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Religion and National IdentityGoverning Scottish Presbyterianism in the Eighteenth Century$
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Alistair Mutch

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748699155

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748699155.001.0001

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Looking for Practices

Looking for Practices

(p.1) Chapter 1 Looking for Practices
Religion and National Identity

Alistair Mutch

Edinburgh University Press

The impact of religion on economic activity has classically been viewed through the lens supplied by Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic thesis. Much debated, one limitation is that it rests at the level of religion as belief. By contrast, Michel Foucault suggests that we examine religion as a social practice. Some dimensions of this approach are considered, with an exploration of rituals, routines, genres and artefacts as making up religious practice. Examples of each are given for Scottish Presbyterianism before the rich records accrued by the Church of Scotland are outlined. The process for sampling these is discussed, together with a consideration of supporting sources.

Keywords:   Weber, Protest Ethic, Foucault, Ritual, Routine, Genre, Artefacts, Church of Scotland, Presbyterian records

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