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Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology Hardcover – 1 Jan 1990

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Hardcover, 1 Jan 1990
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 906 pages
  • Publisher: Inter-Varsity Press,US (1 Jan. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830814078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830814077
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 17.1 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,832,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Anyone with a serious interest in Scottish ecclesiology should own a copy of this book. The contributors are all experts in their fields. The topic entries are sufficently detailed to be a useful reference source, but suggestions for further reading are also given.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have reviewed this Dictionary fully on Amazon .com
The Dictionary is a gem and should be on the shelves of those with a love of Scottish Church History and Theology
The editors sought to find writers in sympathy with their topic to write the articles.
In areas of controversy , other positions needed to be outlined

The articles are well written, and clear . The have up to date bibliographies to 1993
There are approximately 230 contributors from a number of countries

The Dictionary covers the period from the Celtic Church to recent times
As Presbyertianism is the dominant group in Scottish Church History it gets the largest share of the space.
That said there is moderate coverage of the Celtic Church, The Pre-Reformation Church, Roman Catholicism, Episopialianism, Dissent and later movements
There are summary surveys that give an introduction to the topic and a mass of * starred cross references
The coverage of these groups seems reasonable

There is a survey article on Presbyterianism with helpful cross references
Other articles include the Scottish Reformation in both it's Luheran phase and its phase under John Knox and others along with topics like the Westminster Assembly-- see below for more details on Presbyterianism

For the various churches and groups there are articles on Creeds, Catechisms and Confessions along with articles on worship and liturgy where appropriate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 April 2002
Format: Hardcover
Any keen observer of the Christian Church in Scotland (and the Church of Scotland in particular) will find this book fascinating and extremely helpful. It is also meticulously researched. If you want to find about the 19th century divisions in Scottish Presbyterianism, learn about theological movements, find brief biographies of eminent theologians, etc, this one volume reference book will be invaluable to you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Reference for students of British Ecclesiastical History. 17 Nov. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a great reference for students of British Ecclesiastical history, or for British historians. John Knox and the Coventers are all covered in this text as well as many other aspects of the great reformation country. Excellent referance for Pastors looking for illustration material as well.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
More of an Encyclopaedia than Dictionary ... fascinating ! 3 Aug. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating encyclopaedia of Scottish history as it relates to the church. (Most Scottish History had something to do with the church and its reformation) Not a book one would read from cover to cover, but a ready reference which has had me following one reference to another gaining wonderful insights to the otherwise shadowy realms of how the Christian faith has shaped Scotland and given the nation a significance in world history disproportionate to its size. I'll never part with my copy.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Gem --Buy it if you are interested in the topic. It will serve you for Years. Often Expensive 20 Feb. 2015
By Dr - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This work is a gem and well worth buying. It is often expensive

I have been using this Dictionary since it was published by T&T Clark in Scotland in 1993
It seeks to cover Scottish Church History and Theology from the beginning to recent times. The aim of the editorial team was to get writers who were sympathetic to their subject matter to write the articles. In areas of controversy balance needed to be maintained in the article. It is often hard to do this in practice and maintain both sympathy for the subject and balance in areas of conflict but this Dictionary has made a very good effort
The Celtic Church, PreReformation Church, Roman Catholicism , Dissent and Episcopalian traditions are given moderate coverage
Presbyterianism in its many forms is the main focus. There is extensive coverage of the Reformation period, the Covenanting period the period of various splits within Presbyterianism-- see below. Moderatism and the Disruption and its aftermath is also well covered
The general article on Presbyterianism gives access to a brief overview and a number of cross references

I didn't count them but there are some 250 contributors to this dictionary from various university and denominational backgrounds, and from a number of countries
The dictionary aims to provide information through all periods of Scottish Church History
By necessity this is selective
There are major survey articles on the Celtic Church, The Reformation and the Disruption for example
If a person or item is referred to in the article it is * to tell you that it is given a seperate article in the dictionary. ( cross reference)

An example is The Celtic Church
There are two articles on the Celtic Church-- Celtic Church, and Celtic Saints
The Celtic Church article has a brief introduction that mentions the Synod of Whitby between the Cetic Church and the Roman Church
The article then divides into these sections
Origin and development
The Celtic Church in Scotland
The End of the Celtic Church
There is 5 columns of text (2 columns per page ) and a bibliography plus see. Monasticism --Celtic
There are several cross references in the article to St Ninian, St Columba etc etc

There is extensive coverage of ministers-- the entries often give information only found in Fasti
Fasti of Ministers are basically a list of parish ( or non parish churches) that they served in chronologically
Splits in the Church of Scotland happened fairly regularly and unless you are an expert on that particular church or split it is often difficult to know which minister was serving in which church. Some moved several times in their career-- so this information is very helpful
Biographies may just contain where the minister was , but often covers printed volumes of sermons and other devotional works and if they wrote important theological works what these were

