 1691 will of R. Boyle,* who directed part of his estate to be used to advance the Christian faith among infidels; the executors of the will bought an estate in Brafferton, Yorkshire, Eng., proceeds from which were used at William and Mary Coll., Willamsburg, Virginia, for instruction of Indian children; after the War of Am. Indep. (Revolutionary War) the Soc. for the Conversion and Religious Instruction and Educ. of the Negro Slaves in the Brit. West India Islands was est. by royal charter; slavery was abolished in the Brit. colonies 1834; a new charter (1836) changed the name; work later extended to Mauritius and other islands belonging to Gt. Brit..

Society for the Diffusion of Christian and General Knowledge Among the Chinese.

Organized 1887 under leadership of A. Williamson* in Shanghai, China. The Christian Literature Soc. for China was formed in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scot., 1892 to help this soc. Pubs.: The Review of the Times; Chinese Missionary Review.

Society for the Promotion of Mohammedan Missions, The.

Formed 1944 under leadership of H. Nau* to disseminate information regarding Islam and promote missions to Muslim. Pub.: The Minaret.

Society for the Propagation of the Gospel Among the Danes in North America, The.

Organized October 1869 in Den.; missionaries included R. Andersen.* Known as Udvalget (“The Committee [or Commission]”). See also Danish Lutherans in America, 3.

Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England.

Organized 1649 in Eng., largely as a result of interest stimulated by J. Eliot's* work. Its work was later taken over by the Soc. for the Propagation of the Gospel in For. Parts (see Bible Societies, 3). See also Mayhew, Experience.

Society Islands

(Iles de la Société). S Pacific islands named on basis of Eng. rediscovery in the late 1760s, in honor of the Brit. Royal Soc. Previous names of Tahiti: King George's Is. (1767) and La Nouvelle Cythère (1768); Tahiti and adjacent islands were first called Georgian Island (1769). Area: ca. 650 sq. mi.; Part of Fr. Polynesia,* which became an overseas territory of Fr. 1946; E of Cook* Islands, SW of Marquesas Islands; include 14 islands, 8 inhabited (including Tahiti and Mooréa [or Eimeo]). Discovered 1607 by P. F. de Quirós.*

LMS began work 1797. King Pomare II was bap. 1812. The whole Bible in Tahitian was pub. 1838. Fr. protectorate est. 1843. The Paris* Ev. Miss. Soc. took the place of the LMS. See also Williams, John.

Society of Jesus.

RC order of clerks* regular; mems. are called Jesuits, a term that was long derogatory.

Stated purpose: salvation and perfection of mankind. Emphasis on obedience (including special obedience to the pope) is reflected in use of military language. Main work is in educ. (esp. higher educ.) and missions.

The Soc. of Jesus was founded by I. (of) Loyola*; he and 6 companions made the first vows 1534; canonical establishment came 1540.

Jesuits were prominent in the Counter Reformation (see Counter Reformation, 8–9). Opposition, arising perhaps partly out of envy of success, partly out of Gallicanism* and Jansenism,* partly out of resentment and a variety of other causes, led to suppression of the order 1773 everywhere except Russ., where it was favored by Catherine II (Catherine the Great; Ekaterina Alekseevna; Sophia Augusta Frederica of Anhalt-Zerbst; 1729–96; empress of Russ. 1762–96) and perpetuated itself with papal approval until it was restored 1814 (see also Bull; Popes, 25).

Supreme authority is in a gen. cong., which elects superior generals (who serve for life) and deals with some grave problems; the cong. met 31 times 1558–1965 (25 times for election). A provincial heads each province (10 in the US: Maryland; New York; Missouri; New Orleans; California; New Eng.; Chicago; Oregon; Detroit; Wisconsin). Official directives are in writings collectively called the Institute.

Training (reduced in time and made more flexible in recent yrs.) leads to membership consisting of priests, scholastics (students), and temporal coadjutors. All spend 2 yrs. in a novitiate (see Novice), preceded in the case of brothers by 6-mo. postulancy (see Postulant).

