The Jacobean Kirk, 1567–1625: Sovereignty, Polity and Liturgy, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Jacobean Kirk, 1567–1625

Sovereignty, Polity and Liturgy, 1st Edition

By Alan R. MacDonald


248 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781859283738
pub: 1998-11-23
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315238845
pub: 2016-12-05
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book is the first detailed discussion of the political history of the Scottish Church in the reign of James VI (1567-1625). It offers a refreshing new perspective on the Reformed Kirk during the crucial period in its development. It is an examination of relations between Kirk and State based firmly on contemporary sources. Analysing the formation and evolution of clerical views, it argues for fluid patterns of opinion governed by events rather than fixed ideologies. As a result, it rejects the established notion of ’Melvillian’ and ’Episcopalian’ parties in the Kirk. Pivoting on the regal union of 1603, it explores the Scottish experience of the implementation of ecclesiastical policies under a multi-state monarchy in the light of recent British scholarship. It also assesses the significance of the regal union for the government of Scotland, for the status of the Kirk within Scotland and in relation to the Church of England. The result is a significant and challenging contribution to early modern Scottish and British historiography.


'A shrewd, robust and healthy revision not only of the Jacobean Kirk, but of James himself and his first realm….This is a splendid study in a myriad different ways, and, above all, it puts the sterile 'two kingdoms' debate behind and moves to scrutiny of an energetic, constantly changing church.' TLS '…a distinguished addition to the St Andrews Studies in Reformation History. It is a complex story of conflict and compromise, controversy and consensus, and this book makes it clear that iron-clad opinions…were far outnumbered by more flexible positions…MacDonald’s careful research will rewrite this aspect of British ecclesiastical history.' Bibliotheque d’Humanisme et Renaissance, Vol. 61, No. 2 'His careful study of the fluid patterns of opinion among the church members, the royal policy toward the Kirk, and the relationship of the Kirk to the Church of England breaks new ground.' Theology Digest, Vol. 46, No. 4

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The formative years, 1567-85; Compromise and conflict, 1586-92; The untidy tumble towards crisis, 1592-96; The road to consensus, 1597-1602; The regal union and the collapse of consensus, 1603-06; The new autocracy, 1606-10; New polity, new liturgy, 1610-25; Conclusion; Appendix: maps; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

St Andrews Studies in Reformation History

With the publication of its 100th book in 2012, the St Andrews Studies in Reformation Studies series celebrated an impressive publishing achievement. Since its establishment in 1995 the series has consistently offered high-quality, innovative and thought-provoking research in the field of early modern religious history. By encouraging authors to adopt a broad and inclusive interpretation of ’Reformation’, the resultant publications have done much to help shape current interdisciplinary interpretations of early-modern religion, expanding attention far beyond narrow theological concerns. Each title within the series has added to a body of international research showing how the ripples of the Reformation spread to virtually every corner of European society, both Protestant and Catholic, and often beyond. From family life, education, literature, music, art and philosophy, to political theory, international relations, economics, colonial ventures, science and military matters, there were few aspects of life that remained untouched in some way by the spirit of religious reform. As well as widening conceptions of the Reformation, the series has for the last fifteen years provided a publishing outlet for work, much of it by new and up-and-coming scholars who might otherwise have struggled to find an international platform for their work. Alongside these monographs, a complementary selection of edited volumes, critical editions of important primary sources, bibliographical studies and new translations of influential Reformation works previously unavailable to English speaking scholars, adds further depth to the topic. By offering this rich mix of approaches and topics, the St Andrews series continues to offer scholars an unparalleled platform for the publication of international scholarship in a dynamic and often controversial area of historical study.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General