Religion and the Rural Church

  • Donald R. Whyte


Religion in the early years of Canadian history was rural. Like the other major institutions, there were few if any rural-urban differences. The church was second only to the family in offering security and assurance to an uncertain populace in an alien and sometimes hostile environment. This fact is especially evident when we read the history of the settlement of New France. Although its settlement was initially under the administration of the regionally appointed seigniors, “most of them failed in their rural obligations and contented themselves with holding offices in the local government”.1 Consequently, the affairs of settlement and the fate of the seigniors’ settlers were soon assumed by the curé of the parish.2 From the very beginning, the curé was, and to a considerable extent has continued to be, “the natural protector and the natural representative” of the habitant in French Canada.3


Religious Tradition Religious Sect Rural People Rural Migrant Rural Youth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 3.
    L. Gerin, Le type économique et social des Canadiens (Montreal, 1938), pp. 103–4.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Lee Taylor and Arthur R. Jones, Jr., Rural Life and Urbanized Society (Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press, 1952), p. 407.Google Scholar
  3. 6.
    Delbert A. Samson, Church Groups in Four Agricultural Settings in Montana (Boseman: Montana Agricultural Station, Bulletin 538, 1958).Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    L. G. Burchinal, “Farm-Nonfarm Differences in Religious Beliefs and Practices”, Rural Sociology, Vol. 26, No. 4 (1961), pp. 414–18.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    M. Weber, “Science as a Vocation”, in Hans Gerth and C. W. Mills (eds.), from Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1958), pp. 129–56.Google Scholar
  6. 13.
    P. Berton, The Comfortable Pew (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1965), Parts I and HI.Google Scholar
  7. 14.
    J. M. Yinger, Religion, Society and the Individual (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1957), p. 279.Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    Vernon W. Larsen, The Minister and the Church (Centre for Community Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1964), pp. 4 and 5.Google Scholar
  9. 20.
    Vernon W. Larsen, A Venture in Church Cooperation (Centre for Community Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1964).Google Scholar
  10. 28.
    Russel R. Dynes, “Rurality, Migration, Sectarianism”, Rural Sociology, Vol. 21, No. 1 (1956), pp. 25–8.Google Scholar
  11. 29.
    S. D. Clark, Church and Sect in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), 1948.Google Scholar
  12. 37.
    Ronald Freedman and Deborah Freedman, “Farm-Reared Elements in the Non-Farm Population”, Rural Sociology, Vol. 21, No. 1 (1956), pp. 50–61.Google Scholar
  13. 39.
    M. Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1958).Google Scholar
  14. 40.
    Government of Quebec, Reports of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Education (Pierre Des Marais, Printer, 1963).Google Scholar
  15. 41.
    Horace Miner, St.-Denis: A French-Canadian Parish (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939).Google Scholar
  16. 43.
    H. C. Abell, “The Present-Day Agricultural Ladder”, in Bernard R. Blishen et al. (eds.), Canadian Society (2nd. ed.; Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1964), pp. 243–7.Google Scholar
  17. 44.
    This statement is in opposition to Cox’s recently publicized thesis that secularization has its roots in Biblical doctrine and the Christian heritage. While Cox’s analysis is both insightful and scholarly, it is primarily a call for a new interpretation of modern trends, on the part of Christians. See Harvey Cox, The Secular City (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1965).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Macmillan Company of Canada Limited 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald R. Whyte

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations