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The Realities of Toleration: Army Chaplaincy, Religious Politics and Scottish Military Experience, c.1690–1763

The Realities of Toleration: Army Chaplaincy, Religious Politics and Scottish Military... This article examines the under-studied practical implications of legal toleration and the realities of religious co-existence, by exploring how Scottish army chaplains pushed at confessional dividing lines and tested the differing toleration systems within the British Isles to their limits. By situating army chaplaincy at the centre, rather than the margin, of the wider religio-political changes in early eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland, it argues that the deficiency of chaplaincy resulted not from individual neglect, but its legal juxtaposition between the religious and military authorities, an institutional position that both reflected and amplified church-state tensions. Such jurisdictional ambiguity was gradually clarified by the mid-eighteenth century, when Scottish army chaplains, as military personnel, came under the effective control of lay patronage. Despite persistent concerns for chaplains' doctrinal orthodoxy at the individual and local levels, Presbyterian chaplains became increasingly Moderate in outlook, which had implications for soldiers' spirituality. Similar to the patronage disputes between Moderate appointees and their Evangelically-minded parishioners in Scottish localities, chaplains and soldiers also diverged in their religious character. Accordingly, the fact that chaplaincy posts were more easily given to the Moderates frustrated pious soldiers, who held on to their confessional identities even when the eighteenth-century British army, and the various religious landscapes across the Atlantic in which they served, became an assuredly pluralistic and porous spiritual environment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scottish Church History Edinburgh University Press

The Realities of Toleration: Army Chaplaincy, Religious Politics and Scottish Military Experience, c.1690–1763

Scottish Church History , Volume 52 (1): 21 – Apr 1, 2023

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2516-6298
eISSN
2516-6301
DOI
10.3366/sch.2023.0085
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines the under-studied practical implications of legal toleration and the realities of religious co-existence, by exploring how Scottish army chaplains pushed at confessional dividing lines and tested the differing toleration systems within the British Isles to their limits. By situating army chaplaincy at the centre, rather than the margin, of the wider religio-political changes in early eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland, it argues that the deficiency of chaplaincy resulted not from individual neglect, but its legal juxtaposition between the religious and military authorities, an institutional position that both reflected and amplified church-state tensions. Such jurisdictional ambiguity was gradually clarified by the mid-eighteenth century, when Scottish army chaplains, as military personnel, came under the effective control of lay patronage. Despite persistent concerns for chaplains' doctrinal orthodoxy at the individual and local levels, Presbyterian chaplains became increasingly Moderate in outlook, which had implications for soldiers' spirituality. Similar to the patronage disputes between Moderate appointees and their Evangelically-minded parishioners in Scottish localities, chaplains and soldiers also diverged in their religious character. Accordingly, the fact that chaplaincy posts were more easily given to the Moderates frustrated pious soldiers, who held on to their confessional identities even when the eighteenth-century British army, and the various religious landscapes across the Atlantic in which they served, became an assuredly pluralistic and porous spiritual environment.

Journal

Scottish Church HistoryEdinburgh University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2023

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