Church and State in Scotland: Developing law, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Church and State in Scotland

Developing law, 1st Edition

By Francis Lyall


240 pages

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pub: 2016-05-20
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The interaction of faith and the community is a fundamental of modern society. The first country to adopt Presbyterianism in its national church, Scotland adopted a system of church government, which is now in world-wide use. This book examines the development and current state of Scots law. Drawing on previous material as well as discussing current topical issues, this book makes some comparisons between Scotland and other legal and religious jurisdictions. The study first considers the Church of Scotland, its ’Disruption’ and statutorily recognised reconstitution and then the position of other denominations before assessing the interaction of religion and law and the impact of Human Rights and various discrimination laws within this distinctive Presbyterian country. This unique book will be of interest to both students and lecturers in constitutional and civil law, as well as historians and ecclesiastics.


‘This concise, elegant, and balanced volume has all the earmarks of becoming the standard text on church-state relations in the history of Scotland and today. Scholars and practitioners alike, from within and without Scotland, can dip into this text with profit, and teachers of the subject will find it a highly readable and reliable guide for their students.’

John Witte, Jr., Emory University, USA

‘Frank Lyall ranges widely over the intricate legal history of the Scottish Churches and the broader interactions between law and religion in Scotland. A very welcome addition to the rather sparse literature on Scots church law from an author who has had a lifelong engagement with it.’

Frank Cranmer, Cardiff University, UK

‘The remarkable story of the interaction with the Crown, Parliament and the Courts of the established church and other religious organisations in Scotland is fascinating to lawyers, historians, ecclesiastics and the general reader. Unfolding right up to the present time, it is expertly and accurately told in this book which I warmly commend.’

Lord James Mackay of Clashfern, UK

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; 1560-1843 reformation to disruption; 1843-1929 disruption to union; The Church of Scotland today; Outside establishment; Education; Personal relationships; Other interactions of religion and law; Conclusion; Index.

About the Author

Francis Lyall, now Emeritus Professor of Public Law at the University of Aberdeen, was involved in the Church of Scotland, as a church elder, a member of the Presbytery of Aberdeen, several times a commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and as a three-term member of its Panel on Doctrine. He was a member of the Evangelical Alliance Commission on Faith and Nation (published 2006). In 1993 he held, as Visiting Professor, the Willem E Oncelin Chair of Canon Law in the Faculty of Canon Law, of the University of Leuven (Louvain). He has published many religion-relevant books and articles.

About the Series

ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

ICLARS Series on Law and Religion

The ICLARS Series on Law and Religion is designed to provide a forum for the rapidly expanding field of research in law and religion. The series is published in association with the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, an international network of scholars and experts of law and religion founded in 2007 with the aim of providing a place where information, data and opinions can easily be exchanged among members and made available to the broader scientific community ( The series aims to become a primary source for students and scholars while presenting authors with a valuable means to reach a wide and growing readership.

The series editors are currently welcoming proposals for this new series on any matter falling under ‘law and religion’ widely defined. Collections arising from important conferences and events are welcome as well as monographs by both established names and new voices (including monographs based on doctoral dissertations). Also of interest are interdisciplinary works and studies of particular jurisdictions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Constitutional
LAW / Public
RELIGION / Christianity / Presbyterian