A nuanced approach to the role played by clerics at a turbulent time for religious affairs.
From the early percolation of Protestant thought in the sixteenth century through to the controversies and upheaval of the civil wars in the seventeenth century, the clergy were at the heart of religious change in Scotland. By exploring their lived experiences, and drawing upon historical, theological, and literary approaches, the essays here paint a fresh and vibrant portrait of ministry during the kingdom's long Reformation. The contributors investigate how clergy, as well as their families and flocks, experienced and negotiated religious, social, and political change; through examination of both wider themes and individual case studies, the chapters emphasise the flexibility of local decision-making and how ministers and their families were enmeshed in parish dynamics, while also highlighting the importance of clerical networks beyond the parish. What emerges is a ministry that, despite the increasing professionalisation of the role, maintained a degree of local autonomy and agency. The volume thus re-focuses attention on the early modern European ministry, offering a multifaceted and historically attuned understanding of those who stood at the forefront of Protestant reform.
These chapters harvest rich details of the everyday lives of the early modern clergy and their collaboration with their parishioners. [...] The introductory historiography, various approaches, and combined bibliography might make this collection serve as a vade mecum to such future studies of the early modern Scottish Church. -- SEVENTEENTH CENTURY NEWS The book is a significant contribution to our understanding of early modern Scottish religious culture. * CHURCH HISTORY * This collection of essays provides a much-needed update to our understanding of the early modern men who answered the "calling of the ministrie" and the families who often supported them. * Scottish Historical Review * An outstanding and agenda-setting volume that puts the experience of Reformed ministers at the centre of the religious history of early modern Scotland. * New Books Network * This collection provides an invaluable contribution to the field of Scottish Reformation studies ... The contributors to both sections in this volume should be commended for their vast use of source material related to Scottish clergymen, especially those source collections previously ignored or underutilised. -- Journal of Ecclesiastical History As well as adding nuance and depth to our understanding of the Reformed church and its ministers, The Clergy in Early Modern Scotland is also a rallying cry for an increased focus on the human aspects to religion. * The Innes Review *