II-192046 | Diocesan College graduating group, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 1912

Diocesan College graduating group, McGill University, Montreal, QC, 1912
Wm. Notman & Son
1912, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  informal (1120) , Photograph (77678) , portrait (53878)
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Keys to History

Christianizing leisure

The fact that leisure activities and entertainments were becoming more widely accessible was cause for some concern among the elite and the clergy. Although there was broad acceptance of the benefits of relaxation and "re-creation," that is, renewing one's inner forces, church authorities hastened to distinguish between good and bad leisure activities. Both Catholic and Protestant leaders saw it as their duty to urge followers to take up healthy recreations, rather than those which led to overexcitement and unruly behaviour or even violence. They also feared that, as people became more involved in leisure activities and sports, they would become distanced from the Church and religious practice.

  • What

    At the end of the 19th century, religious groups needed to train many clergy members to ensure they could shape the behaviour of the growing urban population.

  • Where

    Churches were places where the clergy and the public met to worship and take part in recreational activities.

  • When

    Sunday, the Lord's day, the day of worship, was also the only day when most city dwellers didn't have to show up for work, which resulted in a certain tension over how Sundays were to be spent.

  • Who

    According to historians specialized in religious history, at the end of the 19th century most city dwellers still practised religion.