Worldwide there were ca. 35,000 Jesuits in 1970 (ca. 7,900 in the US: 5,000 priests, 2,500 scholastics, 650 temporal coadjutors). Nearly 3,000 priests and scholastics left the order 1965–70, including ca. 500 Americans. In 1960 four hundred were admitted, in 1967 only 149. In 1970, efforts by Jesuits in Sp. to splinter off in order to preserve “the true spirit” of the order were suppressed. MAM

See also Accommodation, 5; Jajus, Claudius; Paccanarists.


1. Theol. system named after F. P. Sozzini (see Socinus, 2) and his followers. Has roots in 16th-c. Eur. anti-Trinitarians and Anabaptists (e.g., G. Blandrata,* F. Davidis,* J. Denk,* G. V. Gentile,* M. Gribaldi,* L. Hetzer,* J. Kautz,* B. Ochino,*C. Ostorodt,* M. Servetus,* L. F. M. Sozini [see Socinus, 1]), J. Völkel.* Some fled the Inquisition* to Switz., Transylvania, and Poland (where Unitarianism found favor among the ruling classes). F. P. Sozzini (see Socinus) unified and organized them. Rakow (Racow), Poland, became the cen. of the movement and seat of a flourishing school (see also Rakau Catechism). Leaders included V. Smalcius.*

2. RC reaction began under Sigismund III (see Poland, 3). The ch. at Lublin was destroyed 1627; the school at Rakow was suppressed 1638. All Socinians were banished from Poland 1658; some fled to Transylvania, others to Prussia and other parts of Ger. and to Holland and elsewhere, but without finding complete toleration. Socinians in Eng. found a kindred spirit in deism and included J. Biddle* and J. Priestley.* See also Unitarianism.

3. Socinianism as reflected, e.g., in the works of F. P. Sozzini and the Rakau Catechism, is super-naturalistic with the tendency toward increasing rationalism. The Bible is regarded as the revealed authority and source of religious truth, containing nothing contrary to reason; e.g., the deity of Christ, original sin, vicarious atonement of Christ, and resurrection of the body are denied; the ungodly, with the devil and his angels, shall be annihilated; Baptism and Communion are unnecessary; men save themselves, insofar as they need salvation.


Latinized form of Sozini (Sozzini), name of 2 It. anti-Trinitarians connected with the beginnings of Socinianism.*

1. Lelio Francesco Maria Sozini (Laelius Socinus; 1525–62). Uncle of F. P. Sozzini (see 2); b. Siena; educ. as a jurist at Bologna; studied theol.; came to doubt the Trin. and other doctrines repugnant to reason; traveled widely in Reformation lands and became acquainted with P. Melanchthon and J. Calvin. Expressed his views in writings bequeathed to F. P. Sozzini. D. Zurich, Switz.

2. Fausto Paolo Sozzini (Faustus Socinus; 1539–1604). Nephew of L. F. M. Sozini (see 1); b. Siena; no regular educ.; studied theol.; lived at Lyons, Fr., 1559–62, at Zurich 1562; became firmly est. in anti-Trinitarianism; held court positions at Florence, It., 1562–74; lived at Basel, Switz., 1574–78; to Transylvania 1578 on invitation of G. Blandrata*; theol. turmoil and outbreak of the pest caused him to leave; to Poland 1579, where he freed scattered anti-Trinitarians from Anabap. and chiliastic accretions and unified and organized them; lived mainly in Kraków, under abuse and opposition, till driven out of the city 1598. See also Sociniamism, 1.


Science or study of society and of soc. institutions and relations with a view to understanding and improvement. Subdivisions include rural, urban, hist., and cultural sociology. See also Social Work.

Sockman, Ralph Washington

(1889–1970). B. Mt. Vernon, Ohio Educ. Ohio Wesleyan U., Delaware, Ohio; Columbia U. and Union Theol. Sem., NYC Pastor NYC Preacher NBC's Nat. Radio Pulpit 1928–62. Visiting prof. Yale U., New Haven, Connecticut; Union Theol. Seminary. Pres. Church Peace Union (later Council* on Religion and Internat. Affairs) 1948. Works include The Paradoxes of Jesus; The Meaning of Suffering; A Life for Living; Suburbs of Christianity; Date with Destiny; The Higher Happiness; How to Believe.


