Revivalists: Marketing the Gospel in English Canada, 1884-1957 (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006).
In Canada, the latter half of the nineteenth century marked a profound break with the settler past and the beginning of an age of commercialization. Kevin Kee shows how Protestant evangelists used theatre, film, and jazz to make religion personally relevant to their audiences.
The history of religious change has been largely devoted to study of the churches. Revivalists focuses on evangelists, singling out several significant entrepreneurs – Hugh Crossley and John Hunter, active from 1880 to 1910; Oswald J. Smith, who built his independent Toronto church into a popular evangelistic emporium; Frank Buchman and the Oxford Group, who appealed to the upper classes in the 1930s; and Charles Templeton, who enjoyed two careers as a revivalist. Kee shows that by adjusting their methods to the cultural forms of the day, these evangelists contributed to the vitality of Canadian Protestantism.
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