The Clergy in Early Modern Scotland
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The Clergy in Early Modern Scotland

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Chris R. Langley
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A nuanced approach to the role played by clerics at a turbulent time for religious affairs.
From the early percolation of Protestant thought in the sixteenth century through to the controversies and upheaval of the civil wars in the seventeenth century, the clergy were at the heart of religious change in Scotland. By exploring their lived experiences, and drawing upon historical, theological, and literary approaches, the essays here paint a fresh and vibrant portrait of ministry during the kingdom's long Reformation. The contributors investigate how clergy, as well as their families and flocks, experienced and negotiated religious, social, and political change; through examination of both wider themes and individual case studies, the chapters emphasise the flexibility of local decision-making and how ministers and their families were enmeshed in parish dynamics, while also highlighting the importance of clerical networks beyond the parish. What emerges is a ministry that, despite the increasing professionalisation of the role, maintained a degree of local autonomy and agency. The volume thus re-focuses attention on the early modern European ministry, offering a multifaceted and historically attuned understanding of those who stood at the forefront of Protestant reform.

Chris R. Langley, Catherine E. McMillan and Russell Newton

Part I. Themes

1. Exhortations and Expectations: Preaching about the Ideal Minister in Post-Reformation Scotland

Michelle D. Brock

2. Ministers and the Bible in Early Modern Scotland

Russell Newton

3. The Protestant Clergy and Poor Relief, 1560-1660

John McCallum and Helen Gair

4. Scotland's 'Holy Households': Wives and Children of Reformed ministers

Janay Nugent and L. Rae Stauffer

5. Anticlericalism in Early Modern Scotland?

Chris R. Langley

Part II. Case Studies

6. Pastors in Search of a Congregation: Clerical Calls for Reform Before 1546

Elizabeth Tapscott

7. 'Doctrein' or 'Filthie Speachis'? The St Andrews Ministers and the Politics of the 1590s

Michael F. Graham

8. Clerical Culture and Island Logic in Early Modern Orkney

Peter Marshall

9. 'Gryt Abuse is Found in this Toune': James Sharpe and Moral Reformation in South Leith, 1639-45

Claire McNulty

10. Pastoral Cares, Covenant, and Courtship in John Dury's Personal Correspondence, 1641-5

Felicity Lyn Maxwell

11. 'Wings of the Soul': Moderating Emotion in the Preaching of Hugh Binning (1627-53)

Nathan C. J. Hood


Jane Dawson