(ca. 470–399 BC). Philos.; b. Athens, Greece; rendered military service from time to time; twice defied govt. ruling which he regarded as unjust; criticized follies and vices of the govt. and inanities of the popular theol. of his day; convicted of charges of corrupting the youth and of being unfaithful to the religion and gods of the state; chose death by poison hemlock rather than suggest a lesser penalty.

Aristophanes (ca. 448–ca. 380 BC; Athenias play-wright) caricatures him, probably playfully, in The Clouds as petty, bourgeoise, antidemocratic. Xenophon (ca. 434–ca. 355 BC; hist. and essayist; b. Athens, Greece; disciple of Socrates) describes him in Memorabilia as a practical man of action. Plato* (disciple of Socrates) idealizes him as a hero of dialectic. Aristotle* credits him with being the first to seek natural definitions or universal principles, but only in moral matters. The accuracy of the image thus secured is subject to debate.

Socrates developed a method of inquiry and instruction (known as the Socratic method) by questions and answers; it led to the notion that virtue is teachable, evil the result of ignorance, and the virtues one.

Other disciples of Socrates include Aristippus,* Antisthenes (see Cynicism), Euclid(es)* of Megara.

See also Aesthetics; Dialectic; Natural Law, 2; Philosophy.


(surnamed Scholasticus; ca. 380 - after 440). Gk. ch. hist.; b. Constantinople. Wrote a ch. hist. covering the period 306–439, continuing the Historia ecclesiastica of Eusebius* of Caesarea. See also Sozomen; Tripartite History.

Soden, Hans Karl Hermann von

(1852–1914). Father of H. O. A. M. R. U. v. Soden*; b. Cincinnati, Ohio; educ. Tübingen, Ger., held various positions in the ministry at Wildbad (near Stuttgart), Dresden-Striesen, Chemnitz, and Berlin; prof. NT Berlin 1893; liberal of the Ritschlian school (see Ritschl, Albrecht Benjamin). Works include Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments in ihrer ältesten erreichbaren Textgestalt.

Soden, Hans Otto Arthur Marie Roderich Ulrich von

(1881–1945). Son of H. K. H. v. Soden*; b. Dresden, Ger.; pupil of K. G. A. v. Harnack*; prof. Breslau 1918, Marburg 1924; became founder and leader of Confessing* Ch. in Hesse-Cassel. Works include Geschichte der christlichen Kirche; Wahrheit in Christus.

Söderblom, Nathan

(Lars Olof Jonathan; 1866–1931). Luth. theol.; b. Trönö, Hälsingland province (included largely in Gävleborg Co.), E cen. Swed.; educ. Uppsala; ordained 1893; chaplain mental hosp. Uppsala; pastor Paris and sailors' pastor Calais and Dunkerque, Fr., 1894. Prof. Uppsala 1901–14, also Leipzig, Ger., 1912–14; abp. Uppsala 1914; received Nobel peace prize 1930. Sweden's most outstanding spiritual leader in modern times. Works include Christian Fellowship; The Nature of Revelation, tr. F. E. Pamp. See also Ecumenical Movement, 9; Sweden, Lutheranism in, 6. GH

T. J. E. Andrae, Nathan Söderblom, 5th ed. (Uppsala, 1932); E. Berggray, Nathan Söderblom: Gent og karakter (Oslo, 1931); E. J. Ehnmark, Religions-problemet hos Nathan Söderblom (Lund, 1949); C. J. Curtis, Söderblom: Ecumenical Pioneer (Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1967); T. C. Graebner, “Nathan Soederblom,” CTM, XV (1944), 314–328.

Södermann, August Johan

(Johan August; 1832–76). Prot. composer; b. Stockholm, Swed.; received musical training in Ger. Works include a mass; Benedictus; Agnus Dei.

