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humanities 213 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Canadian authors received much attention (the Society for Canadian Literature, founded in Montreal in 1889 by W.D. Lighthall, seems to have had no Ontario equivalent). In some groups, entertainment and socializing prevailed as members gathered to listen to prepared speeches; the last decades of the century saw the development of a new participant model in which members prepared a common text in advance. Although not all groups named for a particular writer maintained their implied focus, the Browning Club of Toronto (1897B1905), whose programs appear as appendix C, sought to unravel the obscurities of their favourite author through a strenuous plan of group study. Within the larger field that she maps (with the assistance of three helpful cartographic illustrations), Murray selects several demographic sectors for specific attention. Women are noted throughout, from the role of female immigrants like Mary Gapper O=Brien in organizing early backwoods libraries, to a full chapter on the rise of women=s societies. In addition to the Toronto Women=s Literary Club, now more famous for its promotion of female suffrage than for its titular activities, we learn about the Angelica Shakespeare Club of Owen Sound, whose dedication to the Bard reflected growing popular adulation of Shakespeare in the second half of the nineteenth century in England and the United States (see Lawrence Levine=s Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America). The literary societies formed by Black communities in Chatham, Windsor, Amherstburg, and Toronto also receive detailed attention. Revelations about previously unknown aspects of Canada=s cultural history abound. These include the pervasiveness of the Chatauqua movement in Canada and the agency of women in Ontario=s AfricanCanadian communities, as evidenced in the Windsor Ladies= Club, founded in 1854, and the Ladies= Literary Society of Chatham, which appear to be the first women=s literary societies in Ontario. The book=s wealth of information (with many details presented parenthetically) confirms that understanding of the past requires assiduous research into its detritus. Heather Murray is to be congratulated for providing a methodological model for further studies into Canada=s community culture. While at one level her account may be only the >tip of a cultural iceberg,= icebergs matter in this country. (CAROLE GERSON) Susan Neylan. The Heavens Are Changing: Nineteenth-Century Protestant Missions and Tsimshian Christianity McGill-Queen=s University Press. xvii, 402. Susan Neylan has written a superb book. The book is no doubt important for aboriginal history in Canada and the history of Euro-Canadian culture in the nineteenth century, but an equally significant achievement is the 214 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 model it offers for other subjects. We can, for example, use Neylan=s approach to reconstruct the history of Christianity throughout the world for the last two thousand years. She has sought to reverse the analytic perspective usually taken by historians on religious conversion, intercultural contact, and whole-culture modification, and to a very large extent she has succeeded. The ordinary view is to see the encounter of Christians with nonChristian peoples across the world as chiefly a matter involving outsiders who enter a new region, introduce the new religion, and by their activity induce the new peoples, or some of them, to take on Christianity. The view is the same no matter whether the subject is conversion to Christianity during the Roman empire, during the Tang dynasty in China, or during British rule in India. In Neylan=s period, the outsiders are typically foreign missionaries, colonial military, legal, and political personnel, European settlers, and overseas commercial traders. More specifically, if the focus is upon the expansion of Christianity regarded as a thing about religion, and not merely as a question of economics, status, and politics, the study typically boils down to a history of missionaries. The term >world Christianity= then refers to the history of Christian missions in the >third world.= It takes a monumental act of the transformation of consciousness to think differently, and to see >world Christianity= as >Christianity throughout the world.= Neylan=s subject is the Tsimshian peoples who inhabit...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 213-215
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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