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Title: The popularization of federal theology : conscience and covenant in the theology of David Dickson (1583-1663) and James Durham (1622-1658)
Author: Holsteen, Nathan D.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3580 9094
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1996
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This thesis aims to examine the lives and works of David Dickson and James Durham in order to obtain an accurate picture of their particular sort of federal theology. It also aims to investigate their role in the establishment of Scottish federal Presbyterianism. The conclusion is that Dickson and Durham, by means of their influential position and work at a critical time in the Scottish church's history, played significant roles in the shaping of Scottish federalism in its presbyterian form. Further, those roles are best defined by their participation in the popularisation of federal theology through the use of the doctrine of conscience. The thesis begins by considering the origins of federal theology, as well as the development of that theology in the Scottish context. The Scottish socio-political context is also reviewed. These pursuits provide an understanding of the theological tradition to which Dickson and Durham belonged, and also establish a framework against which their theology can be judged. The thesis then turns to a consideration of the life and work of David Dickson. Biographical information is presented in order to attain greater understanding of his works, and a brief description of all of Dickson's published works establishes familiarity with important themes in Dickson's thought. Dickson's theology is then carefully reconstructed from the original sources. The centrality of the federal schema is highlighted, and his federalism is followed throughout his soteriology. Points of tension between Dickson's theological heritage and the emphases found in his three-fold convenant system are delineated and explained. Finally, Dickson's doctrine of conscience is examined, and its place in his promulgation of federal theology is described.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Covenants