The last few years have witnessed a growing interest in the study of the Reformation period within the three kingdoms of Britain, revolutionizing the way in which scholars think about the relationships between England, Scotland and Ireland. Nevertheless, it is a fact that the story of the British Reformation is still dominated by studies of England, an imbalance that this book will help to right. By adopting an international perspective, the essays in this volume look at the motives, methods and impact of enforcing the Protestant Reformation in Ireland and Scotland. The juxtaposition of these two countries illuminates the similarities and differences of their social and political situations while qualifying many of the conclusions of recent historical work in each country. As well as Investigating what ‘reformation’ meant in the early modern period, and examining its literal, rhetorical, doctrinal, moral and political implications, the volume also explores what enforcing these various reformations could involve. Taken as a whole, this volume offers a fascinating insight into how the political authorities in Scotland and Ireland attempted, with varying degrees of success, to impose Protestantism on their countries. By comparing the two situations, and placing them in the wider international picture, our understanding of European confessionalization is further enhanced.
Enforcing Reformation in Ireland and Scotland, 1550-1700