Robert Burns and Religion
This title was first published in 2003. This text examines the role of religion in the life of the poet Robert Burns. Incorporating previously unexplored sources, and taking into consideration contemporary work on Burns, and on Scottish literature and history, author J. Walter McGinty presents an account of Burns's personal religion and the factors that helped to form it. McGinty begins by discussing the recurring themes in Burns's religious writings: a belief in a benevolent God; a hankering after, if not a hope, that there might be a life after death; and a sense of his own accountability. He then presents for comparison the religious poetry of two of Burns's contemporaries, William Cowper and Christopher Smart, usefully extending the discussion of Burns beyond the purely Scottish context. Finally, McGinty provides portraits of some of the ministers of "The Church of Scotland's Garland-A New Song", followed by an analysis of Burns's religious poetry.