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Title: The Holiness Movement in the Canadian Maritime Region, 1880-1920
Author: MacKay, Garth M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5348 7828
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis examines five religious organisations which existed in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, collectively known as the Maritime Region, between 1880 and 1920. Each of these denominations emphasised holiness theology, albeit in varying degrees. They include, in order of their establishment in the region, the Methodist Church, the Free Christian Baptist Conference, the Salvation Army, the Reformed Baptist Alliance of Canada and the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene. This study assesses these religious bodies in a number of ways. First, it examines their theological beliefs, comparing them with one another and tracing any changes which occurred in them between 1880 and 1920. Second, it considers the various associations which each of these denominations developed with the late nineteenth-century American holiness movement. The enquiry devotes particular attention to the response of each religious body to a spiritual encounter, known as ‘entire instantaneous sanctification’, popularised especially during the last quarter of the nineteenth century by the holiness movement in parts of Canada, Great Britain and the United States. Third, a review of the unique strengths and weaknesses of each of the five institutions offers an explanation for the numerical and financial growth of several of these groups early in the twentieth century, as well as the degeneration of others. Fourth, the study discloses much of the opposition which was directed towards Maritime holiness movement sympathisers, offering a number of explanations why some of these individuals left their traditional religious affiliations to join holiness bodies which they perceived to be true advocates of scriptural holiness. Fifth, it appraises the strong leadership which a number of individuals offered to the holiness cause in the Maritime region, taking into account the education, religious training, financial status, gender and ancestral origin of these men and women. Finally, a thorough statistical analysis of each constituency highlights the unique composition of each denomination’s membership. Taken together, these features inform the primary argument of the thesis, which is that significant transformations occurred in some of these religious bodies at the same time as large percentages of constituents became wealthier and more socially acceptable. These changes eventually facilitated the merger of the Methodist Church and the Free Christian Baptist Conference, the two oldest denominations, with national mainline religious bodies. This thesis contends that such unions may not have occurred had these groups not attained public recognition. Furthermore, in realising these achievements both of these denominations relinquished the more radical elements of their heritage, as well as much of the spiritual passion linked with it.
Supervisor: Bebbington, David William; Nicolson, Colin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Holiness Movement ; Canadian Maritime Region ; Methodist Church ; Free Christian Baptist Conference ; Church of the Nazarene ; Salvation Army ; Reformed Baptist Alliance of Canada ; entire sanctification ; Maritime Provinces ; Sanctification Christianity ; Baptist Convention of the Maritime Provinces