Soetefleisch, Johann

(1552–1620). Luth. theol.; b. Seesen, Brunswick, NW Ger.; educ. Gandersheim and Helmstedt; rector Burg, near Magdeburg; taught at Magdeburg 1581; gen. supt. Göttingen 1589, Calenberg 1608. Prepared Catechism questions based on M. Luther's text.

Sohm, Rudolph

(Rudolf; 1841–1917). B. Rostock, Ger.; educ. Rostock, Berlin, Heidelberg, Munich; prof. Göttingen, Freiburg, Strasbourg, Leipzig. Works include Das Verhältnis von Staat und Kirche; Trauung und Verlobung; Kirchenrecht; Institutionen des römischen Rechts; Kirchengeschichte im Grundriss.

Sohn, Otto Emanuel

(October 10, 1894–April 15, 1969). B. Detroit, Michigan; educ. Conc. Coll., Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri Pastor Sturgis, Sherman Twp., St. Joseph Co., SW Michigan, 1917–19; Berrien Springs, Niles, and Buchanan, Michigan, Flint, Michigan, 1930–47. Prof. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, 1947–66. Ed. Der Lutheraner 1954–69; other works include What's the Answer?

Sohn(ius), Georg

(1551–89). Ref. theol.; b. Rossbach, Ger.; educ. Marburg and Wittenberg; prof. Marburg and Heidelberg; Philippist (see Philippists); opposed FC in Hesse. Works include De verbo Dei et eius tractatione.

Soka Gakkai

(“Value-creating Society”). Subsect of the Nichiren branch of Buddhism.* See also Nichiren Buddhism.

D. Neiswender, “Christianity and Nichiren in Japan,” CTM, XXXVII (1966), 355–364.

Sola fide

(Lat. “by faith alone”). Term referring to the Scriptural doctrine that “a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law” (Ro 3:28; cf. Ph 3:9). AC IV 1–2: “Men cannot be justified before God by their own strength, merits, or works but are freely justified for Christ's sake through faith when they believe that they are received into favor and that their sins are forgiven on account of Christ, who by His death made satisfaction for our sins.” See also Faith, Justifying; Material Principle.

Sola gratia

(Lat. “by grace alone”). Term referring to the Scriptural doctrine that man is saved by grace alone without the deeds of the Law (Eph 2:8–9). See also Conversion, II; Faith, Justifying; Grace; Predestination.

Sola Scriptura

(Lat. “Scripture alone”). Term referring to the formal* principle of the Luth. Church. FC SD Rule and Norm 3: “We pledge ourselves to the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments as the pure and clear fountain of Israel, which is the only true norm according to which all teachers and. teachings are to be judged and evaluated.” See also Grace, Means of; Holy Scripture; Inspiration, Doctrine of; Norma normans.

J. T. Mueller, “The Sola Scriptura and Its Modern Antithesis,” CTM, XVI (1945), 5–24.

Soli Deo gloria.

Lat. “Glory be to God alone.”


A subjective idealism* that holds that the self can know only its own states and modifications.

Solomon Islands.

In the Melanesian archipelago in the W Pacific Ocean. Area: ca. 10,640 sq. mi. Formerly under Brit.; indep. 1978. Ethnic groups: various Melanesians; some Polynesians. Official language: English; others: Pidgin, local languages. Religions: Angl. 34%, Evangelical 24%, RC 19%, traditional religions.

Somascha, Order of Clerks Regular of

(Ordo Clericorum Regularium a Somascha; Somaschi; also called Regular Clerks of St. Majolus, or Majolites, after the Ch. of St. Majolus,* Pavia, It., which was given them by C. Borromeo*). RC order founded 1532 Somasca (or Somascho), bet. Milan and Bergamo; approved by pope 1540; united with Theatines* ca. 1546–55; made religious order under Augustinian rule and named after Majolus 1568. Work includes care of needy and teaching. See also Counter Reformation, 6.

