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'New Light' thinking and non-subscription amongst Protestant dissenters in England and Ireland in the early 18th century and their relationship with Glasgow University and Scotland

Steers, Anthony David Garland (2006) 'New Light' thinking and non-subscription amongst Protestant dissenters in England and Ireland in the early 18th century and their relationship with Glasgow University and Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

In the early eighteenth century Scottish universities played a crucial role in the education of dissenters in both England and Ireland, particularly in the training of ministers. Glasgow University was predominant in this role throughout the first half of the century and was a central feature of the network of reformed churches across the British Isles. In the second and third decades of the eighteenth century Glasgow University was troubled by two particular problems. The first was student unrest, based on the students’ attempts to revive their ancient right to elect the rector, much of it led by students from England and Ireland. The second stemmed from accusations of heresy against the professor of divinity. Both of these processes were linked to the wider questions of non-subscription that animated so much dissenting thinking in both England and Ireland at the same time. They linked in too with a widespread fear of the transmission of Arian doctrine that some thought was being concealed by non-subscription. This thesis examines the development of New Light or non-subscribing views amongst dissenters in England and Ireland as part of a movement across the British Isles that was underpinned by the central relationship that many church leaders had with the University. Glasgow avoided the taking of sides in the subscription debates but neither did it exclude the non-subscribers and, after the initial debates had cooled towards the end of the 1720s, affirmed the permissibility of their approach by some of its actions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Hazlett, Prof. W.I.P.
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Geraldine Coyle
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-945
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:28
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/945

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