The Sixties and Beyond: Dechristianization in North America and Western Europe, 1945-2000

Edited by Nancy Christie and Michael Gauvreau

© 2012

In the decades following the Second World War, North America and Western Europe experienced widespread secularization and dechristianization; many scholars have pinpointed the 1960s as a pivotally important period in this decline. The Sixties and Beyond examines the scope and significance of dechristianization in the western world between 1945 and 2000.

A thematically wide-ranging and interdisciplinary collection, The Sixties and Beyond uses a framework that compares the social and cultural experiences of North America and Western Europe during this period. The internationally based contributors examine the dynamic place of Christianity in both private lives and public discourses and practices by assessing issues such as gender relations, family life, religious education, the changing relationship of church and state, and the internal dynamics of religious organizations. The Sixties and Beyond is an excellent contribution to the burgeoning scholarship on the 1960s as well as to the history of Christianity in the western world.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 496 pages
  • Illustrations: 1
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.3in x 9.3in
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  • PUBLISHED MAR 2013

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Quick Overview

The Sixties and Beyond is an excellent contribution to the burgeoning scholarship on the 1960s as well as to the history of Christianity in the western world.

The Sixties and Beyond: Dechristianization in North America and Western Europe, 1945-2000

Edited by Nancy Christie and Michael Gauvreau

© 2012

In the decades following the Second World War, North America and Western Europe experienced widespread secularization and dechristianization; many scholars have pinpointed the 1960s as a pivotally important period in this decline. The Sixties and Beyond examines the scope and significance of dechristianization in the western world between 1945 and 2000.

A thematically wide-ranging and interdisciplinary collection, The Sixties and Beyond uses a framework that compares the social and cultural experiences of North America and Western Europe during this period. The internationally based contributors examine the dynamic place of Christianity in both private lives and public discourses and practices by assessing issues such as gender relations, family life, religious education, the changing relationship of church and state, and the internal dynamics of religious organizations. The Sixties and Beyond is an excellent contribution to the burgeoning scholarship on the 1960s as well as to the history of Christianity in the western world.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 496 pages
  • Illustrations: 1
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.3in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘A very interesting and refreshing volume… explores the social forces outside and inside religious institutions that contribute to the various courses of ‘dechristianization’ of the West in the second half of the twentieth century.’
    David Eller
    Anthropological Review Database 20 April 2014
  • Author Information

    Nancy Christie is the J.B. Smallman Chair in the Department of History at the University of Western Ontario.



    Michael Gauvreau is a professor in the Department of History at McMaster University.



    Stephen J. Heathorn is Assistant Professor of History at Indiana Unviersity-Purdue University, Indianapolis.

  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Nancy Christie (University of Western Ontario) & Michael Gauvreau (McMaster University) “’Even the hippies were only very slowly going secular’: Dechristianization and the Culture of Individualism in North America and Western Europe”

    Chapter 1: Callum G. Brown (University of Dundee), “Gender, Christianity and the Rise of No Religion: the Heritage of the Sixties in Britain”

    Chapter 2: Lynn Abrams (University of Glasgow), “Mothers and Daughters: Negotiating the Discourse on the ‘Good Woman’ in 1950s and 1960s Britain”

    Chapter 3: Sarah F. Browne (University of Nottingham), “Women, Religion and the Turn to Feminism: Experiences of Women’s Liberation Activists in Britain in the Seventies”

    Chapter 4: Melanie Heath (McMaster University), “Saving Marriage: A Comparison of Religion and Marriage Promotion In the United States and Britain”

    Chapter 5: Tina Fetner (McMaster University), “Religious Right Activism in Canada and the United States: Are We Headed In the Same Direction?”

    Chapter 6: Patrick Allitt (Emory University), “The Transformation of Catholic-Evangelical Relations in the United States:1950-2000”

    Chapter 7: Leslie Tentler (Catholic University of America), “Sex and Sub-Culture: American Catholicism Since 1945”

    Chapter 8: Michael Gauvreau (McMaster University), “’Without Making a Noise’: The Dumont Commission and The Drama of Quebec’s Dechristianization, 1968-71”

    Chapter 9: Brigitte Caulier (Université Laval), “Making Temoins du Christ for the 20th Century: The European Origins of Religious Education in Quebec, 1930-1970”

    Chapter 10: Heather Laing (McMaster University), ”’The truly educated person will know his heritage’: Shifting Conceptions of Religious Education in the Ontario Public School System, 1940-1970”

    Chapter 11: Till Van Rahden (Université de Montréal), “Families Beyond Patriarchy: Visions of Gender Equality And Child Rearing among German Catholics in an Age of Revolution”

    Chapter 12: Kevin Flatt (Redeemer University College), “The ‘New Curriculum’ Controversy and the Religious Crisis of the United Church of Canada, 1952-1965”

    Chapter 13: Nancy Christie, “’Belief Crucified upon a Rooftop Antenna’: Pierre Berton, the Comfortable Pew and Dechristianization”

    Chapter 14: Antonio Cazorla-Sanchez (Trent University), “A Different Path?: Authoritarianism, Catholicism and Laicization in Spain, 1939-75”

    Chapter 15: Patrick Pasture (Centre for European Studies), “De-Christianization and the Changing Religious Landscape in Europe and North America Since 1950: Comparative, Transatlantic And Global Perspectives”

    Chapter 16: Stephen Heathorn (McMaster University), “Echoes and Fragments: Popular Christianity, British Nostalgia and Post-Independence India”

    Chapter 17: Alana Harris (Oxford University), “Bone Idol? British Catholics and Devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux”

    Chapter 18: Hugh McLeod (University of Birmingham) “Reflections and New Perspectives”

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