Sommer, Martin Samuel

(March 31, 1869–December 16, 1949). B. Blenheim, near Baltimore, Maryland; educ. Baltimore City Coll. and Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri; pastor Grace Luth. Ch., St. Louis 1892–1920 (he had begun preaching there 1891); pres. Eng. Dist. of the Mo. Syn. 1912–15; prof. Conc. Sem., Saint Louis, 1920–46. Coed. The Lutheran Witness 1914–49.

R. L. Sommer, “Martin Samuel Sommer,” CHIQ, XXIII (1950–51), 123–131, 159–169.

Sommer, Peter Nicholas

(Nicolaus; January 9, 1709–October 27, 1795). Son-in-law of W. C. Berkenmeyer*; Luth. pastor; b. Hamburg, Ger.; educ. Germany; to US 1742/43; pastor Schoharie, New York, serving also Stone Arabia, Palatine Bridge, Cobleskill and other places from 1743.

Sonntag, Karl Gottlob

(1765–1827). B. Radeberg, near Dresden, Ger.; educ. Leipzig; held various ministerial positions; gen. supt. Livonia (now in Latvia); originally rationalist, later stressed piety; tried to improve the lot of peasants. Poet Helped draft const. for Luth. Ch. in Russia; issued catechisms. Works include Wert und Notwendigkeit der christlichen Religion für den vernünftigen Menschen; Über Menschenleben, Christentum und Umgang.


Theol. based on divine wisdom.

Sorbon, Robert de

(1201–74). B. Sorbon, near Rethel, Fr.; chaplain and confessor of Louis* IX; founded a coll. for poor theol. students 1257, forerunner of Sorbonne Coll. of Paris U.

Sorley, William Ritchie

(1855–1935). Brit. philos.; b. Selkirk, Scot.; prof. Cambridge 1900–33; exponent of moral argument for God (see Apologetics, II A; God, Arguments for the Existence of). Works include The Moral Life and Moral Worth; A History of British Philosophy to 1900 (1st ed. pub. under title A History of English Philosophy).

Sorolainen, Eerikki Eerikinpoika

(Fin. “Eric, son of Eric Sorolainen”; known also as Ericus Erici; 1545–1625). Luth. theol.; b. Laitila, Fin.; educ. Ger.; rector of Gymnasium at Gävle, Swed.; bp. Turku (Aabo), Fin., 1583. Helped tr. Bible into Fin. Other works include a ch. manual; catechism; postil.


Branch of doctrinal theol. that deals with salvation by divine agency. In Luth. theol.: the Bible doctrine concerning the application of the merits of Christ to the individual sinner, whereby the sinner is led to the actual possession and enjoyment of the blessings which Christ has procured for all mankind. See also Atonement.

Soto, Francisco Domingo de

(1494–1560). RC theol.; b. Segovia, Sp.; educ. Alcalá de Henares, Sp., and Paris, Fr.; prof. Alcalá 1520; Dominican 1525 (when he replaced his name Francisco with Domingo); taught at Segovia and Salamanca; imperial theol. of Charles* V at the Council of Trent*; confessor and spiritual adviser of Charles V 1547; prior at Salamanca. Works include commentary on Ro and on Aristotle's De anima.

Soto, Pedro de

(Asotus; 1500–63). B. probably Alcalá de Henares (or Córdoba?), Sp.; Dominican ca. 1518/19; confessor and adviser of Charles* V 1542; opposed Lutheranism; prof. Dillingen. Works include Institutiones Christianae.


Vital principle in man; without matter and form. Definitions of, and distinctions bet., soul, mind, and spirit vary. See also Creationism; Democritus; Image of God, 3–4; Immortality; Materialism; Traducianism.

Soul Sleep

(psychopannychism). View that the soul of a dead person exists in a state of sleep. Scripture does not speak of soul sleep, but of souls after death in a state of awareness (Rv 6:10; cf. Lk 16:22–31; “rest” in Rv 14:13 does not imply sleep; cf. Heb 4:9–11). When we speak of the dead as sleeping, this refers to the body. See also Adventist Bodies, 3, 4.

