At a time when Canadians were arguing about the merits of a new flag, the birth-control pill, and the growing hippie counterculture, the leaders of Canada's largest Protestant church were occupied with turning much of English-Canadian religious culture on its head. In After Evangelicalism, Kevin Flatt reveals how the United Church of Canada abruptly reinvented its public image by cutting the remaining ties to its evangelical past. Flatt argues that although United Church leaders had already abandoned evangelical beliefs three decades earlier, it was only in the 1960s that rapid cultural shifts prompted the sudden dismantling of the church's evangelical programs and identity. Delving deep into the United Church's archives, Flatt uncovers behind-the-scenes developments that led to revolutionary and controversial changes in the church's evangelistic campaigns, educational programs, moral stances, and theological image. Not only did these changes evict evangelicalism from the United Church, but they helped trigger the denomination's ongoing numerical decline and decisively changed Canada's religious landscape. Challenging readers to see the Canadian religious crisis of the 1960s as involving more than just Quebec's Quiet Revolution, After Evangelicalism unveils the transformation of one of Canada's most prominent social institutions.
Kevin N. Flatt is assistant professor of history at Redeemer University College.
?After Evangelicalism is a study of an important part of Canadian Protestant history, throwing light on the dilemmas and implications of competing interpretations of the Holy Scriptures within a church as an institution/human organisation, and on the tension between the leadership at church headquarters and the laity in terms of religiosity and morality, which has consequences for its members.” British Journal of Canadian Studies
"Flatt demystifies the place of evangelicalism in a denomination replete with tensions on how to deal with the fundamentals of Christianity - it is fascinating to follow the different trajectories of the elite and apparently most of the laity. After Evangelicalism is essential reading for anyone serious about Canadian Protestant history and the polarization of those who championed ethical imperatives above all else and those who defended the core truth claims of Christianity." Eric Crouse, Department of History, Tyndale University College
?Flatt's book is readable, well organized, carefully argued, and grounded in meticulous archival research. Moreover, it is an important work. As this country's largest Protestant denomination, the United Church of Canada played a prominent role in Canadian public life — and in the personal lives of many Canadian families — throughout the twentieth century. Given the denomination's importance, it is surprising that few academics have produced books devoted exclusively to the history of the United Church. Thus, Flatt's work is a welcome addition both to the field of Canadian religious history and to the social and cultural history of postwar Canada.” Canadian Historical Review