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By Phyllis D. Airhart

"As Canadian because the maple leaf" is how one observer summed up the United Church of Canada after its founding in 1925. yet used to be this Canadian-made church mistaken in its layout, as critics have charged? A Church with the Soul of a country explores this query by way of weaving jointly the historical past of the United Church with a provocative research of faith and cultural swap. the tale starts off within the aftermath of Confederation, while the clients of establishing a Christian country persuaded a bunch of Congregationalist, Methodist, and Presbyterian leaders to put aside denominational variations and concentration in its place on shared ideals. Phyllis Airhart lines the recent church's fight to avoid wasting its recognition in the course of a sour controversy with dissenting Presbyterians who refused to hitch what they thought of a "creedless" church. Surviving the organizational and theological demanding situations of financial melancholy and warfare, the way forward for the church appeared vivid. however the ties among own religion and civic existence that the founders took without any consideration have been quickly tattered through the secular cultural hurricane sweeping via western Christendom. The United Church's remaking got here with the belief that making a Christian social order in Canada was once not likely - maybe even bad - in a pluralistic international. A Church with the Soul of a state sheds gentle at the United Church's prior controversies and current dilemmas via displaying how its founding imaginative and prescient either laid the basis for its accomplishments and complex its variation to the recent global taking shape.

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Extra info for A Church with the Soul of a Nation: Making and Remaking the United Church of Canada

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42 For progressives like Rowell, confidence that old differences would be transcended in a new land was a widely shared egalitarian notion. B. Creighton, the new editor of the Methodist denominational paper, was using the columns of the Christian Guardian to send the same message. The church had a responsibility to work with the state to provide educational and religious services for the immigrant today; otherwise, they were likely to become a burden tomorrow. T. S. W. Sparling of Wesley College in Winnipeg wanted to leave no doubt in young readers’ minds about the enormity of the task facing the churches.

37 Protestant church leaders imagined that the new type of Canadian would bear far more resemblance to the values and virtues of the Anglo-Saxon race. ”41 Like many of his day, Rowell believed that the greater part of the population of Canada might soon be found west of the Great Lakes, and the ideals of that region would determine the future of the nation. At first glance, this was a disturbing prospect. Rowell noted that the social, political, and religious institutions of non-English-s­peaking immigrants differed from those who had come from the British Isles or the United States.

91 Either way, Chown’s variety of evangelicalism fit easily with the enhanced role in the life of the nation that unionists saw for a national church. Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists across the country found themselves working together and thinking about their mission in similar terms. 92 The extent of their rootedness in the religious world of late-Victorian Canada is important in the story of church union; however, it’s a point often left out in favour of an emphasis on the novelty of their position.

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