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James VI and I, the Church of Scotland, and British Ecclesiastical Convergence

James VI and I, the Church of Scotland, and British Ecclesiastical Convergence

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalHistorical Journal
Journal publication dateDec 2005


Recent historiography has argued that the British ecclesiastical policies of James VI and I sought 'congruity' between the different churches in Scotland, England, and Ireland, rather than British ecclesiastical union or the anglicanization of all the churches. It is argued here that the asymmetry, of the changes he sought in Scotland and England has been underplayed and that this has masked his choice of a fundamentally, Anglican model for the British churches. Through allowing the archbishop of Canterbury, to interfere in Scottish ecclesiastical affairs, undermining the presbyterian system, promoting episcopal power and liturgical reform, anglicanization of the Church of Scotland was the goal of James VI and I, and one which he pursued until his death. The motivation for King James's persistent desire for the fulfilment of this policy, is to be found in his rapid assimilation to the Church of England after 1603 anal. moreover.. in his goal of the reunification of Christendom as a whole, on the Anglican model.


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