Church and Theology in Enlightenment Scotland -
The Popular Party, 1740–1800
John R. McIntosh
Imprint: John Donald
Release date: 2001-01-01
Works on Scottish church history have sometimes been described as parochial, partisan, outdated or unscholarly. John McIntosh remedies this. He diverts attention from the Moderate Party in the eighteenth century, with its focus on the small group of Edinburgh literati, to the unexpectedly broad-based Popular Party, which opposed patronage in the Church of Scotland and included all shades of theological and political opinion. As well as delineating the evolving theological re-alignment which led eventually to the nineteenth-century evangelical revivals and contributed much to the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843, John McIntosh sees the emergence of an intellectually confident grouping of ministers – orthodox Evangelicals but ‘Enlightened’ thinkers – as the most significant feature of the eighteenth-century Church. He also considers the responses of the Church of Scotland to the Scottish Enlightenment, to the American and French Revolutions and their associated ideas, and to the social implications of the Industrial Revolution. The Church of Scotland in this period touched the lives of city lawyers, urban merchants, lowland farmers and highland crofters alike. This book is therefore recommended reading for social and political historians as well as students of church history and theology.