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Title: The Presbyterian Church in Ireland in the Home Rule era with particular reference to Thomas Dickson and Thomas Sinclair
Author: Murphy , David Alexander
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
The central investigation ofthis thesis is to examine the role of the Presbyterian . Church in Ireland at a time of proposed major constitutional change. The Home Rule era provides the historical context for this, and an attempt will be made to explore the Presbyterian Church's response, and subsequent action, relative to the three Home Rule Bills. This general investigation will in turn be complemented by a more . specific investigation ofthe individual roles played during the Home Rule era by two leading Presbyterian elders, namely Thomas Sinclair and Thomas Dickson. Their respective positions will indicate why the church was never able to speak with one voice on this momentous issue. In the mid nineteenth century both men were Liberals, politically, but with the introduction ofHome Rule the former was led to espouse the Unionist cause while the latter became a Nationalist. The differences between both men on the Home Rule issue were to be reflected, to some extent, in the Presbyterian Church at large and in its highest judicial and legislative body, the General Assembly. The heart ofthis thesis is to recall the story ofIrish Presbyterianism in the Home Rule era with reference to these two prominent elders. It is not primarily an attempt to draw any definitive conclusions in relation to its responsibility to exercise a prophetic witness within the political realm, and its Biblical imperative to render allegiance to the government, as in Romans 13: 1, although the investigation will allude to it. A comparison ofthe present, and Home Rule periods will be made, and the political aspinitions and attitudes ofPresbyterians today and then will be viewed with parallels drawn, but such is not the main aim ofthis thesis. That aim is primarily to chronicle how the Presbyterian Church reacted to the Home Rule proposals. Looking at the position it took, the alliances it made, the policies it adopted, and to examine the influence. and involvement that Sinclair and Dickson had from their respective political positions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Queen's University Belfast, 2008 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.486166  DOI: Not available
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