Name: Ulster Presbyterianism
Subtitle: The Historical Perspective
Author: Brooke, Peter
Category: Northern Ireland Collection
Publisher: Athol Books
ISBN: 0 85034 074 8
Contents: Presbyterianism was established in Ulster on a firm organisational basis in the 1650s, under the protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. It was sufficiently strong to resist persecution after the Restoration of Charles II. It achieved a small degree of recognition by the state after the Glorious Revolution of 1689. It was, in a sense, a state within a state. Its Synods, Presbyteries and Sessions were courts in which cases concerning ministers and laymen could be heard. It exercised a rigorous discipline over its members. Its ministers and lay elders met regularly throughout the year to decide the affairs of the community. Congregations had the right to choose their ministers. All ministers had equal status and decisions were arrived at between them by majority vote. For two centuries there was a constant stream of controversial pamphlets relating entirely to theological disputes among Ulster Presbyterians, many of which had important political implications as well.
This, then, was a highly organised community with a well-developed intellectual life, sharpened by continual debate. Such was their organisational and intellectual self-confidence that, at the end of the eighteenth century, a group of them, representing all shades of theological opinion, made a bid to seize power in Ireland in the name of French Revolutionary principles.
This book examines the Ulster Presbyterian community over a period of more than three centuries. It shows how religion can contribute to the development of a sense of cultural and national identity. It therefore goes far towards showing how the Ulster Protestants have remained so troublesome for those in Britain and Ireland who like to think of Ireland becoming one people under one government, separate from Great Britain.
208 pp. Bibliography. Index. Chronology. Glossary Of Terms.
Extracts: No extra online material at this time.
Errata: No errata available at this time.
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