Souter, Alexander

(1873–1949). NT Biblical and classical scholar; b. Perth, Scot.; educ. Aberdeen, Scot., and Cambridge, Eng.; taught at Aberdeen 1897–1903; prof. Oxford 1903–11, Aberdeen 1911–37. Works include The Text and Canon of the New Testament; A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament.

South, Liturgical.

Right, as one faces the altar in a ch.; Epistle* side. See also Orientation of Churches.

South America.

S continent, W hemisphere; 4th largest (after Asia, Afr., and N. Am.). Area: ca. 6,881,000 sq. mi. For current information see CIA World factbook. Political divisions: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela. Surinam (Dutch Guiana) is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Fr. Guiana is an overseas dept. of Fr. The Falkland Islands (Sp. name: Islas Malvinas) and dependencies, under Brit. control since 1833, were occupied for 74 days by Argentina 1982. For the Neth. Antilles see Caribbean Islands, C, E 7. See also Trinidad and Tobago.

1. Argentine Rep. (Argentina). Area: ca. 1,065,200 sq. mi. Under Sp. influence and control from the 16th c.; indep. 1816. Official language: Spanish. RCm officially recognized in the const.; liberty provided for all religions; perhaps ca. 200,000 Prots. The Ger. Ev. La Plata Syn. (Luth.-Ref.) was est. 1899. The Iglesia Evangelica Luterana Unida began 1908 as a N. Am. miss. venture. Other Luth. chs. include Swed., Dan., Norw., and Fin.. See also 2; Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Districts of The, B 2; United Lutheran Church in America, The, III.

2. Tierra del Fuego, largest is. in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, S tip of S. Am. Area: ca. 18,530 sq. mi.; ca. W half belongs to Chile, ca. E half to Argentina. The Angl. Ch. continued work after unsuccessful efforts by A. F. Gardiner* and by The S. Am. Miss. Soc.

3. Rep. of Bolivia. Surrounded by Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru. Area: ca. 424,165 sq. mi. Official language: Sp., spoken by perhaps ca. 40%. Under Sp. influence and control, as Upper Peru. from the 1530s; indep. 1825 and renamed after its liberator, Simón Bolívar (1783–1830). Official religion: RCm (perhaps ca. 95%); religious liberty extends to others. A Ger. Luth. cong. was est. 1923 in La Paz, the capital; related congs. were est. in the vicinity. The Iglesia Evangelica Luterana was est. 1938 by the World* Miss. Prayer League.

4. Federative Rep. of Brazil (22 states, 4 territories, 1 fed. dist.). Area: ca. 3,286,470 sq. mi. Under Port. influence and control from ca. 1500; indep. monarchy 1822; rep. 1889. Official language: portuguese. Religion: perhaps ca. 90–95% RC Luths. have been in Brazil at least since 1552. Huguenot efforts at colonization 1555–68 and Ref. work 1636–44 came to nought. A Ger. Luth. cong. was est. 1823. The Rio Grande do Sul Syn. was organized 1886, other syns. 1905, 1911, 1912; these 4 formed a fed. 1950 which became the Ev. Ch. of the Luth. Confession 1954. Swed. and Norw. Luth. pastors serve seamen. The World* Miss. Prayer League began work 1953. See also Anchieta, José de; Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Districts of The, B 1.

5. Rep. of Chile (narrow strip along S half of the W coast of S. Am.). Area: ca. 292,135 sq. mi. Under Sp. influence and control from the 16th c.; indep. 1818; under congressional dictatorship 1891–1925. Official and prevailing language: Spanish. RCm dominant. Hundreds of Ger. Luth. families came to Chile ca. 1849–59; the 1st parish was organized 1863, the Ger. Ev. Luth. Ch. in Chile 1905. After unsuccessful efforts 1920 and 1932. LCMS est. permanent work 1952; LCMS Argentine Dist. includes Chile. See also 2.

