Advice to Theology students

This comes from a piece of paper I’ve never been able to throw out, as it intrigued, even shocked me so much (‘classics not worth the paper they are printed on’ indeed).   If this becomes a jot, hooray! I shall be able to dispose of the paper, at least.  It is online advice to Theology students, which I printed off for myself.  I thought it revealed an interesting (to say the least) attitude of the theologian to what might be called popular (normal, even?) religious feeling, response or attitudes.  By searching on ‘Childs Martin Danker’ for the acceptable books, lo and behold I came across the whole document I had excerpted from  here dated 2009 and entitled  ‘Theological Statements Guide’.   However, no bibliographic details for Childs etc. are given there.  So I can’t be much wiser.

“N.B. Popular and devotional literature and most works written for laypersons are not acceptable for this assignment. Many popular commentaries are written by nonspecialists who may be articulate speakers or well-known in other fields, but whose exegesis and comments are often technically uninformed.  This applies to the material in the “Exposition” section of the old version of The Interpreter’s Bible.  Many reprints of older works are useful, if used carefully, but many of the so-called classics are not worth the paper they are printed on.  A discussion of acceptable older and more recent works are found in the bibliographic resource guides by Childs, Martin, Danker, etc.  The student is responsible for finding and using suitable resources. If in doubt the student is encouraged to ask the professor, who can be reached at…

The ‘Belfast of Canada’

Anyone with even slight Catholic sympathies would probably not have got on well in Toronto during the late nineteenth century, when it had become a hotbed of Protestant ascendancy. By the turn of the century, the power of the Orange Order, who returned twenty of the twenty three mayors in fifty years, got it nicknamed 'the Belfast of Canada'.
Even by the 1940s this legacy had not waned sufficiently for the artist and writer Wyndham Lewis who, forced by circumstances to spend several years there during the War, was constantly frustrated and angered by the philistinism and religious bigotry of its leading lights.

The prevalence of militant Protestantism in mid nineteenth century Toronto is well illustrated by this scarce flier of c 1869 from Maclear and Co, the dominant publisher in Canada for many years. In advertising the forthcoming reprint of The Siege of Derry, originally published in 1823 by  the Rev John Graham, a clergyman from Ulster , it combined blatant propaganda on behalf of ‘ the heroes of the Irish struggle in 1688 – 90 with a nifty aside aimed at backsliding Anglo-Catholics:

'When men bearing the once-revered name of Protestant , aye Protestant clergy, have set up the Confessional, the Rags and mummeries of Rome…'

A rather appropriate piece of propaganda, given the crisis now attending the power-sharing agreement at Stormont.