James Cooper and the Scoto-Catholic Party : tractarian reform in the Church of Scotland, 1882 - 1918
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In Scotland, no less than in England, the late Victorian era was one of transition. Industrialisation and urbanisation created new social problems, while other forces - most importantly the railway - worked to undermine the national comprehensiveness of Scotland. Even Scottish religion, until now protected both by distance and the different polity entertained, fell under the sway of English influence. This thesis considers one particular aspect of English influence upon the Church of Scotland - Tractarianism. There is clear evidence to prove that in liturgical and architectural expression, in church furnishings and arrangement, in ritual and in doctrine, and even in the development of a library of historical research, there was manifest by some a deliberate attempt to reform the Church of Scotland through a thorough-going application of Tractarian definitions, ideals, and symbolic expressions. In particular the thesis investigates the personal influence of the Reverend Professor James Cooper in this endeavour, for he was one of the principal figures in changing the face of the Kirk. He was a medievalist, tinctured with Jacobitism. Although there were some in the Church with more profound learning, and others with a broader vision of the social and ecclesiastical requirements of the new age, Cooper combined within himself many of the aims, the ideals, and the foibles commonly associated with Victorians. As the representative spokesman for the Scoto-Catholic party, he held a unique place in the life of the Scottish Church, for the scoto-Catholics, though always few in number, were not without significant influence. It was they in particular who perpetrated the “Tractarian" reform in the Church of Scotland. In the introduction the historical background to the Scottish Church in 1882 is sketched. Part I provides a background survey of the Oxford Movement in England and Scotland. Part II considers the Broad Church attempt at reform, and the liturgical developments associated with the Church Service Society. Part III deals with the emergence of Scoto-Catholicism, and Part IV with Ecclesiological and Ritualistic movements. Part V looks at the attempt to defend and advance Catholic doctrine - the programme of the Scottish Church Society, and also traces Cooper's influence on the "Articles Declaratory” of the constitution of the Church of Scotland. Part VI investigates the attempt to defend and advance Catholic authority in the Scottish Church through a restatement of the Tractarian doctrine of Apostolic Succession. Of necessity it also considers the matters of ordination and "valid Orders". It is shown that by means of a "historiological mythos" the Scoto-Catholic position in this, as in other matters, was advanced. There are several appendices, the first of which traces a connection between the Catholic Apostolic Church - which itself was not without significant liturgical and doctrinal effect upon the Church of Scotland - and the Oxford Movement.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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