The examination of religion as a social practice reveals the importance of taken for granted practices of organizing and governance. In the case of the Church of Scotland, these involved mundane practices of detailed record keeping and a form of accountability which emphasised order and structure. These quotidian practices endured when formal theological formulations changed and when belief, as expressed in church membership and attendance, faded. They gave shape to distinctive but taken for granted practices such as the persistence of qualifications in arithmetic in Scottish secondary education. These practices, which are only revealed when thrown into contrast by comparative analysis, may be a significant factor in the shaping of a distinctive national identity. Their enduring nature, when other factors, such as participation in a shared British Empire, have waned in salience, may undergird differences which challenge the project of a united Britain.
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