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First published in 1930, The Social Achievements of the Christian Church, was one of the first modern surveys of Christian social and ethical influence from the time of Christ until the 20th century. In it Edmund Oliver argues that the Christian church-despite numerous and admitted errors in its attempt to influence surrounding culture-has nonetheless rendered outstanding social service to the world. Examples of the church's external influence can be seen in the establishment of hospitals, asylums, and orphanages; in preservation of learning through the formation of universities; in caring for the needy; and in the philosophical and ethical influence that underpins much of legal and political thought in Western culture. Edmund H. Oliver (1882-1935) taught history and economics before becoming the principal of St. Andrew's College in Saskatoon, and eventually the fourth moderator of the United Church of Canada. During the World War I he served as chaplain to the 196th Battalion and the Canadian Training School and Trench Warfare School at Benhill-on-Sea, England. He also launched the University of Vimy Ridge while in England.
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