on 22 February 2015
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. The are articles on preaching and themes and styles of preaching
There is a very full survey article on missions with a very helpful bibliography along with cross reference to various mission agencies and a number of missionaries
There is extensive coverage of the Scottish Reformation, The Westminster Assembly, the Covenanting Period, the various divisions in Presbyterianism, the Age of Moderatism and the Disruption and following period
A whole array of articles are related to these periods like the First and Second Book of Church Discipline, or the later Westminster Assemby documents etc
There were a number of divisions in Presbyterianim over the years.
The dictionary is very helpful to those of us who find it hard to remember them , and who was associated with them
The Camerionians and the Reformed Presbyterian Church
The First Secession and The Split over the Burgess oath into Burghers and Anti Burghers then into the Auld Lichts and New Lichts
Later was the Disruption and its various joinings and partings etc
There is also an article on "The Church of Scotland"
There are a number of articles on ministers and which churches they served in-- this can be very helpful when various ministers separated from one church and joined another-- this could happen more than once. At times the move was due to a church joining up with another church
This information on which parish / church the minister ministered in May be all the information in the article but if the person had some important sermons or devotional works published this is often noted. If the minister wrote some important theological work then this too, is often covered
There are a variety of general survey articles on theology, with cross reference to other articles. Much of theology was carried on in writing between various church ministers or theological professors
There are articles on eduction, theological eduction, universities, , a variety of both learned and more popular magazines
The are are articles on various Bible Versions-- English -- Gaelic-- Scottish
Exegesis-- Biblical ( principals of interpretation
Preachers , Preaching-- Themes and Styles
Scotland's relationship to
Australia, Canada, New Zealand, The Netherland, The United States etc
This is an excellent work, which is crammed full of information that is often hard to track down
The academic standard is very high and the dictionary could serve as a model for similar works.
This dictionary will appeal to those with an interest in Scottish Church History with Presbyterians and those interested in the Reformed Faith benefitting most
The dictionary also covers political and intellectual history
Buy it while you can as copies are fairly uncommon and expensive
This work will serve you for years
on 27 April 2002
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.