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Gauvreau, Michael 1956–

Gauvreau, Michael 1956–

PERSONAL:

Born 1956. Education: Laurentian University, B.A.; University of Toronto, M.A., Ph.D.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of History, Chester New Hall 619, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. W, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L9, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, professor.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Harold Adams Innis Prize of the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada, for A Full-Orbed Christianity: The Protestant Churches and Social Welfare in Canada, 1900-1940; Sir John A. Macdonald Prize, Canadian Historical Association, 2006, for The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970.

WRITINGS:

The Evangelical Century: College and Creed in English Canada from the Great Revival to the Great Depression, McGill-Queen's University Press (Buffalo, NY), 1991.

(With Nancy Christie) A Full-Orbed Christianity: The Protestant Churches and Social Welfare in Canada, 1900-1940, McGill-Queen's University Press (Buffalo, NY), 1996.

The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, McGill-Queen's University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2005.

EDITOR

(With Nancy Christie) Cultures of Citizenship in Post-war Canada, 1940-1955, McGill-Queen's University Press (Montreal, Canada), 2003.

(With Nancy Christie) Mapping the Margins: The Family and Social Discipline in Canada, 1700-1975, McGill-Queen's University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2004.

(With Ollivier Hubert) The Churches and Social Order in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Canada, McGill-Queen's University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Historian Michael Gauvreau has written extensively about the social history of modern Canada, with particular focus on the role of religion. His first book, The Evangelical Century: College and Creed in English Canada from the Great Revival to the Great Depression, examines the history of the Methodist and Presbyterian churches in Canada from 1820 to 1930, and argues that evangelical theology resisted the potentially erosive effects of Darwinian thinking. Religious dynamics in Canada, Gauvreau writes, were entirely different from those in the United States, where a major rift developed between conservative (evangelical) and modernist traditions and where evangelical theology became the basis of a "social gospel." Finally, stated Journal of Ecclesiastical History contributor A.M.C. Waterman, Gauvreau argues that "the eventual intellectual demise of this tradition, signalised by the formation of the United Church of Canada in 1925, was caused by ‘developments in biblical scholarship associated with historical relativism’ which professionalised academic theology, thus severing the link between lecture room and pulpit, and by ‘the needs of a culture increasingly attracted by an ideal of self-absorption and self-fulfillment.’"

Waterman found The Evangelical Century "copiously documented [and] convincingly presented," adding that Gauvreau "completely establishes his principal claims." Yet, Waterman also stated that the book ignores the significant influence of Anglican High Church theology. The complete history of Canada's Protestant culture, Waterman concluded, remains to be written.

A Full-Orbed Christianity: The Protestant Churches and Social Welfare in Canada, 1900-1940, written with Nancy Christie, also focuses primarily on Methodist and Presbyterian congregations, as well as United Church communions. Gauvreau and Christie explain that, during the early decades of the twentieth century, these churches focused on actions that would shift "the cultural emphasis of Canada's Protestant churches from the preservation of a sound theology to a social action designed to address the problems of a nation in the process of transformation." A reviewer for Manitoba History identified much to criticize in the book, including its view of church influence as something formed primarily by church officials, rather than by congregation members, and its relative neglect of the role of unorthodox pastors, most of whom found it necessary to leave their original congregations. The Manitoba History critic concluded that A Full-Orbed Christianity is "a volume marked much more by polemics than analysis." The book won the Harold Adams Innis Prize of the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada as "the best book in the social sciences in English published in 1996-97."

Gauvreau collaborated with Christie again as coeditor of Cultures of Citizenship in Post-war Canada, 1940-1955 and Mapping the Margins: The Family and Social Discipline in Canada, 1700-1975. The latter book includes twelve essays that, as Labour/Le Travail contributor Robert Rutherdale stated, "consider the normative, conjugal family (of homemakers and wives and breadwinners and husbands, along with their dependent children), as a marginalizing force, a powerful model that often served to define those living outside of it. It served, in short, as a centrifugal ideal—one that spinsters, widows, unmarried mothers, orphans, the insane, the elderly, and reconstituted families constructed their own lives, both against and with." The editors state in Mapping the Margins that their goal is "to examine the ways in which the family defined membership, dependency, and exclusion," and to explore how the nuclear family came to be an "agent in articulating institutional and state constructions of marginality." The editors also note their intent in the book to consider "those who fell outside the demographic measure of the conjugal household, to test the prevailing historiographical assumption that the nuclear family was irrevocably normative in Western society." Praising the book's scope and analysis, Rutherdale wrote that "specialists will find its conceptual underpinning stimulating. Readers new to family history will find it an insightful companion to other work that focuses on nuclear family roles per se. Further attention by all should be given to this important approach to life on the margins of the ever-changing Canadian family."

