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REVIEWS 199 obtrusive scholarship of Mr Boyce; but,morelargely,it isduetothequalityand quantityof thewritingsof William Hutton, mostof whichare lettersaddressed to hisfamilyin Ireland.Boyceplaces theseandHutton'sotherwritingsin their historical andbiographical context; he doesnot,to anygreatextent,interpose himself between these documents andthereaderby seeking to simply process themasprimary material. That ismost fortunate; forwhatmighthavebeenthe lifeofanobscure manofsmallimportance isinsteada smallmineof richmaterial relatedto thecolonial history of Ontario. A cousin ofFrancis Hincks, Huttonwasa debt-encumbered, Unitarian,middle class, scientific farmer,with a well-informedmind, who settlednear Belleville in •834.At varyingtimes,hewasa county warden,a school inspector, and an official withtheCanadian Bureau ofAgriculture. Hisletters andpublished works arefullofinformed opinion related toallthese fields ofendeavour; butofparticularvalueare hisviewsuponthe stateof education and its needfor reform. Theseappearto havehad a significant effectuponthe thinkingof Egerton Ryerson. Butmoreuseful thanthisareHutton'ssaltycomments uponthemores of the society intowhichhehadtransplanted himself, hisexplanations ofhisstruggles andeconomic difficulties asa farmer,andhisreflections uponlocal,provincial, andBritish politics andpolicies astheyimpinged uponhimin thecounty of Hastings. Equallyusefulis whatis revealed in thisbookwith respect to the economic and politicalimportance of 'family.' In short, all onefeels inclined to criticize in thisworkisitstitle.Huttonof Hastings isless about HuttonorHastings thanthewebofsociety inwhich Hutton lived. G.H. PATTERSON Universityof Toronto TheSocial Passion: Religion andSocial Reformin Canadaz9z4-•,8.RmHAm• ^LLEN. Toronto, University ofToronto Press, I97I. Pp.xxvi,385,illus.$i5.oo. RichardAllenreaches theheartof the matterwhenhe argues that the social gospel broughtsocial reform'withinthe sanctions of CanadianProtestantism.' At a timewhenmiddle-class Canadians stilllistened towhatclergymen hadto saythiswasa valuableworkof popularization and legitimization. The clerical outriders ofreformmovements alertedtheircongregations to theneedfor social change at thesame timeastheysustained andencouraged those working reformers whose inspiration wasstillrooted in organized religion. Aswell,the Canadian leftwasgreatly enriched by those social gospellers - Woodsworth, Wm Ivens, A.E.Smith, andothers - whomadethetransition frompulpitto political platform. AsProfessor Allennotes manytimes, it isimpossible towrite a history of theCanadian left in thisperiodwithoutgenerous attention to the contribution of thesocial gospel. TheSocial Passion isa detailed study of that contribution, thebook-length expansion of hisarticlein theDecember i968 Canadian Historical Review. Somereaders will question Professor Allen'schoiceof periodand themes. 200 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW Thoughveryuseful, hisintroductory chapter on 19oo-x4 isa far fromcomplete studyof the originsof eitherthe socialgospel or Canadian'progressivism.' We stillknowverylittleaboutreformmovements beforeWorld War •. The material we have- Paul Rutherford's studyof urbanreformor R.B. Splaneon social welfarein Ontario- tendsto followAmericanhistoriography in minimizingthe creativeroleof churchmen and assigning prominence to newgroups of trained professionals appearing in North Americansociety. As with Woodsworth and urbanreformit ispossible thatclergymen cameonthescene afterthepioneering reformers had laid the foundations of the work. There may stillbe muchto be saidfor the argumentthat organized Christianityin Canadaeitherignoredor washostileto the firstgeneration of progressives. Professor Allen's majorfocus isontheinternal dialectic ofsocial gospel thought andthemovement's contribution to the Canadianleft. Churchhistorians might haveappreciated moreconcentration on the implications of the movementfor CanadianProtestantism. The authorconcludes that the socialgospel 'for better or worse,encouraged the development of a secularsociety.' Althoughhe does notraisetheissue, hewouldprobably agreethattheeffectof themovement was to drive more goodmen out of the churches into secularsocialwork than it attractedto the ministry.The secularizing influence is stillmoreevidentwhen thecareer-patterns of thesons of thesocialgospellers are examined. Aswe saw againin the •96os,'the socialpassion' is more a testimony of the declineof institutional churches than an indication of theresidual strength of transcendentalChristianity .Allen presents the reactionagainstsecularism in someProtestantcircles in the late •9•osasa legitimate religious response to the crude liberalism intowhichsocial gospellers sooftenlapsed. These secondary questions aside,The Social Passion is a comprehensive analysis of the socialgospel movementat floodtide in •917-•9, its confused response tothesocial turbulence of theearly•9•os,andtheuneven, sadebbing of themovement laterin thedecade. Thebookhasnewandsignificant material: thecynical willenjoytheadventures of theMethodist church hierarchy helping thel•C•aP keeptabsonclerical agitators andthesometimes comicagony of this radicalchurch whenitsownpublishing house became deeply involved in strikebreaking ; themoretheologically inclined will appreciate thethoroughness and competence with whichProfessor Allenunravels therelationship of thesocial gospel to otherstreams of religious thought.Contraryto hisclaim,thebookis muchmorethana study in thehistory of ideas. It contains a mass of detailon men,institutions, andevents, oftencorrecting moreimpressionistic studies of thechurches in these years. Thechapters onthe•9•osareimportant pioneering studies in the religious history of an almostunknowndecade;Professor Allen does muchtoexplain theCanadian returntonormality afterthemillenial surge of reformism at the endof World War •. His perspective - he is literallyand intellectually a direct descendent ofthesocial gospel - adds tothebook without seriously blunting itscritical force(although it isobviously notthesame book thata non-Christian wouldwriteaboutthesocial gospel). The less fortunate results of yearsof immersion in religious sources...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 199-201
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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