6. Rep. of Colombia (NW SAm.). Area: ca. 440,830 sq. mi. Under Sp. influence and control from ca. 1499; indep. 1819. Official and prevailing language: Spanish. State religion: RCm (perhaps ca. 96–99%); others tolerated. Indep. Luth. missionaries founded the Celmosa Miss. of Colombia 1936. The field was transferred to ELC/UELC 1946, to The ALC 1960. Iglesia Evangelica Luterana—Sinodo de Colombia was organized 1958. Luth. miss. work has also been done among Germans and Scandinavians.

7. Rep. of Ecuador (Pacific coast, NW S. Am.). Area: ca. 108,625 sq. mi. Under Sp. influence and control from ca. 1532; indep. of Sp. 1822; then part of confederacy of Greater Colombia till 1830, when it became an indep. rep. Official and prevailing language: Spanish. RCm predominates. The World* Miss. Prayer League began work among Indians 1951. Luth. ch. work among Gers. and Scands. began 1953 by extension from Colombia.

8. Rep. of Paraguay (cen. S. Am.; surrounded by Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia). Area: ca. 157,047 sq. mi. Under Sp. influence and control from the 16th c.; indep. 1811. Official language: Sp.; nearly all speak also Guarani. State religion: RCm (ca. 90%); others tolerated. Ger. Ev. work began 1893. LCMS began Ger. work 1935; its Argentine Dist. includes Paraguay.

9. Rep. of Peru (Pacific coast, NW S. Am., bet. Ecuador and Chile). Area: ca. 496,222 sq. mi. Under Sp. influence and control from 1532; indep. 1824. Official language: Spanish. State religion: RCm; others tolerated. Ev. work among Gers. began ca. 1898, connected to the Prussian* Union 1905, est. legally as Iglesia Evangelica Luterana del Peru 1951. See also Acosta, José de.

10. Oriental Rep. of Uruguay (echoing Banda Oriental [“East Bank,” i. e., of the Uruguay and the Platal, the name under which it was inc. in the Sp. Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata 1776), smallest[ country of S. Am., on SE coast. Area; ca. 68,000 sq. mi. Settled by Sp. 1624; unsuccessfully challenged by Port. from the 1680s to the 1770s; indep. from Sp. 1811–14; conquered by Port. from Brazil; province of Brazil 1820–25; revolted 1825; indep. rep. 1828; administered by a 9-mem. Nat. Council 1951–66. Official and universal language: Spanish. Ch. and state are separate; RCm predominant. Ger. evangelical work began 1843 and was carried on intermittently. LCMS (whose Argentine Dist. includes Uruguay) began work 1936. Work of the ULC began in the 1940s, was undergirded by the NLC in the early 1950s, transferred to the Augustana Bd. of World Mission 1956, to the LCA 1962.

11. Rep. of Venezuela (N coast of S. Am.); consists of 20 states, 2 territories, 1 fed. dist. Area: ca. 352, 143 sq. mi. Under Sp. influence and control from the 16th c.; indep. proclaimed 1811, assured 1821; part of confederacy of Greater Colombia 1819–29/30; indep. rep. 1830; unsettled times followed for many decades. Official and universal language: Sp. Official religion: RCm (perhaps ca. 96%); religious freedom guaranteed. Ger. Prot. miss. efforts began in the last half of the 19th c. The LWF supplied a pastor 1949 for Ger. and Latvian services. The NLC supplied additional pastors in the early 1950s. A Luth. Council of Venezuela was formed 1960. LCMS began work 1951. The Conf. of Luth. Chs. in Venezuela was formed in the early 1970s. The Ev. Luth. Ch. in Venezuela was formed 1985.

