Secularizing the Faith: Canadian Protestant Clergy and the Crisis of Belief 1850-1940
The intellectual ferment of the Victorian era posed a substantial challenge to religious institutions. In Canada as elsewhere the focus of religious belief, epecially in the Protestant sects, shifted perceptibly away from spiritual concerns. David B. Marshall explores the ways in which the clergy responded to these changes.
Faced with war, depression, and the absence of religious revival in the twentieth century, a crisis in theology emerged: the church and religion seemed 'marginal.' Ministers strained to find a 'preachable gospel.' Sensing that their congregations were growing indifferent to spiritual homilies and references to the supernatural, ministers spoke of the Christian mission in the world with growing reference to morality and the obligation to create social justice. God ceased to be transcendant being and Jesus became a historial man actively engaged in the concerns of the world rather than the son of God showing the way to personal salvation. Clergymen no longer led their congregation in a quest to understand the mysterious or the supernatural.
The process of secularization during this time took place throughout much of the Western world. In exploring its course in Canadian Protestantism, Marshall shed light on a key development in Canadian religious and intellectual history.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 344 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationDavid B. Marshall is a member of the Department of History at the University of Calgary.
Subjects and Courses