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Theology in the Church of Scotland 1618-c. 1640: A Calvinist Consensus?

David G. Mullan
The Sixteenth Century Journal
Vol. 26, No. 3 (Autumn, 1995), pp. 595-617
DOI: 10.2307/2543141
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2543141
Page Count: 23
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Theology in the Church of Scotland 1618-c. 1640: A Calvinist Consensus?
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Abstract

In recent years, historians of early Stuart England have debated the state of theological opinion in their period, investigating the phenomenon known as Arminianism or Anti-Calvinism. This essay seeks to undertake a similar study of theology in Scotland during the same period. It is argued that, with only a very few exceptions, the kirk, including both Presbyterian and Episcopalian, was dominated by Calvinist opinion in the matter of grace. The kirk was nevertheless, deeply divided, and the Presbyterians used the term "Arminian" to denounce the other faction. However, the primary content of the term had less to do with Anti-Calvinism than with liturgy and an appreciation for the theological authority of patristic sources. Thus the condition of religion in Scotland is redefined in such a way as to preserve a theological unity while articulating the nature of a profound schism.

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