Robynne Rogers Healey is assistant professor, history, Trinity Western University.
From Quaker to Upper Canadian: Faith and Community among Yonge Street Friends, 1801-1850by Robynne Healey
In 1801 a group of Quakers settled at the north end of Yonge Street in what is now Toronto, purposefully separating themselves from mainstream society in order to live out their faith free from the larger society. Yet in 1837, Quakers were among the most active participants in the Upper Canadian Rebellion, for which one of their leaders, Samuel Lount, was hanged.
From Quaker to Upper Canadian is the first scholarly work to examine the transformation of this important religious community from a self-insulated group to integration within Upper Canadian society. Through a careful reconstruction of local community dynamics, Healey argues that the integration of this sect into mainstream society was the result of religious schisms that splintered the community and compelled Friends to seek affinities with other religious groups as well as the effect of cooperation between Quakers and non-Quakers.
Healey's work paints a more complex picture of the religious landscape of nineteenth-century Ontario, challenging notions of Protestant hegemony and a common pioneer experience and contributing to a broader understanding of Anglo-Canadian culture and society. Paying particular attention to gender relations, it also adds to a better understanding of the diverse roles of women in nineteenth-century Canada.
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