Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
This thesis contributes to the debate about the cultural construction of ethnicity and its relationship to religion in Canada by examining the multifaceted identities of Mennonite women and men who attend an Anglican church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Based on ethnographic research conducted in the St. Margaret's church community, I contend that this rare denominational shift from Anabaptism to Anglicanism complicates the construction and maintenance of these parishioners' ethnic identities, and provides a privileged opportunity for an exploration of the possibility of disconnection between the intimately related categories of Mennonite religion and ethnicity. Pertinent to my study is an analysis of the factors influencing and sustaining my informants' denominational change. However, my informants' knowledge of St. Margaret's through discourse in the Mennonite community, and the feelings of comfort expressed with regard to the Mennonite community at St. Margaret's, as well as their maintenance of many Mennonite religious and cultural traditions, despite the fact that they have become Anglican, indicates that many Mennonite features remain central in the lives of these people. My research draws attention, therefore, to the complex ways Mennonite members of St. Margaret's understand and discuss their transition into an Anglican church. I explore these discussions of identity within the framework of widespread debate about Mennonite ethnicity in North America, and in the context of recent scholarship which finds the categories of religion and ethnicity in Canada to be at once intimately related, increasingly fluid, subject to individuality, and affected by social change. I also situate my research in the context of predictive theories of secularization in Canada and in the context of debate about types of changes occurring in Canadian church communities.
Fisher, Susan Jane, ""HIGH CHURCH MENNONITES?" THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RELIGION AND ETHNICITY AMONG MANITOBA MENNONITES AT AN ANGLICAN CHURCH" (2010). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4146.
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