Religion and National Identity

Governing Scottish Presbyterianism in the Eighteenth Century

Alistair Mutch

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Edinburgh University Press img Link Publisher

Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte

Beschreibung

What is the enduring impact of Presbyterianism on what it means to be Scottish?Presbyterianism has shaped Scotland and its impact on the world. Behind its beliefs lie some distinctive practices of governance which endure even when belief fades. These practices place a particular emphasis on the detailed recording of decisions and what we can term a 'systemic' form of accountability.This book examines the emergence and consolidation of such practices in the 18th-century Church of Scotland. Using extensive archival research and detailed local case studies, it contrasts them to what is termed a 'personal' form of accountability in England in the same period. The wider impact of the systemic approach to governance and accountability, especially in the United States of America, is explored, as is the enduring impact on Scottish identity.This book offers a fresh perspective on the Presbyterian legacy in contemporary Scottish historiography, at the same time as informing current debates on national identity.Key Features:A novel focus on religion as social practice, as opposed to belief or organizationA strong focus on Scotland, but in the context of BritainExtensive archival work in the Church of Scotland records, with an emphasis on form as well as contentA different focus on the Church of Scotland in the eighteenth centuryOffers a detailed focus on local practice in the context of national debates

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