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Trends in Canadian Church History

  • H. H. Walsh (a1)


A dual culture and geographical barriers which foster regional development have made writing Canadian history a difficult task. One historian regards it as ‘an act of faith, the substance of things hoped for.’ All the problems which the secular historian faces as he tries to organize his material into a connected story are intensified in the field of Canadian church history, and up to the present no one has ventured to do more than to trace ‘certain general movements of religion in Canadian sociological development’.



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1. Lower, A. R., Colony to Nation. (New York, Toronto, 1946), p. xi.

2. Clark, S. D., Church and Sect in Canada (Toronto, 1948).

3. There are several studies of church history for Nova Scotia. Among them: Mackinnon, I. F., Settlements and Churches in Nova Scotia, 1749–1776 (Montreal, 1930).Armstrong, M.W., The Great Awakening in Nova Scotia, 1776–1809 (Hartford, Conn., 1948).Oliver, E.H., His Dominion of Canada (Toronto, 1932), gives an account of church development in the prairie provinces.

4. Recently there have been several one-volume histories of Canada published which make the clash of culture the central theme of Canadian development. Most recent are Canada. A story of Challenge. (Cambridge, 1953), by Careless, J. M. S., and Canada in the United Nations series. (Toronto, 1950) ed. by Brown, George W..

5. Lescarbot, Marc, History of New France (The Champlain Society, Toronto, 1914). Vol. II, p. 289.

6. The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents (Cleveland, 18761901, 73 vols.) ed. by R.G. Thwaites, vol. I, p.133.

7. See article by Lower, A.R.M., “Religion and Religious Institutions,” in Canada, The United Nations Series, p. 459.

8. The British North America Act of 1867: sections 51–1, 93 and 133.

9. Roy, M., The Parish and Democracy in French Canada (Toronto, 1950) p. 17.

10. Wallace, W. S., The Growth of Canadian National Feeling (Toronto, 1927), p. 13.

11. Clark, S.D., Church and Sect in Canada, Introduction. pp.xi–xiii.

12. Canadian Almanac and Directory (Toronto, 1951), ed. by Marsh Jeanneret and Beatrice Logan. See “Religious Denominations and Missionary Societies”, pp. 464475.

13. Nova Soctia Archives, 1, 124.

14. See Harvey, D. C., “The Struggle for the New England Form of Township Government in Nova Scotia”, (Report of the Canadian Historical Association, 1933, Ottawa, 1933).

15. Saunders, E. M., History of the Baptists in the Maritime Provinces. (Halifax, 1902); p.23.

16. Grant, G. M., Joseph Howe. (Halifax 1906); p. 103.

17. Woodsworth, J., Thirty Years in the Canadian North-West. (Toronto, 1917); p. 239.

18. See article by Underhill, F. H., “Political Parties and Ideas”, in Canada, The United Nations Series, p. 344.

19. Grant, & Hamilton, , George Monro Grant (Toronto, 1905), p. 103.

20. McLean, J., James Evans, Inventor of the Syllabic System of the Cree Language (Toronto, 1890).

21. See Gunn, W. T., His Dominion, A cooperative missionary production issued in 1918, p.143 ff.

22. McNeill, J.T., The Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1875–1925 (Toronto, 1925), p.9. An interesting discussion of the trend toward union is found in chap. II of this book, pp. 16–32.

23. Silcox, C. E., Church Union in Canada (New York, 1933).

24. Grant, & Hamilton, , George Monro Grant (Toronto, 1905), p. 155.

25. Canadian Frontiers of Settlements. 9 vols. ed. by W.A. Mackintosh and W. L. G. Joerg. Vol. VII. Group Settlement, Ethnic Communities in Western Canada (Toronto, 1936), p. ix.

26. Quoted by Scott, F. R. in Canada Today: A study of Her National Interests and National Policy (New York, 1938); p. 25; from Canada (London, 1937), p. 255.

27. See “Church statistics”, The Canada Year Book, 19481949. Based on Canada Census of 1941.

28. Scott, F. R., Canada Today. A discussion of population trends is found in chap. II, pp. 1326.

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Church History
  • ISSN: 0009-6407
  • EISSN: 1755-2613
  • URL: /core/journals/church-history
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