The Sociological Institute

Oberlin News

Thursday of last week was the second and principal day of the Sociological Institute. There was a large attendance from abroad and the people of Oberlin and the college students manifested a great interest in the proceedings. Every session was well attended and each evening the house was well filled. The sale of tickets at 25 cents defrayed all expenses and left a balance toward meeting the expense of advertising the School of Sociology which it was decided to hold in Oberlin next summer. A resolution was adopted in favor of holding an institute similar to this one either at the close of the summer school in sociology or at some other time. The grand address of Dr. Stuckenberg on Wednesday evening, which was mentioned last week, was a fitting introduction to what followed.

On Thursday forenoon Dr. Josiah Strong delivered the first address. His theme was "The Law of Service in the Industrial World." This law he claimed to be Christ’s law and claimed that inthe application of the law unselfishness should be observed and this will lead to the elimination of many social evils.

Dr. H. M. Tenney delivered the next address upon the relation which Oberlin sustains historically to the discussion of social and industrial problems, showing that in the inception and growing up of the school at Oberlin there was a practical application of Christian sociological principles. Educational opportunities were afforded to all classes and labor was held in high esteem. He says the teachings of Oberlin are represented in a book, in whcih the royal law of love is made the foundation of character and moral obligations, referring to Fairchild’s Moral Philosophy. He spoke of the welcome which Oberlin has always given to discussions and today rejoices in the agitations which are brining truth to light.

Prof. W. I. Thomas presented a scholarly paper giving a thorough analysis of the sociological question, emphasizing the thought that there is a physical as well as a spiritual side to the subject.

On Thursday afternoon Dr. Lucien C. Warner of New York delivered a very candid and practical address of half an hour in length upon "The Relation of Capital and Labor." Dr. Warner discussed the plan of co-operation and profit-sharing which in most cases he considered impractical. He urged the importance of conducting business on sound economic principles and asserted his belief that there is perfect accord between economic laws and the principles of Christianity.

Mr. Z. Swift Holbrook followed Dr. Warner with an address an hour in length upon "Christian Sociology." A prominent thought presented by Mr. Holbrook was that sociology is not an exact science but largely a speculative philosophy. He claimed that Christian sociology is practical. It has come to raise up humanity and solve the social problems which vex the world.

The final address of the Institute was delivered at 6 o’clock in the evening by Rev. Washington Gladden DD of Columbus, whose theme was "The Relation of Religion to Wealth." Dr. Gladden considered the definition of religion and wealth and then discussed the question, "Are they hostile or are they friendly ?" His idea is that they are not hostile, but that the accumulation of wealth to be properly used is in perfect accord with religious principles, and that wealth will be properly distributed when each man has just so much as he can make use of rightly.

On the motion of President Ballantine, a vote of thanks was given the speakers, the audience rising and the Institute closed.

At the afternoon session on Thursday the following gentlemen were named as the executive committee to make arrangements for the summer school of sociology in Oberlin, viz., Dr. Washington Gladden, Columbus, Mr. Z. Swift Holbrook, Chicago, President W. G. Ballantine, Oberlin, Dr. Lucien C. Warner, New York; Prof. Stephen F. Weston, Cleveland; Rev. H. M. Tenney, Oberlin; Rev. Sidney Strong, Cincinnati’ Rev. S. P. Sprecher, and Rev. Levi Gilbert of Cleveland.


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