|John Knox: icon of the Scottish Reformation?|
'Reconciling Performance: the drama of discipline in early modern Scotland, 1560-1610'.
You can access it here:
Doctoral thesis link...
Below is a wee précis of what it was I was messing about with for several years...
In a nutshell the key words that best encapsulate my research area are: sin, guilt, shame, forgiveness, inclusion, exclusion and reconciliation. Focusing on Scotland in the late 16th to early 17th century, my work examines the Protestant theatre of forgiveness, played out in the kirk session, in the kirk, and in the market place - the emphasis being very much concerned with the dramatic performance of reconciliation. An examination of practice exploring [the surprising amount of!] continuity with the past is also a strong secondary thread running through my work given that the field in question has primarily focused upon changes after Protestant reform in Scotland.
The first section of the thesis outlined penitential practice in place in Scotland from c.1500-1560, noting both the theoretical framework and actual performance of penance. This also helped to lay a foundation for building upon the continuity thread later in the thesis.
Section Two moved the work into the 1560-1610 time-frame for the rest of the thesis. As with Section One, the theoretical framework of church discipline/ making one's repentance was examined. The subsequent chapters in the section then moved into general practice as found primarily within kirk session records, exploring discipline as a tool for neighbourly reconciliation. The rituals of reconciliation used within cases of verbal dispute were noted and, subsequently, what rituals were required of those who had moved beyond the verbal and into physical violence. This latter paid particular attention to the matter of blood feud.
|New College, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh|
Having got that little lot happily sorted, there were many times during the process when an 'aha!' would turn up and threaten to divert me from the task in hand. Given that I've now finished the PhD, there's the rumblings of a plan to daunder back and dig out notes made that had been put in a file to 'look at later.' One project I'm hoping to undertake will be involve transcribing the Burntisland Kirk Session records for possible printing - this subject to my already receding palaeography skills. Another line of enquiry involves returning to Protestant fasting again in the light of some recently uncovered evidence from England. We shall see how the demands of full-time parish work affect said plans!
|'theme' music from my time period: music from the Wode Psalter|