History of Scottish Theology

About us


A series which provides comprehensive coverage of the history of theology in Scotland is long overdue. Through monasteries, universities, colleges and churches, theologians from Scotland have made a significant contribution to their discipline. And especially at a time of concerted scholarly study of Scottish culture, a more in-depth account of the theologies that have been developed and exported to other parts of the world over the centuries is required.

Over seventy leading scholars from around the world, each with expertise in some particular period, theme or body of literature, will contribute essays to the History of Scottish Theology, co-edited by Professor David Fergusson (Edinburgh) and Professor Mark W. Elliott (St Andrews). The three volumes will be published by Oxford University Press in 2019. A full list of contributors and their subject area is set out below. The UK Arts and Humanities Research Council provided funding towards three seminars for contributors which took place contributors from late 2016 to mid-2017.

Together the three volumes in the series will present in diachronic perspective the debates, thinkers and movements that have characterized theology in Scotland and been exported overseas. Recurrent themes will be assessed, alongside trends and challenges that arose through Renaissance humanism, Reformation teaching, federal theology, the Scottish Enlightenment, evangelicalism, missionary movements, Biblical criticism, idealist philosophy, dialectical theology, existentialism and secularism. Coverage of under-researched areas, including Roman Catholic, Episcopalian and Non-conformist theologies and woman writers, will also be provided.

The series combines state-of-the-art research with clear presentation of primary sources and informed comparative scholarship in closely cognate disciplines, including philosophy, politics, ecclesiastical history, and theology. The essays will take cognizance of the social, ecclesial and intellectual contexts in which theology has been undertaken in Scotland. Each volume includes an introductory essay which connects and contextualizes the various themes, movements and thinkers.

Volume One covers the period from the monasticism of the early middle ages to the federal orthodoxy of the mid-17th century, in many ways the high-water mark of Reformed theology in Scotland. Volume Two begins with the late 17th century and the changing intellectual climate of the early Enlightenment. This proceeds through the 18th and 19th centuries, the time when newer trends in Biblical criticism, philosophy and theology, often influenced by Germans scholars, can be discerned.  Volume Three continues the story of these trends and includes exploration of key thinkers and movements until the end of the 20th century. These chronological boundaries, are not intended to be rigid however; more thematic essays will aim at a broader and more synoptic perspective.

The series seeks to register the impact of Scottish theology upon national life, and also its wider international influence through the export of ideas and thinkers to other parts of the world. In addition, attention is accorded to the different contexts and media in which theological ideas entered the wider public domain through music, art, liturgy, church architecture, preaching, mission, hymn writing and education.

It is hoped that providing comprehensive coverage of Scottish theology from its earliest beginnings to the late 20th century will make a valuable contribution to theological scholarship, and to our understanding of Scottish history and culture.

For further information about the project, please contact its Research Assistant, Dr Sandy Forsyth – alexander.forsyth@ed.ac.uk.

For contributors, the OUP Style Guidelines are attached. History of Scottish Theology Contributor Guidelines





The Centre for the Study of Scottish Philosophy hosted a successful conference entitled ‘Scottish Philosophy and Reformation Theology’. In addition to other respected academic contributors, speakers and attendees included those involved in the History of Scottish Theology project who are based in North America, as well as the co-editors.


NEW COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH, 19 December 2016 & 23 June 2017

New College hosted the first symposium in December 2016 primarily for UK and European contributors, to provide an opportunity for them to present drafts of their essays to fellow contributors and to receive constructive feedback at a preliminary stage (photos below). The second symposium took place at New College on 23 June 2017, at which we welcomed contributors from the UK, Europe, North America and Australasia. There were nineteen engaging presentations from across the three volumes on diverse subject areas. As well as enabling contacts amongst the contributors, these events have further enhanced the project as a whole, by enabling essayists to have a sense of the wider context in which they are writing, and providing discussion and dialogue for the development of the final essays.