In The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, Gauvreau challenges established theories that construe the social revolution in Quebec, Canada, of the early 1960s—generally, a movement from conservative and traditionalist policies toward liberalization, democratization, civil rights, and modernization—in terms of the political struggle for social justice. Instead, Gauvreau analyzes this revolution in terms of changes in family structure and dynamics. He argues that a new personalist Catholicism developed in Quebec in the 1930s, emphasizing "personal engagement, devotional integrity, individual self-fulfillment, and a selective embrace of modernity," stated Church History contributor Mark A. Noll. In its discussion of this personalist strain of Catholicism, Noll wrote, "the entire book is outstanding." Assessing the book's perspective, Catholic Historical Review critic Gregory Baum felt that "Gauvreau's definition of culture is too narrow" because it does not address issues such as language and the organization of labor. Baum added that the revolution was "a major cultural event," but "to this lived experience Gauvreau makes no reference at all." Matthew Hayday, however, in a review for Historical Studies, praised the book highly, concluding that Gauvreau "has made a substantial contribution to our understanding of the internal forces within Quebec Catholicism that were seeking to reconcile Catholicism's role in education, the family and sexuality with a modem, industrial and urban society, and is to be commended for such an extensively researched, thought-provoking work."

The Canadian Historical Association awarded The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970 the Sir John A. MacDonald Prize in 2006 for "best book published on Canadian history," a contributor to the Canadian Historical Association Web site noted. Gauvreau was praised for challenging accepted wisdom and for his nuanced portrayal of the diverse cultural and social dynamics at play in Roman Catholicism in Quebec in the 1930s. "Because this book offers such a dramatic and persuasive break with past scholarship," the Canadian Historical Association Web site contributor wrote, "it will thrust the history of religion into the mainstream of Canadian scholarship."

The Churches and Social Order in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Canada, edited with Ollivier Hubert, is "a very ambitious collection of articles," stated Church History contributor John C. Walsh. Although the book's vision is somewhat "narrow," Walsh added, it "has much to offer, and the editors and contributors are to be applauded for their efforts."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Gauvreau, Michael, and Nancy Christie, editors, Mapping the Margins: The Family and Social Discipline in Canada, 1700-1975, McGill-Queen's University Press (Ithaca, NY), 2004.

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, April 1, 1992, review of The Evangelical Century: College and Creed in English Canada from the Great Revival to the Great Depression, p. 647; June 1, 1998, James Naylor, review of A Full-Orbed Christianity: The Protestant Churches and Social Welfare in Canada, 1900-1940, p. 1004; April 1, 2007, Ronald Rudin, review of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, p. 488.

Canadian Book Review Annual, January 1, 2004, Elaine Porter, review of Mapping the Margins, p. 4283.

Canadian Historical Review, December 1, 1992, review of The Evangelical Century, p. 531; June 1, 1997, Susan Curtis, review of A Full-Orbed Christianity, p. 366; December 1, 2006, Neil Sutherland, review of Mapping the Margins, p. 693; March 1, 2008, Dominique Marquis, review of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, p. 103.

Canadian Literature, September 22, 1993, Henry Hubert, review of The Evangelical Century, p. 123.

Catholic Historical Review, July 1, 1993, David B. Marshall, review of The Evangelical Century, p. 583; January 1, 2007, Gregory Baum, review of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, p. 217.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, December 1, 2006, J.L. Granatstien, review of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, p. 703.

Church History, June 1, 2007, Mark A. Noll, review of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, p. 466; September 1, 2007, John C. Walsch, review of The Churches and Social Order in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Canada, p. 674.

First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, March 1, 2008, Richard John Neuhaus, review of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, p. 64.

Historical Studies, January 1, 2005, Christine Hudon, review of Mapping the Margins, p. 132; January 1, 2007, Lucie Piche, review of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, p. 83; January 1, 2007, Matthew Hayday, review of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970, p. 111.

Journal of Canadian Studies, June 22, 1997, James W. Opp, review of A Full-Orbed Christianity, p. 183.

Journal of Church and State, January 1, 1992, John S. Moir, review of The Evangelical Century, pp. 167-168.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, April 1, 1993, A.M.C. Waterman, review of The Evangelical Century, p. 322.

Labour/Le Travail, September 22, 2005, Robert Rutherdale, review of Mapping the Margins, p. 297.

Manitoba History, March 22, 2000, review of A Full-Orbed Christianity, pp. 47-49.

Queen's Quarterly, June 22, 1992, review of The Evangelical Century, p. 429.

Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2004, review of Mapping the Margins, p. 154; August 1, 2006, review of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970.

Theology Today, October 1, 1993, Norman F. Cornett, review of The Evangelical Century, p. 486.

ONLINE

Canadian Historical Association Web site,http://www.cha-shc.ca/ (July 9, 2008), "Sir John A. MacDonald Prize Winners 1977-2000," review of The Catholic Origins of Quebec's Quiet Revolution, 1931-1970.

McMaster University History Department Web site,http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/ (July 9, 2008), author faculty profile.

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