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God's mobile mansions : Protestant church relocation and extension in Montreal, 1850-1914

McGill University
Publication Date
  • Church Buildings -- Location -- Québec (Province) -- Montréal.
  • Protestant Church Buildings -- Québec (Province) -- Montréal.
  • Montréal (Québec) -- Church History -- 19Th Century
  • Geography
  • Religious Science


For each period, I explore the impact of building decisions on 'domestic' ministries to church members and on the 'public' ministries that congregations carried out in the environs of their churches and in working-class neighbourhoods. In doing so, I draw on a variety of methodological approaches and on local sources that have not previously been synthesized. A database containing temporal and spatial information for every Protestant church built in Montreal between 1760 and 1914 was also constructed for this project. Case studies of six 'uptown' congregations, and of a downtown neighbourhood that was a popular mission field, are carried out. Investigation of documentary sources such as church minute books and correspondence is complemented by cartographic and sociological analyses of church membership using city directories, tax rolls, censuses, and the recently completed Montreal l'Avenir du Passe historical geo-database. A systematic sampling of local newspapers and denominational records brings to life the many congregational controversies and dilemmas that spilled over into the public sphere during a time of dramatic urban, social, and theological change.

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