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Title: Times of trouble and deliverance : worship in the Kirk of Scotland, 1645-1658
Author: Langley, Christopher R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 1382
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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The thesis is the first full scale analysis of the hundreds of untapped parochial sources created by the Kirk of Scotland during the mid-seventeenth century. By taking a thirteen-year period of study, these documents allow a significant assessment of how parishes balanced the practice of Reformed religion on a day-to-day basis, with the emerging backdrop of war and invasion. This takes our historical appreciation of the Kirk away from high-level politics and into the heart of communities. The findings of this thesis illustrate the depth of activity and flexibility in Scottish parish life during the mid-seventeenth century, showing how the Presbyterian Kirk survived the internal wars and foreign invasions of the mid-seventeenth century. As Kirk leaders become increasingly concerned with the sins of political disaffection and with wars affecting parishes, ministers and sessions entered into an active dialogue with local communities seeking ecclesiastical services as normal. Such conclusions display the Kirk as a living and evolving entity, rather than a monolithic body. This negotiation ensured that Reformed services continued at the centre of communal life and that the Kirk emerged from the Civil Wars into a restored monarchy still holding its position as the national church in Scotland. The thesis also illustrates that mid-seventeenth-century Scotland did not experience a distinct ‘second reformation’, but that reforming processes were on going. This defines the mid-seventeenth century as less of a modernising moment, than a period that constantly looked into the past. The desires of Kirk leaders were couched in a much older terminology, sharing the concerns of their Reformed forebears. While the context of the National Covenant altered the Kirk’s national standing, it continued to operate in the same, negotiated, manner it had since the mid-sixteenth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Church of Scotland ; Scotland