Most accounts of Canada and the First World War either ignore or merely mention in passing the churches' experience. Such neglect does not do justice to the remarkable influence of the wartime churches nor to the religious identity of the young Dominion. The churches' support for the war was often wholehearted, but just as often nuanced and critical, shaped by either the classic just war paradigm or pacifism's outright rejection of violence. The war heightened issues of Canadianization, attitudes to violence, and ministry to the bereaved and the disillusioned. It also exacerbated ethnic tensions within and between denominations, and challenged notions of national and imperial identity. The authors of this volume provide a detailed summary of various Christian traditions and the war, both synthesizing and furthering previous research. In addition to examining the experience of Roman Catholics (English and French speaking), Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, Mennonites, and Quakers, there are chapters on precedents formed during the South African War, the work of military chaplains, and the roles of church women on the home front. "The churches were one of Canada's most comprehensive social institutions in the early 20th century. Their response to the Great War dramatically affected how the nation (and they) would survive the monumental challenge. Subverted and sidelined by the rampant ideological crosscurrents of the 20th century, that story is at last well told in these eleven finely nuanced, thoroughly documented essays. This is a most welcome and worthy companion piece to the recent flurry of new writing on 'the war that ended peace.'" --Richard Allen, McMaster University, Canada "The eleven articles that Gordon L. Heath has collected depict the effort of Canadian churches, their chaplains, and women to cope with a world war. . . . The articles are provocative and full of compassion for those who served, died, remained at home grieving, and . . . refused to go to the killing fields. An important and thoughtful reflection for those interested in the place of Canadian churches in World War I!" --Terence J. Fay, University of St Michael's College, Canada Gordon L. Heath (PhD, St. Michael's College) is Associate Professor of Christian History at McMaster Divinity College, where he holds the Centenary Chair in World Christianity and serves as Director of the Canadian Baptist Archives. His publications include A War with a Silver Lining: Canadian Protestant Churches and the South African War, 1899-1902 (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2009), and Doing Church History: A User-Friendly Introduction to Researching the History of Christianity (Clements, 2008).
Gordon L. Heath, FRHistS, is Professor of Christian History, the Centenary Chair in World Christianity, and director of the Canadian Baptist Archives at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Dallas Friesen is the Director of Church Life and Leadership for the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec. Previously he served as a pastor at Mount Hamilton Baptist Church for over a decade. He has written and taught in the areas of organizational change and leadership development. Taylor Murray is Creative Producer of Distributed Learning at Tyndale University in Toronto. He has contributed to several books and journals, writing primarily on Baptists in Canada and the history of fundamentalism in North America.