Church and state in Scotland from the reformation to the covenanting revolution

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    The concept of “church and state” has been assailed over recent decades as a deceptive distinction (since the Church was essentially subject to state authority), and as a distraction from the real story of religious experience. Yet it persists because it remained central to political divisions that stretched up to and beyond the Anglo-Scottish parliamentary union of 1707. This chapter explores the development of the constitutional position of the Church of Scotland from the Reformation until the Covenanting Revolution against King Charles I. Its focus is on the central controversy over sovereignty (the “two kingdoms” debate) that was a source of tension throughout the period and formed the basis for that revolution. It explores the peculiar nature of the Church of Scotland’s autogenesis in 1560, the significance of that and of its early development under a Catholic monarch for its self-understanding, as well as its evolving relationship with central government under King James VI and Charles I.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationA companion to the reformation in Scotland ca.1525-1638
    Subtitle of host publicationFrameworks of change and development
    EditorsWilliam Ian P. Hazlett
    Place of PublicationLeiden
    PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
    Number of pages23
    ISBN (Electronic)9789004335950
    ISBN (Print)9789004329720
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2021

    Publication series

    NameBrill's Companions to the Christian Tradition


    • sovereignty
    • polity
    • presbyterianism
    • episcopacy
    • endowment


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