By Robert A. Wright
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Extra info for A World Mission: Canadian Protestantism and the Quest for a New International Order, 1918-1939
Many sermons by Canadian clergymen on the chaotic state of the postwar world can be described only as jeremiads. 29 Similar statements could be heard from all of the major Protestant denominations throughout the decade. For all of their harshness, however, the tone of these lamentations was rarely one of outright castigation. They are better understood as elements in a process of spiritual reconstruction. Many churchmen employed the spectre of spiritual declension and social dislocation as a means of inspiring renewed Christian faith.
In radical social-gospel circles, the Soviet Union was seen as "the great experiment" in the 19305 and communism was probed for insights into the creation in the West of a new social order. Some United Churchmen even travelled to the USSR to see the future firsthand. For most of the Protestant clergy in Canada, however, for whom atheistic communism could never be an acceptable solution to the world's ills, the recognition that communism and Christianity were in some ways alike produced troubling dilemmas.
Clearly, most church leaders in Canada appreciated the raison d'etre of the league - the necessity of an alternative to war as a means of settling international disputes - and they were genuinely inspired by the league's tangible successes, particularly in the area of social work. 56 Yet these resolutions were conceived, discussed, and drafted, often with many revisions, as matters of public record. " It would have been equally inappropriate for the churches to fail to acknowledge "League of Nations Sunday" each November, and so their unanimous observance of this day cannot be said to indicate unanimous enthusiasm.
A World Mission: Canadian Protestantism and the Quest for a New International Order, 1918-1939 by Robert A. Wright