As mentioned above there various splits within the Presbyterian movement.
This dictionary is a very helpful source of information and aid to memory
For those who get confused about the:
The First Secession then the split over the Burger Oaths into Burger and AntiBurger and later Auld Lights and New Lights will find the Dictionary helpful
Other groups include the Relief Chuch and the Reformed Presbyterian Church
At a still later date was the Disruption and the various joinings and separations related to this movement,
Many important issues were covered in these splits with the relationship to Government, "local goverment " and patronage being some of the more vexing
There is an article on " Unions, Church in Scotland that cover various unions or reunions

The Dictionary covers a number of other important items such as
The Westminster Assembly
Presbyterianism in Australia, Canada, New Zealand , The Netherlands, The United States etc
Universities with a number having there own entries ( the Scottish love of education) and an article on Education-- Theological
Entries on named lecture series along with various magazines like The British and Foreign Review and an article on Periodicals -- Religious
There are several articles on Preaching including -- Preachers, preaching-- Themes and Styles
There are several entries on the Bible
Bible Societies
Bible Versions-(English) in Scotland
Bible Versions(Gaelic )
Bible Versions ( Scottish)
See Exegesis -biblical. (Exegesis is the principals of biblical interpretation )

The dictionary have a wide range of summary articles on theology and some specialist articles
They range from Assurance, Atonement, Baptism, Covenant, the Lord's Supper and the Sacraments

There are articles on Baptists,Brethren Congregationalists, Episcopalians , Roman Catholicism etc
There are general articles with good cross references . Then articles on creeds, catechisms and confessions and articles related to worship and liturgy where relevant. Notable members and organisations of these denominations are also covered
As these groups made up a smaller part of the Scottish Church landscape they do get less space, but the editors have tried hard to make it a work that is helpful to those who are non Presbyterian as well as Presbyterians

Besides the comments above about the various strands of Presbyterianism the is an array of articles on
The Westminster Assembly and Documents and the cross references
This covers background, meetings including cross references to the Scottish Commissioners, Documents of the Assembly and bibliography

There is a very full articleit various church missions and various mission agencies. There is reference to a number of cross references to societies like the Baptist Mission Society and non denominational mission agencies and a host of missionaries
The bibliography to the main article on Mission is full and very helpful as are the bibliographies to the other mission related articles

This work will be a joy to Presbyterian ministers and Presbyterian ministers in training. It will also be of great interest to those with an interest in the Reformed Tradition.
The work is cites as a standard text in various books, theses, dictionaries and encyclopedias on Theology.
The standard of its articles are very good
The work also contains a lot of hard to find detail on other Denominations represented in Scotland
The dictionary gives space to other areas like political and intellectual history as well as its main focus on Church History and Theology
If you are doing gratuities researcher on some aspect of Scottish Church History this would be a helpful tool
The bibliographies are up to date to the time of publication, although much has since been done which a lot of it published in books and Articles etc
The Dictionary is most useful to those who know a moderate amount about Scottish Church History

What about the novice
It really depends on your level of interest and whether you can afford it
Many of us started with a fairly schanty knowledge of Schottish Church History but reading some books on the subject, talking with interested friends and finding tools like this dictionary allowed us to gradually build our knowledge and correct errors in some things we had read earlier. So it really depends on you level of interest and the time to dip into the dictionary and read around topics you are interested in or follow the cross references

For Advanced Research check
There is much fuller coverage of a variety of authors in the new 60 volume Oxford Dictionary of National Biography but most of use cannot afford it or have the space to shelf it. Consult it in the library

Other works

The Oxford Companion to Scottish History
Covers Scottish History in general
Useful chronology, set of maps and genealogies at the back
Very helpful to those who are mainly interested in Scottish History as opposed to Church History
That said they complement each other well
See my review

There is also a similar volume on British History
The Oxford Companion to British History
I think there are several editions
A useful authoritative one volume guide to British History

Church History of Scotland
See my review
Published in 1960 on the fourth centenary of the Scottish Reformation
Now outdated but still a helpful general guide.
The Scottish Dictionary of Church History and Theology gives the more up to date information
This book is a narrative history from the Celtic Church onward
It has a very useful fold out table of the various divisions and reunions etc in the post Reformation Scottish Church
If you are buying it check that it has the fold out on the divisions in the back
You may be able to find cheaper copies on ABE or in Second Hand Christian Bookstores

Evangelicals will find an lot of useful material and insight in
Scottish theology in relation to church history since the reformation
See my review -- this book is a classic and well worth getting
Very detailed and well-informed dictionary 21 Dec. 2010
By Peter R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent modern dictionary by reliable Scottish contributors and has much information not readily available elsewhere. It is a great pity that the publishers have not seen fit to reprint it or make it available in an electronic form.
great read 18 Aug. 2013
By thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great insight into a complicated subject, which will allow a much better understanding of how religion and politics are intertwined.
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