Taming debauchery : church discipline in the Presbytery of St Andrews and the American colonies of New Jersey and New York, 1750-1800
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Creating moralistic societies was a concern of the churches and the governments of Scotland and the American colonies of New York and New Jersey in the eighteenth century. However, church and state relations in Scotland and the American colonies were dissimilar and the differences manifested themselves in the various approaches taken by each body to suppress the immoral behaviour that existed in both countries. By examining the disciplinary procedures and cases in the parishes of the Presbytery of St Andrews and the Presbyterian churches in the colonies of New York and New Jersey, these divergences emerge and illuminate the relationship between church and state. The Church of Scotland was recognized as the established church by the state and was allowed to implement its own Presbyterian system of government and discipline according to its ecclesiastical doctrines and theological beliefs. The state utilized its legal systems to punish and correct immoral behaviour. In Scotland, the two systems had defined boundaries and complemented one another in their efforts to suppress immorality. However, not only did the American colonies lack a centralized state until 1776, but the colonies also lacked an established church. Alternatively, each colony had its own governing bodies, judicial systems, and a variety of church denominations. The Presbyterian Church, one of the many churches in the colonies of New York and New Jersey, utilised a Presbyterian system of ecclesiastical discipline in order to supplement the judicial systems' attempts to suppress immorality within the colonies.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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