Okay, I've merged the two threads into one so that people who use the "notification" get an email when someone posts to this thread.
</ end admin note>Pre-Chapter 1:
Reading the first chapter raised a question: when did the Scots get this powerful Protestant church? From movies on Henry VIII, I knew that England
became Protestant sometime in the early 1500's, but what about Scotland?
Turns out that Scotland turned to Protestantism just a few decades after England did, and without particular coaxing from England. John Knox is credited with pushing the Scottish reformation. He studied Calvinism in Europe and returned, gathering followers among Scottish nobles. It was not an easy victory; the powers that be tried to stop him. However, in the end, the Protestants were successful. Mary Queen of Scots abdicated her throne. Her 13-month old son was crowned at a service at which John Knox presided. James was brought up in the new Church of Scotland. [Scot protestantism was "Presbyterian" while English was "Episcopalian". ] So, that's how Protestantism came to Scotland. Oddly enough, Henry VIII's daughter, Elizabeth I, did not leave an heir, and James of Scotland was the closest in the bloodline. So, he ended up becoming king of England and Scotland.
It appears that the Church of England retained some features of the old Catholic-style church, with more of a hierarchical structure, while the Scottish kirk appears to have had a more democratic structure. Perhaps
this is because the former was established "from the top" by a king, while the latter was more of a movement from "below". [In the context of the times, "below" does not mean from peasants, but from sympathetic lesser nobles and some influential non-nobles, exerting upward pressure.] Given its less cynical history, it is not surprising that the Scottish kirk would take doctrine more seriously. Chapter 1
opens around 1700. The author says that the English church was becoming more liberal under the influence of "Latitudinarians". A key figure, Englishman John Locke, wrote his "Letter Concerning Toleration
" in 1689. Meanwhile, as the chapter relates, the Scottish kirk was able to execute a college student for blasphemy. We see some influential Scots trying to stop the execution, but the kirk prevails. The execution of Aikenhead shows us the power of the kirk, but we later see that is marked the end
of the old era of religious domination.
Edited by softwareNerd, 11 January 2009 - 01:06 PM.