Scottish Theology in Nineteenth-Century Ireland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter considers how Irish Presbyterians in the nineteenth century defined Scottish theology in terms of the Westminster Standards and how this was shaped by certain philosophical and political commitments. Against the backdrop of theological liberalism and political radicalism in the eighteenth century, it begins with how conservative Presbyterians employed the Scottish Enlightenment and how Thomas Chalmers embodied for them the synthesis of Common Sense philosophy and Calvinist theology. This synthesis was reinforced by a powerful understanding of a shared history. Presbyterians in Ireland and Scotland claimed that the persistence and principles of their early modern co-religionists were the foundation of civil and religious liberty in the United Kingdom and would promote global Presbyterian unity in the aftermath of the Disruption in 1843. Yet, Irish Presbyterians were increasingly distressed as this shared definition of Scottish theology was undermined from the 1870s by Presbyterians in Scotland who advocated modern criticism and acquiesced in Irish Home Rule.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe History of Scottish Theology, Volume II: From the Early Enlightenment to the Late Victorian Era
EditorsDavid Fergusson, Mark W. Elliott
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198759348
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sept 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies


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