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Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

David George Mullan

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780198269977
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600715 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198269978.001.0001

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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The book makes an implicit judgement that the religious culture that emerged in Scotland at the end of the sixteenth century was widely analogous to the Puritanism that dominated the Church of England at the same time, though with the significant distinction that in Scotland, Presbyterianism was more successful than south of the Tweed. Scottish Puritan writers, mainly clergy, of course, and including as in England, both Presbyterians and most Episcopalians, began to produce significant amounts of practical piety around 1590, both evoking and supplying a kind of lay piety that emphasized an emotional religious content. Central to this piety was the Word, the Bible, and also the sermons and literature that divines prepared for pulpit and press—enhanced by a strong attachment to the sacraments, and particularly to the Lord's Supper. Laymen and laywomen were urged to engage in Bible reading, meditation, prayer, Sabbath observance, family devotional activities and attendance of celebrations of the Lord's Supper, even in parishes other than their own. The inner life typically included a shattering experience of conversion and a striving for a sense of assurance that God had indeed included one amongst the limited numbers of the elect. Women not less than men were the objects of pastoral concern and the feminine formed an essential part of the discourse of divinity. The notion of the covenant was linked indissolubly to this theology, though differing conceptions of covenant—national and personal—did not mesh well and thus inscribed a deep tension upon Scottish Puritanism. The author raises a question as to whether this emotional and conversion‐based piety was reconcilable with the sense of a nation in a covenantal relationship with God, and whether the National Covenant of 1638 represented a fulfilment or a betrayal of the divinity of the previous two generations during which Protestant divines had offered very little by way of resistance theory. But this outlook was quickly awakened after the prayer book riots of July 1637.

Keywords: conversion; Covenants; election; feminine; National Covenant; piety; Presbyterianism; sacraments

Book.  386 pages. 

Subjects: Christianity

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Table of Contents

Prologue in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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A Puritan Brotherhood in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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A Ministry of the Word in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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Conversion and Assurance in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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The Pilgrim's Progress in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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The Ambiguity of the Feminine in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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Covenants and Covenant Theology in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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A Schism Defined in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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Political and National Divinity in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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The Damnable Covenant <sup>1</sup> in Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

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