My blog posts revolve around my interests and vocation as a historian: the intersection of history and contemporary church life, the intersection of history and contemporary politics, serendipitous discoveries in archives or on research trips, publications and research projects, upcoming conferences, and speaking engagements.
I also blog for two other organizations, the Canadian Baptist Historical Society and the Centre for Post-Christendom Studies.
The views expressed in these blogs represent the views of the authors, and not necessarily those of any organizations with which they are associated.
I recently presented a paper at the Canadian-American Theological Association on some survey results related to my interest in the intersection of Canadian churches, war, and Hans Mol's "priests to prophets" paradigm. The results of my research have also been recently published in Peace Research.
The students surveyed were from seven Christian educational institutions. Here are some of the results of the survey. If you want to see the full details and analysis, see Gordon L. Heath, “Priests to Prophets in a Post-Christendom Canada?: A Survey on Views on War,” Peace Research 53, 1 (2021): 50-75.
Here are brief comments on the survey results.
First, the results indicate a range of perspectives, especially in regard to age and denominational affiliation—a caution to making sweeping statements about views of “the church.”
Second, the survey indicates a resiliency of the traditional just war position, challenging assumptions about a move to the margins being concomitant with a move to pacifism.
Third, the results do indicate a resistance to associating a war effort with support from the pulpit, as well as showing support for the churches’ ongoing mission to engage the state in matters of foreign policy. In that regard, the responses reflect Mol’s conclusions in regard to a more prophetic vision for the churches. The churches may be on the margins, but, if the results reflect a larger picture, they do not intend to remain silent.