Volumes and chapter contributors

Volume 1 chapter contributors
Volume 1: Scottish Theology to 1680
1. Celtic Theology up to the Scholastic Period: Thomas O’Loughlin
2. Richard of St Victor: Lydia Schumacher
3. Adam of Dryburgh: Peter Damian-Grint
4. Late Medieval and Reformation Liturgical Theology: Stephen Holmes
5. The Theology of Duns Scotus: Richard Cross
6. The Doctrinal Theology of Scotus and his Reception in John Ireland and Others: Simon Burton
7. The Theology of John Mair: John Slotemaker
8. Scottish Political Theology - from Mair to Rutherford: Roger Mason
9. Sixteenth Century Philosophy and Theology after John Mair: Giovanni Gellera
10. The Theological Impact of the Bible in Translation in Sixteenth Century Scotland: Iain Torrance
11. Early Protestant Theology - Patrick Hamilton, Alesius, Wishart and Balknaves: Martin Dotterweich
12. The Origins of the Reformed Theological Tradition in Scotland including the Confessions and Catechisms: Ian Hazlett
13. The Theology of John Knox and Andrew Melville : Euan Cameron
14. Spirituality and Theology from Bruce to Leighton: Mark Elliott
15. The Emergence of Federal Theology from Rollock Onwards: David Mullan
16. Reformed Orthodoxy: Henderson, Rutherford, Gillespie, Durham and Dickson: Guy Richard
17. James Dundas and Reformed Orthodoxy in Scotland: Alexander Broadie
18. The Theology of the Westminster Confession in its Context: Whitney Gamble
19. The Theology of the Aberdeen Doctors and Henry Scougal: Aaron Denlinger
20. Early Modern Episcopalian Spirituality: Scougal and the Gardens: Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner
21. French and Dutch Connections with Early Modern Scottish Theology: James Eglinton
22. Jurisprudence and Theology in Early Modern Scotland: Tom Green
23. The Theology of the Marrow Controversy – Boston, Hadow and the Erskines: Stephen Myers
24. Conservative Enlightenment Theology- Blackwell and Riccaltoun: Paul Helm
Volume 2 chapter contributors
Volume II: The Early Enlightenment to the Mid-Nineteenth Century
1. The Significance of the Westminster Confession for Scottish Theology: Donald MacLeod
2. Jonathan Edwards and his Scottish Contemporaries: Jonathan Yeager
3. Early Enlightenment Shifts – Simson, Leechman and Campbell : Christian Maurer
4. Philosophy and Theology in the mid-18th Century: Thomas Ahnert
5. Moderate Theology and Preaching – Robertson, Reid, Campbell and Blair: Stewart J. Brown
6. The Theology of Evangelicalism in the 18th Century: John McIntosh
7. Scottish Philosophy and American Theology – Witherspoon and McCosh: James Foster
8. Evangelical Theology of Scottish Nonconformity: David Bebbington
9. The Influence of the Scots Colleges in Paris, Rome and Spain: Tom McInally
10. George Hay and John Geddes – late 18th Century Catholic Theology: Raymond McCluskey
11. Natural and Revealed Theology in George Hill and Thomas Chalmers: Mark Elliott
12. Theology, Slavery and Abolitionism in the Scottish Churches: Iain Whyte
13. Theology and Scottish Literature: 18th to 19th century: Alison Jack
14. New Trends: John McLeod Campbell, Thomas Erskine and Edward Irving: Andrew Purves
15. Theology in Scotland Outside the Universities – the Influence of Denominational Colleges: Scott Spurlock
16. The Theologies of George Hill and Thomas Chalmers: Mark Elliott
17. Free Church Theology after the Disruption: Michael Bräutigam
18. Episcopalian Theology 1689–c1900: Rowan Strong
19. Scottish Theology in Ulster: Andrew Holmes
20. David Hume amongst the Scottish Theologians: David Fergusson
21. Women Hymn Writers: Frances Henderson
22. The Liturgical Revolution: Hymns, Prayers and Stained Glass: Bryan Spinks
23. The Reception of Reformed Theology in Gaelic Women's Poetry and Song: Anne MacLeod Hill
24. The Reception of Biblical Criticism – Geddes, Davidson and Robertson Smith: William Johnstone
25. Secession and United Presbyterian Theologies: Eric McKimmon
26. Extra-Terrestrials and the Heavens in 19th Century Scottish Theology: Colin Kidd
27. The Reception of Darwin: David Fergusson
Volume 3 chapter contributors
Volume III: The Mid-Nineteenth Century to the Late-Twentieth Century
1. Liberal Theologies of the late Nineteenth Century: Finlay Macdonald
2. Alexander Carmichael and Carmina Gadelica: Domhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart
3. The Theology of the Scottish Protestant Foreign Missionary Movement: Brian Stanley
4. Theology and Ecumenism after Edinburgh 1910 and World War I: Marlene Finlayson
5. Idealism and Personalism – Caird, Oman and Macmurray: Adam Hood
6. Theologies of the Cross—James Denney and PT Forsyth: Jason Goroncy
7. Political Theology: from Robert Flint to Duncan Forrester: Johnston McKay
9. Kenotic Christology – A B Bruce and H R Mackintosh & Forrest : Bruce McCormack
10. Liberal Orthodoxy – John Baillie and Donald Baillie: George Newlands
11. The Gifford Lectures and their Significance: Gordon Graham
12. Theology and Social Criticism: William Storrar
13. The Influence of Barth in Scotland – MacConnachie, Mackintosh and T F Torrance: Paul Nimmo
14. The Theology of T.F. Torrance: Paul Molnar
15. Theology and Art in Scotland: David Brown
16. Alternative Spiritualities from the late 19th Century: Marion Bowman
17. Episcopalian Theology in the 20th Century: Alison Peden
18. Existentialist Theology – John Macquarrie and Ronald Gregor Smith: George Pattison
19. Scottish Missiology and Ecumenism – Tom Allan & 'Tell Scotland', Iona Community, Gorbals Group Ministry and Scottish Churches House: Sandy Forsyth
20. Mid-to-late 20th Century Controversies – Divorce, the Ordination of Women and Sexuality in the Scottish Churches: Lesley Orr
21. The Revival of Celtic Theology – Noel O’Donoghue, James Mackey, et al: Ian Bradley
22. The Scottish Theological Diaspora - North America: Cairns Craig
23. The Scottish Theological Diaspora - Australia and New Zealand: Peter Matheson
24. Theology and Constructions of Scottish Identity: Doug Gay
25. The Transmission of Theology - Journals, Reference Works, Printing, Publishing Houses: John Riches
26. Theology and Preaching in Literature: Ian Campbell
27. Catholic & Protestant Sensibilities in Scottish Literature, from Stevenson to Spark: Linden Bicket
28. Catholic Theology since the 1960s: William McFadden
29. Scottish Theology in the later 20th Century - TF Torrance, JKS Reid, Geoffrey Bromiley, John McIntyre and Alasdair Heron: Gary Badcock

Project Team

first team member face
Professor David Fergusson
University of Edinburgh, Co-Editor

E-mail: david.fergusson@ed.ac.uk
second team member face
Professor Mark Elliott
University of St Andrews, Co-Editor

E-mail: mwe1@st-andrews.ac.uk
third team member face
Dr Sandy Forsyth
University of Edinburgh, Research Assistant
E-mail: alexander.forsyth@ed.ac.uk
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