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Title: Kingship and commonwealth : Political thought and ideology in Reformation Scotland
Author: Mason, R. A.
ISNI:       0000 0001 2444 9185
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1983
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In general terms, this thesis may be characterized as a study of the ideological context in which the Scottish Reformation took place. More specifically, however, it has three complementary and overlapping aims. Firstly, it is intended to provide detailed exegeses of the political thought of the major theorists of the period (e. g. John Mair, John Knox and George Buchanan) with reference not only to the mainstreams of European intellectual history with which they are usually associated, but also to the Scottish political and ideological background from which they are too often divorced. Secondly, in order to fill in the latter context, the thesis aims through an analysis of a wide range of literary and record material to explore the political beliefs and ideals of the Scottish community at large as these developed in the century or so preceding the Reformation in response to changing social, political and religious circumstances. Finally, the third aim of the thesis is to reassess both the rebellion of the Protestant Congregation in 1559 and the deposition of Mary Stewart in 1567 in the light of the new understanding of their ideological context which the foregoing has sought to establish. An important conclusion to emerge from this, research is that, despite the well-attested radicalism of Knox and Buchanan, the Scots in general were highly conservative in their political attitudes and, perhaps contrary to received opinion, extremely reluctant to rebel against the established authorities. It is argued, in fact, that Scottish political thinking was dominated during this period by essentially medieval concepts of kingship and the commonweal which made no explicit provision for either resistance or tyrannicide and which made it difficult for many Scots either to accept the radical ideologies of Knox and Buchanan or to countenance the revolutionary upheavals of the Reformation era. In line with much current research, therefore, the thesis concludes that Protestantism was established in Scotland on a far more uncertain and precarious basis than is sometimes assumed and that its survival " after 1560 depended to a large extent on English support for a reforming party which at least initially had little backing within Scotland itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History