North American Churches and the Decline of Christendom

Robert T. Handy

in A History of the Churches in the United States and Canada

Published in print January 1976 | ISBN: 9780198269106
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683572 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

North American Churches and the Decline of Christendom

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Through the troubles and crises that affected western civilization since World War I, there was surprisingly little change in the basic structures of Christian belief and organization that had been developing for three centuries in North America. The chapter discusses the prosperity and depression in the United States. The 1920s and 1930s were marked by some sharp tensions in Canadian religious life; the increased bitterness between French Catholics and English Protestants during the war and the conflict over the formation of the United Church of Canada. In addition, the currents of renewal in American church life and the currents of renewal in the Canadian churches are explained. The stamp of the centuries is heavy on the churches of the present. To understand how to treasure what was right and good in that complex past and how to abandon what was wrong or outdated will take all the wisdom and guidance which Christians seek in their worship of the God known in Jesus Christ.

Keywords: North America; Christendom; Jesus Christ; United Church of Canada; Christian; French Catholics; English Protestants

Chapter.  21373 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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