This Week in Christian History: Gregor Mendel Born, Social Gospel Theologian Dies, Second Crusade

This Week in Christian History: Gregor Mendel Born, Social Gospel Theologian Dies, Second Crusade


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Sign up By , Christian Post Reporter | Jul 22, 2018 10:52 AM 1 / 4 Expand | Collapse (Photo: Public Domain)Peter the Hermit leading an army during the First Crusade (1096-1099).

Christianity is a faith with a long and detailed history, with numerous events of lasting significance occurring throughout the ages.

Each week brings the anniversaries of great milestones, horrid tragedies, amazing triumphs, telling tribulations, inspirational progress, and everything in between.

Here are just a few things that happened this week, July 22-28, in Church history. They include the birth of a monk who was a pioneer of modern science, the death of a prominent social gospel theologian, and a major defeat for the Second Crusade.

Gregor Mendel Born – July 22, 1822

Expand | Collapse (Photo: Public Domain)Gregor Mendel (1822-1884), an Augustinian monk whose scientific research led him to be known as the “Father of Genetics.”

This week marks the anniversary of when Gregor Mendel, the Augustinian monk who is widely known as “the Father of Genetics,” was born.

A native of what is now the Czech Republic, Mendel was admitted to the Augustinian Order, a religious order known for placing value on research and education, on Sept. 7, 1843.

“Mendel did not set out to conduct the first well-controlled and brilliantly-designed experiments in genetics. His goal was to create hybrid pea plants and observe the outcome. His observations led to more experiments, which led to unusually prescient conclusions,”

“By simply counting peas and keeping meticulous notes, Mendel established the principles of inheritance, coined the terms dominant and recessive, and was the first to use statistical methods to analyze and predict hereditary information.”

Walter Rauschenbusch Dies – July 25, 1918

Expand | Collapse (Photo: Facebook/Walter Apush Rauschenbusch)Walter Rauschenbusch (1861-1918), a Protestant minister known for his strong support of the Social Gospel movement.

This week marks the anniversary of when influential Social Gospel theologian Walter Rauschenbusch died of cancer at age 56.

A pastor at Second German Baptist Church in New York City, Rauschenbusch was a supporter of the Social Gospel, which argued that religious groups were obligated to fix social ills.

In 1907, he wrote Christianity and the Social Crisis, which continues to influence modern day theologically progressive Christian circles.

“The name of Walter Rauschenbusch is synonymous with the Social Gospel,”

“Rauschenbusch captured the spirit of the Social Gospel Movement, alerting his contemporaries to a perceived social crisis unfolding in America during the opening decades of the twentieth century and exhorting them to seize a unique opportunity for social progress.”

Crusaders Defeated at Damascus – July 28, 1148

Expand | Collapse (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)Pope Urban II giving his call to crusade at the Council of Clermont in November 1095.

This week marks the anniversary of when the armies of the second Crusade performed a five-day siege of Damascus, only to be defeated and repulsed.

Approximately 30,000 Christian soldiers laid siege to the ancient city, at that time an Islamic stronghold. The effort was marred by disputes within the Crusader leadership and eventually the arrival of a large Muslim army ended the siege in failure.

“The defeat of the Second Crusade at Damascus ensured that the Christian crusader states in the Holy Land would remain on the defensive for the foreseeable future,”

“There was no longer any realistic prospect of expansion so the Christians were confined to small states surrounded by larger and more powerful Muslim enemies.”

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