Chapter

Caroline Covenants: Scotland, 1636–1640

Charles W. A. Prior

in A Confusion of Tongues

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199698257
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739040 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199698257.003.0004
Caroline Covenants: Scotland, 1636–1640

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The flashpoint for the Wars of the Three Kingdoms was Scotland, where debates on ecclesiology and law generated attacks on the ecclesiastical supremacy of Crown and bishops. Debates on ecclesiology in Scotland produced a very powerful defence of the notion that legally-established religion was the foundation of political liberty. The result was that English and Scottish opponents of Caroline ecclesiology developed arguments which linked concepts of doctrine and political liberty. This chapter examines debates touched off by the National Covenant, and provides an important perspective on the British dimension of the constitutionalism of religion. Scottish writers responded to attempts by the English to ‘Anglicise’ the Kirk by asserting the legal and doctrinal perfection of their own reformation, which was also the guarantee of political liberty. These contributions help us to understand what lay behind the move toward armed resistance in defence of religion and liberty.

Keywords: National Covenant; Covenanters; Aberdeen Doctors; General Assembly; presbyterianism; liberty; Scottish Kirk

Chapter.  16304 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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