Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Religious Sciences


J.J. Mol


The thesis is a critical examination of the social and cultural factors operative in the ecumenical movement of Canadian Presbyterianism that led to the formation of the United Church of Canada in 1925. Canadian ecumenicity is examined in the light of contemporary international research in the sociology of ecumenism. The thesis employs both historical materials and statistical records to discover the salient variables influencing support add opposition to church union.

It is the central contention of the thesis that support and opposition to church union were motivated by a complex of variables relating to regionalism, nationalism and the social gospel movement. The issues that divided the Presbyterian Church in the ecumenical controversy were the same issues that divided English speaking Canada. It is our contention that the creation of a national united church was seen as a vehicle for the systematic redemption of Canadian society, that it was an attempt to dramatically reform and redefine confederation. It is our final contention that the vision of a new society or the hope of attaining a comparable ideal is an essential component for the accomplishment of an extensive inter-denominational church merger in an industrialized nation.

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