Soli Deo gloria is one of the five solas propounded to summarise the Reformers' basic beliefs during the Protestant Reformation; it is a Latin term for Glory to God alone.

Soli deo gloria

"SDG" at the end of a G. F. Handel manuscript

The doctrine states essentially that everything that is done is for God's glory to the exclusion of humankind's self-glorification and pride. Christians are to be motivated and inspired by God's glory and not their own.

Protestant-Catholic relations

The emphasis was allegedly in contradistinction to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church of the day. An opposing view in Catholic ecclesiology is that the Church is Mystici Corporis Christi, the mystical body of Christ, therefore to honour the Church is to honour Jesus himself.

Baroque period

The Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach appended the initials "SDG" to the musical manuscripts of of each of his cantatas [1] and many of his other works. This dedication was also used by his contemporary George Frideric Handel (see image on right).

The 16th century Spanish mystic and poet St. John of the Cross used a similar phrase, Soli Deo honor et gloria, in his Precautions and Counsels.


In the United States

Soli Deo gloria is the motto of the Brotherhood of Saint Gregory, a Christian Community of friars of the Episcopal Church founded within the Anglican communion in 1969. Soli Deo Gloria is also the motto for Wheaton Academy, a high school located in West Chicago, Illinois, which was founded in 1853, and Concordia College[2]. Soli Deo Gloria is the motto of Luther College and Dordt College. Soli Deo Gloria is the motto of the Chapel Choir at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Soli Deo Gloria is the motto of the American Guild of Organists.


Soli Deo Gloria is also found on the face of the South African one rand coin.

The alternative saying Soli Deo Honor Et Gloria is the motto of the Huddleston family, a family of personal soldiers for Mary I of England (19 July 1553 – 17 November 1558) during her re-establishment of Roman Catholicism.

As related to Solus Christus

Some believe this sola is redundant vis-a-vis Solus Christus, since the divine nature of Jesus has been a fundamental tenet of Christianity since before the time of the Apostolic Fathers and the Council of Nicea.

See also

External links

ia:Soli Deo gloria

hu:Soli Deo gloriaja:ソリ・デオ・グロリア no:Soli Deo Gloria pt:Soli Deo gloria

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