Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Catherine Robertson McCartney's reformed Presbyterian identity: Dissenting Presbyterianism's struggle for identity in the midst of transatlantic Victorian Evangelicalism
by Schneider, Bryan A., M.A., Trinity International University, 2015, 158; 1587428
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis uses the diaries of Catherine Robertson McCartney (1838-1922) to define the distinctive characteristics of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Scotland and America between 1856 and 1881. It gives a window into the history of the denomination during the mid-nineteenth century, using cultural, ethnographic, institutional, and gender analyses. The thesis explores the logocentric heritage of the tradition and shows how the denomination as a whole, and Catherine particularly, continued to define their identity in the Victorian and Evangelical milieu of the period.

Reformed Presbyterian institutional identity had begun to shift away from political dissent due partly to a continued interaction with the broader Evangelical tradition of the time. As a result, the historic logocentric forms of worship, developed largely during the Scottish Reformation, became key to Reformed Presbyterian identity. This logocentricsm and shared commitment with other Evangelicals to revivals, Scripture, evangelism, atonement, and conversion provided Catherine access into the broader religious culture of her time. Yet, the separateness that the dissenters had historically practiced, displayed in the testimonies, meant Catherine and other Reformed Presbyterians were indeed within the category of Evangelicalism, but could never be wholly a part of, nor formally identify as Evangelicals.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sweeney, Douglas, Woodbridge, John
Commitee:
School: Trinity International University
Department: Church History
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Religious history, European history, American history
Keywords: Cameronian, Covenanter, Presbyterian, Reformed presbyterian, United society
Publication Number: 1587428
ISBN: 9781321712537
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