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Mark Noll to Speak at CMU
The U.S. author and scholar, Mark Noll, will lecture on the state of Christianity in Canada at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg on October 21-22, 2008.

Canadian Christians spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the state of the church in the U.S. But what does Christianity in Canada look like to Americans?

Mark Noll

"A Yankee Looks North: Toward an Appreciation and Assessment of the History of Christianity in Canada," is the title of a four-part lecture series by acclaimed U.S. author and scholar Mark Noll at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU), October 21-22, 2008.

Noll, Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame and author of many books, including A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada, is this year’s speaker at CMU’s annual J.J. Thiessen Lectures.

In his first lecture, titled “What Happened to Christian Canada?” Noll will talk about how Christianity has changed over the past 40 years in this country.

“Into the 1960s, Canada enjoyed much higher rates of church participation and displayed a greater deference to traditional Christian morality than the United States,” he says. “This situation has changed dramatically in the last 40 years.” In the lecture, Noll will try to describe the nature of these changes.

In his second lecture, titled “What Happened to Christian Canada?”, Noll will provide a historical and theological reflection on the rapid and recent changes in Canadian religious and cultural life.

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In particular, Noll will try to answer questions such as: “Was ‘Christian Canada’ of the mid-century actually, or only culturally, Christian? Might decline in church attendance, loss of political hegemony, and marginalization in education actually be good for true Christianity? And does the more obvious religiosity of the United States really say anything about the presence or absence of genuine faith?”

In his third lecture, Noll will reflect on the life and academic career of the late George A. Rawlyk, who served for many years as chair of the history department at Queen’s University and who, until his untimely death in 1995, was a key promoter of serious academic scholarship on the history of Christianity in Canada.

In his fourth lecture, Noll will explain why Rawlyk’s scholarship and his personal Christian character made such a difference to how he personally came to look at Canada, the United States, the church in America, and the tasks of Christian scholarship.

Noll’s first lecture takes place October 21, 10:30 a.m.; the second is October 21, 7:30 p.m.; the third is Oct. 22; 10:30 a.m., and the fourth is Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m. The lectures will be held in the CMU chapel (south campus), 600 Shaftesbury Blvd. Admission is free.

John Longhurst is the director of communications and marketing for the Canadian Mennonite University. Phone: 487.3300.

Originally published on the Canadian Mennonite University website, September 19, 2008.




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