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Historicist: Blind Faith

Renowned evangelist Charles B. Templeton finds, and loses, religion.

Globe and Mail (April 30, 1946)

Globe and Mail (April 30, 1946).

By the mid-1950s, Charles B. Templeton had been Canada’s leading evangelist for 20 years. Impassioned and eloquent at the pulpit, the Torontonian delivered his message with a marketer’s flair, presenting Christianity as the path to achieving happiness—an approach that had great appeal for the broad masses. His audiences regularly numbered in the tens of thousands; and many thousands more watched his regular CBS television program, or read his numerous books.

Though he presented the picture of success and confidence to the world, inwardly Templeton was quietly suffering a crisis of faith. Doubts that had plagued him for a decade or more returned and redoubled, and he feared the hypocrisy of preaching doctrine he no longer believed. So, in 1957, at the peak of his career, he did the only thing he thought a man of conviction and integrity could: he abandoned religion as suddenly as he’d once found it, and returned home to Canada.

Keep reading: Historicist: Blind Faith


The Torontoist Week in Review: April 27-May 1

A lot happens in the course of a workweek. Here’s a look back at the top stories from the past five days that you might have missed, or might care to revisit.

A tour of the Don River passes by as part of Jane’s Walk Toronto.

Your Guide to Jane’s Walk 2015

Interest in devising free walking tours across all corners of the city has grown so that, in the event’s ninth year, over 175 free citizen-led strolls across Toronto between Friday, May 1 and Sunday, May 3 have been registered with event organizers. On top of that are the walks occurring in over 160 locales across the globe, stretching from Markham to Manila. Read more here. .

Keep reading: The Torontoist Week in Review: April 27-May 1