Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The challenges to the faith of the Baptist businessman exerted by the arrival of a business-dominated culture in the last half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have been largely ignored by Canadian historians. As the Protestant religious minority with the strongest doctrinal emphasis on separation from the world through the application of a strict moral code, Baptists provide the historian with an excellent case study for analysis of the sectarian Protestant response to social and cultural change. One might expect that the "otherworldly" perspective held by Baptists afforded considerable resistence to the secularizing effects of the materialistic social ethic and the new consumer culture that accompanied the shift from a pre-capitalist to a capitalist society.{dollar}\sp1{dollar};Using a qualitative version of the parish study approach that utilizes a selected sample of twenty-five businessmen from Jarvis Street Baptist Church, Toronto, for the period between 1848 and 1921, this thesis argues that business helped to secularize the religious beliefs and values of the businessmen studied. Secularization involved the abandonment of practices that many Baptists had before considered essential to their spiritual integrity and the acceptance or tolerance of lifestyles that depended on finding personal fulfilment through materialism and pleasure-seeking.;This study also contends that business altered the priorities of the Baptist businessman. Over the course of three quarters of a century, the businessmen of Jarvis Street moved from an emphasis on righteousness to a desire for respectability. They forsook separation from the world for socio-cultural integration with it and in the process sacrificed their commitment to stewardship, moderation, and sometimes honesty. ftn{dollar}\sp{lcub}1{rcub}{dollar}Gregory Kealey has argued that the transition from a pre-capitalist to a capitalist economy in Canada began in the late 1840s. Gregory S. Kealey, Toronto Workers Respond to Industrial Capitalism 1867-1892 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1980), pp. 3-17.



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