Institute for: Christian Life in Canada

Publisher:  Catholics for Social Change, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1978  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX1038

The various essays in the book "The Institue for: Christian Life in Canada" raise many social issues and problems that are found in the four major regions of Canada. The political and economic structures of our nation often create marginalization as the inability to get out of structured oppressive situations, and it is argued that this has been forced on the peoples of the Atlantic region.

Abstract:  The various essays in the book "The Institue for: Christian Life in Canada" raise many social issues and problems that are found in the four major regions of Canada. The political and economic structures of our nation often create marginalization as the inability to get out of structured oppressive situations, and it is argued that this has been forced on the peoples of the Atlantic region. Other contributors to the book argue that racism has characterized the dealings of the whites with the Indians in western Canada. Quebec is described as a situation which demands solidarity from those who have with those who do not have. The political economy of Ontario is seen as Americanized and an economy which attempts to Americanize the rest of Canada.

These various arguments are prefaced by G. Baum's theological assessment of the Contemporary Social Gospel. He argues that local analysis is necessary if Christians are to respond Biblically to their own social milieu. Noting that there are inbuilt injustices in our sinful world, he analyses three bibical themes: redemption as judgement and new life; the social concern of the Old Testament; and the theme of peace or shalom. On the basis of these themes, he challenges Christians to stand in solidarity with the oppressed.

Margot Power, one contributor to the book, describes her experience as one of solidarity. She says that she made the move from working for others, to working with them, to working FROM them in solidarity. Des McGrath, another author, sees his work with the fisherman in Newfoundland as a work of solidarity. At the request of the fishermen, he worked with a lawyer to unionize fishing. This positive action, he says, has corrected many instances of exploitation, and he was encouraged that the union carries on its work without him. Solidarity, it is argued, brings judgement to those who exploit, and to those who force marginalization on others.




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