The history of the Open Brethren in Scotland 1838-1999
The thesis is a history of the Open Brethren in Scotland. Its aim is to analyse the development of the movement incorporating its social history. A sequence of chapters traces the expansion and contraction of the movement and its internal development from its inception in 1838 until 1999. After an introductory chapter in which the aims and methods of the work will be set out, Chapter 2 examines the largely Bowesite movement of the 1840s and 1850s. Chapter 3 analyses the crucial decade which followed the 1859 Revival. In these chapters external growth and internal development are studied in conjunction with each other. The period of greatest increase for the movement was the late Victorian period and Chapter 4 analyses expansion until the outbreak of World War I. The Brethren were in their most developed form in the inter-war period of the twentieth century and this phase had an after-life until the mid-1960s. Chapter 6 examines patterns of growth and decline from 1914 until 1965 with, in addition, an investigation of the ethos of the movement when it was in its mature form. Complementary to Chapters 4 and 6 are Chapters 5 and 7 in which the internal development of the movement is examined for the respective periods. The classic era of the Brethren might be said to have ceased in the mid-1960s. Chapter 8 is devoted to an investigation of the spirituality of the movement from the 1830s until that decade and Chapter 9 to the relationship of the Brethren to culture and society for the same period. Chapter 10 examines the contemporary movement from the mid-1960s, analysing internal development and changes in membership size, spirituality, and attitudes to culture and society. The conclusion, Chapter 11, draws together the central themes of the thesis and presents some assessment.