Chapter

The Free Course of Providence: Presbyterian Social Thought in the Age of Disruption and Destitution

Allan W. Maccoll

in Land, Faith and the Crofting Community

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780748623822
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653379 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748623822.003.0002
The Free Course of Providence: Presbyterian Social Thought in the Age of Disruption and Destitution

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The Disruption of the Established Church of Scotland in 1843 and the misery which followed the widespread failure of the potato crop in the years after 1846 had the effect of bringing social and religious matters together more closely in the minds of many Christian leaders. This chapter discusses the opinions of leading ministers in order to gain a fuller understanding of the Presbyterian response to the social crisis. Particular emphasis is given to the views of two prominent Highlanders who were deeply engaged in the amelioration of destitution, Mackintosh Mackay, minister of the Free Church at Dunoon, Argyll; and the Established Church minister Norman MacLeod, of St Columba's Gaelic congregation in Glasgow. A central issue addressed is the role of the doctrine of providence in shaping Presbyterian attitudes to the causes of famine, the provision of philanthropic relief, and the necessity of emigration.

Keywords: Christian leaders; disruption; Established Church of Scotland; potato crop failure; social crisis; Mackintosh Mackay; Norman MacLeod; providence; Presbyterians

Chapter.  18530 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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