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Type: Journal article
Title: Marriage, sex, and the Church of Scotland: exploring non-conformity amongst the lower orders
Author: Barclay, K.
Citation: Journal of Religious History, 2019; 43(2):163-179
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 0022-4227
Statement of
Katie Barclay
Abstract: The history of marriage amongst the Scottish lower orders in the eighteenth century has largely been a story of sexual discipline by the Kirk (Church of Scotland). As much of this history has been produced through kirk session records — the arm of the church that monitored sexual morality and marital conformity — this is often construed as a story of contest between the church and a resistant lower orders, trying to negotiate alternative forms of family life. Using kirk session and secular court records and popular literature, this article explores how religious belief shaped sexual and marital behaviour, particularly non‐conformity, during this period. It examines the Kirk's interpretation of chastity and marriage, how these ideas filtered into popular culture and were used by the lower orders to negotiate their own sexual and marital behaviour and relationship to the Church. It argues that the Kirk's varying attitude to marital and sexual non‐conformity meant that marital non‐conformity was less significant than sexual sin in the popular and religious imagination.
Rights: © 2019 Religious History Association
RMID: 0030131054
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9809.12580
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Appears in Collections:History publications

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