This book, first published in 1974, shows how social class and origins in mid-nineteenth century Aberdeen were reflected in religious belief and observance, and how in turn this acted as a catalyst for change in society. Through a detailed analysis of this topic, particularly in relation to the Presbyterian denominations, the author directs fresh light on the emergence and development of the Free Church.
The Disruption in the Church of Scotland is examined within the context of changes which had taken place in the form of industrial production, whereby the city as a centre of manufacturing had replaced the domestic production of the countryside. The concomitant changes in the social structure, and the divisions which resulted within the old ruling families, are probed. The social patterns of adherence to the Established and Free Churches are analysed in detail, and the subsequent development of the Free Church is examined in terms of the social support it enjoyed in 1843.
1. The Social and Economic Background 2. The Superiority of the Free Church by 1851 3. The Disruption of the Establishment 4. An Analysis of Denominational Adherence 5. The Development of the Free Church after 1843 6. Kirk Sessions and Church Attendance 7. Social Control and the Belief in Church ‘Connection’ 8. The Problem of Spiritual Destitution