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Title: The Covenanters in Fife, c 1610-1689 : religious dissent in the local community
Author: Muir, Alison G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2709 836X
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2002
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Dissent, a word usually associated with religion, is commonly used in modern language yet its complicated and multi-faceted nature is usually obscured. The best way in which to explore the issue of dissent is to consider it within the local community; an area which until relatively recently has been neglected within the historiography of seventeenth-century Scotland. This thesis is particularly concerned with the Covenanter Movement in Fife, and the contribution of Fifers to the Movement, but it is also the aim of the thesis to consider the nature of dissent more widely. The examination of dissent in Fife between c.16l0 and 1689 reveals that it was driven primarily by the laity and that it was remarkably deep-rooted and well-organized. Additionally, its character was chameleon-like, ranging from considerable subtlety in the years before the period of Covenanter rule, to the overt dissent of the years in which the Covenanters governed Scotland. Indeed, by institutionalizing dissent between 1638 and 1651, the Covenanters add an additional twist to the study of dissent. Consideration of Fife's contribution to the period of Covenanter rule suggests that, in national and governmental terms, the nobles, the traditional leaders of society, took the lead and were supported by the commissioners of the shires and burghs. At a local level, the period saw an increased concern for morality and order within the local kirk, and an increased co-operation between the kirk sessions and the civil magistrates, features which disintegrated during the Restoration period. Throughout this later period, the many faces of dissent were exhibited within Fife, ranging from subtlety to dissent of an aggressive nature. So belligerent was dissent in this period that, despite having gained control of the local institutions of government, the authorities appear to have been powerless to stem it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available