Scottish Studies Zoom Talk

The Revival of Evangelicalism:
Mission and Piety in the
Victorian Church of Scotland

an online talk by Andrew Jones PhD

Saturday, September 17, 2022
11 a.m. (EDT Eastern Canada/USA) – 4 p.m. (UK)

This event has taken place. A recording of the talk has been posted here.

It probably came as surprise to most observers that on Saturday, September 10th, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the first act carried out by King Charles III was to sign a historic oath vowing to uphold the presbyterian system of Church governance in Scotland — a throwback to the 1707 Act of Union between England and Scotland.

Whereas the reigning British monarch is also the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, ever since the 1707 Act of Union, monarchs have been required by law to uphold the Church of Scotland's presbyterian structure which is based on the premise that no one person or group within the Church has more influence or say than any other. The oath thereby reflects the constitutional independence of the Church of Scotland from the state.

Parishioners walk out of church in protest at the unpopular appointment
of a minister in the parish of Marnoch, Strathbogie in 1841

For many people today this may seem like a sectarian anachronism but in the 18th and 19th centuries church independence was a major issue and when the Patronage Act of 1712 was passed and local lairds, councillors and landowners were given power to appoint ministers to their local kirks over the heads of their congregations, many parishioners saw this as state interference and mobilized to have this overturned. In 1843, this culminated in what became known as "The Disruption" and in his talk, Andrew Jones looks at the aftermath of this event which was a dominant feature of the Scottish political and religious landscape until the 1920s.

He will also highlight ways in which members of the Scottish Diaspora in Eastern Canada participated in these ecclesiastical developments across the Atlantic.

Andrew Jones (pictured above) completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2018 and is currently a Postdoctoral Teaching Historian at Reinhardt University near Atlanta, Georgia. His research focuses on religion, identity and race in modern Scotland and the Scottish Diaspora.