12. Cooperative Rep. of Guyana (NE coast of S. Am.). Area: ca. 83,000 sq. mi. Settled by Dutch in 17th c.; alternated bet. Dutch and Brit. rule in 18th c., with Brit. rule est. by 1815; colony of Brit. Guiana est. 1831; indep. state in the Comm. 1966; rep. 1970. Official language: Eng.; various others spoken. Religion: perhaps ca. 57% Christian (mainly Angl.), 34% Hindu. 9% Muslim. The Luth. ch. est. by Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam lasted ca. 100 yrs., was then used by Meths., reopened for Luth. services 1875, affiliated with the E. Pennsylvania Syn. 1890. The Ev. Luth. Ch. of (or in) Brit. Guiana, organized 1943 as ULC assoc. syn., became ULC-affiliated syn. 1950. See also United Lutheran Church in America, The, III.

13. Surinam (Dutch: Suriname; formerly Netherlands Guiana or Dutch Guiana), on the NE coast of S. Am. Area: ca. 63,040 sq. mi. Explored by Sp. in 16th c. Control changed hands several times when Brit., Fr., and Dutch competed for the area. Awarded to Dutch by Congress of Vienna 1815. Indep. 1975. Official language: Dutch; various others spoken. Religions include Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish. Moravians began work in 1730s. See also Weltz, Justinian(us) Ernst von.

14. French Guiana (NE coast of S. Am.); consists of 2 arrondissements: coastal Cayenne and and hinterland Inini. Area: ca. 32,250 sq. mi. First settled by Fr. early in the 17th c.; changed hands several times under Dutch and Brit. competition; Fr. sovereignity est. ca. 1676; captured by Anglo-Port. force ca. 1808/09; repossessed by Fr. 1817; penal colony est. ca. 1852; Fr. overseas dept. 1946; penal colony closed 1947. Official language: Fr. RCm predominates. Prots. include Salvation Army; Christian Missions in Many Lands; Angls.; Seventh-day Adventists. WED

South America Indian Mission.

Founded 1914 by an Am. miss. as Paraguayan Mission. Joined a likeminded mission from Scot. 1919 and renamed Inland S. Am. Missionary Union. Present name adopted 1939. Avoided larger centers of civilization; sought Indians in jungles. Est. several Bible schools for natives. Fields include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru. Mem. IFMA US HQ Lake Worth, Fla.

Southcott, Joanna

(1750–1814). B. Gittisham, near Exmouth, Devonshire, Eng.; domestic servant; originally Meth.; claimed to possess supernatural gifts and to be the woman of Rv 12; in spring 1814 she announced that she was pregnant with Shiloh, who, however, failed to appear; she died a few days after Christmas. Followers called Southcottians.* Works include The Book of Wonders; The Strange Effects of Faith; The True Explanation of the Bible; Song of Moses and the Lamb.


Followers of J. Southcott,* who obligated them to keep Mosaic laws regarding the Sabbath and clean and unclean meats. Once numbering perhaps 100,000, the sect dwindled, becoming extinct by the end of the 19th c. See also Purnell, Benjamin.

Southern Africa

(South-Eastern Region), The Evangelical Lutheran Church in. See Africa, B 5.

Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Organized 1957 by M. L. King* to help coordinate civil rights efforts in S US.

Southwest, Synod of the

(Syn. of the South West; Ev. Luth. Syn. of the Southwest [or South West]; Southwest Syn.). Organized 1846, when Ev. Luth. Syn. of the West* divided. Joined The General* Syn. of the Ev. Luth. Ch. in the USA 1848. Divided 1854, part helped form a Kentucky Syn. (see Kentucky Synod, 3), part retained the name Southwest. Dissolved 1856 by mutual consent because it covered too much territory. Mems. in mid-Tennessee were directed to the Kentucky Syn. Of the mems. in W Tennessee, Missouri, and Illinois, some formed the Ev. Luth. Syn. of Southern Illinois,* others joined the Ev. Luth. Syn. of Illinois.*


(Sozzini). See Socinus.


(full name includes various forms of Hermias Salamanes; ca. 375/400–ca. 443/450). Gk. ch. hist.; b. Bethelea (Bethelia), near Gaza, Palestine. Known for ch. hist. covering ca. 100 yrs. (1st part of the 4th c. to 1st part of the 5th c.), paralleling that of Socrates* (Scholasticus). See also Tripartite History.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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