A sensitive and nuanced narrative of a dissenting religious minority in a pluralistic society.
In The Covenanters in Canada, Eldon Hay sheds light on a religious community often overlooked in the chronicle of Canadian history. A group of religious and political dissenters who opposed the interference by the Stuart kings in the affairs of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, the Covenanter movement was small, but had deep roots worthy of attention and respect. This study of a resilient tradition of religious dissent reflects the value of variance in a genuinely pluralistic society.
The Covenanters objected to a ruler who was both the head of state and head of the church. Tracing the theological and historical significance of the movement in Scotland, Ireland, and the United States, Hay outlines the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of Covenanter missionaries in the Maritimes, Upper and Lower Canada, and the West. Despite fierce opposition from rival denominations, the Covenanters ultimately survived to carve a niche for themselves and develop a precarious relationship with other denominations and secular society - a relationship that remains tenacious and tenuous.
A comprehensive study of a minority religious movement, The Covenanters in Canada is an insightful perspective on the evolving relationship between small religious movements and the majority culture.