Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Suzanne Zeller

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This thesis examines the religious-patriotic discourse on Queen Victoria. the monarchy. and the British empire produced by the Anglican and Methodist clergy in Ontario during the celebrations for the sovereign's Golden Jubilee in 1887 and the Diamond Jubilee in 1897. Loyalty to the queen and the monarchy was shaped by the interplay between the received theological, ecclesiastical, and historical traditions of each church. its collective memories. and by the contexts which influenced the commemorations. The discursive representations of the queen, constitutional monarchy, and imperialism, embedded within the sermons and patriotic literature of the two churches, differentiated into separate patterns of affirmation, in the process, appropriating sub-cultural, or vernacular, pasts which justified the contemporary identities of the churches and their world in late Victorian Ontario. The Church of England in Canada, drawing upon an organic, unitive vision, which integrated Church, state, and society under the monarchy, maintained a conservative, at times defensive, but reasonably stable message in its pronouncements of loyalty over the decade between 1887 and 1897. ln the person of Queen Victoria, the Methodists consecrated the Wesleyan theological heritage through a discourse of substitutionary piety. However, the Methodist narratives of imperial and social progress during the queen's reign began to invoke the nascent language of the social gospel, a different type of pietistic discourse which altered the categories of traditional Wesleyan theology. Thus the Methodist loyalty sermons and articles reveal a bifurcation in the structures of collective identity. The representations of the queen anchored the past in the present, but the discourse of imperial and social progress indicates a gradual deconsecration of the Wesleyan heritage, implying a concomitant destabilization of identity in the Methodist Church in late nineteenth-century Ontario.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season