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Title: The origins of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Author: MacLeod, James Lachlan
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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In May of 1893, the Free Church split in two and those who left - predominantly Gaelic-speaking Highlanders - formed the Free Presbyterian Church. This thesis argues that this was as a result of the combination of four basic circumstances. 1. The social and intellectual turbulence of the late nineteenth century threw up many challenges for churchmen; for Highlanders of theologically conservative views this was crucial in contributing to their outlook. They found themselves in a rapidly changing world and this exaggerated the apparent threats posed by change within the Church. This turbulence alone did not produce the Free Presbyterian Disrupton, but in varying ways it transformed the world in which the men who were to form the Free Presbyterian Church lived and worked; in many ways their self-perception as a small group of righteous men facing an alien and hostile world is a direct - if not inevitable - product of the times which moulded them. 2. More particularly, the nineteenth century produced what were seen as assaults on the authority of the Bible from two influential sources; textual criticism and evolutionary science. The Free Church became bitterly divided over both these issues, and the departure from the traditional view of Scripture by many of the leading men in the Church was a major reason why the Free Prebyterians left in 1893. 3. The Free Church was further divided between the Highland and the Lowland parts of Scotland. The divide was there from the very beginning of the Free Church and antagonism went both ways, but it is my contention that the hostility of the Lowlanders in the Church to the position of the Highlanders was, at least in part, informed by the prevailing contemporary influence of theories about race. This mutual antagonsim had the effect of widening divisions which existed over other issues, and made a secession by Highlanders likely if not unavoidable.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available