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Theology in Scotland Journal

Theology in Scotland logo (normal)Theology in Scotland is sponsored by the School of Divinity, University of St Andrews (St Mary's College) and appears twice yearly, in spring and autumn. It was first published in 1994 at the request of a large group of ministers of the Church of Scotland.

With a mix of academic and practical articles and stimulating reviews, it is an ideal tool to help keep up-to-date with current theological thinking.

Current issue

Theology in Scotland 23 no. 1 (Spring 2016)

A theology of daughterhood: The challenges of modern biology to theology today

John Starr (Lay Reader Candidate at the Scottish Episcopal Institute)

Thanks to the benefits of modern medical science, the average life-span in European populations is gradually increasing. This longevity has resulted, in turn, in the number of older citizens increasing as a percentage of the overall population. Reflecting on these biological, statistical and generational facts, John Starr develops a theology of daughterhood drawing on the varied relationships of daughters to parents as this is found in the biblical sources. His preliminary study in this area is a first step towards developing a theological view of the contemporary social transformation of the role of daughters towards that of carers. (This paper was selected as the winning entry in the 2015 Fraser Essay Prize competition.)

Taking Darwin seriously

Neil Spurway (President of the Scottish Church Theology Society and honorary member of staff at the University of Glasgow)

Professor Neil Spurway considers Darwin’s theoretical development of evolution by natural selection alongside the picture presented in the creation narratives in Genesis, before undertaking a survey of the reception of Darwinism by theologians and others up to the present day. Rich in quotations from writers as diverse as Charles Kingsley, Austin Farrer, Teilhard de Chardin, Sarah Coakley and Simon Conway Morris (amongst many others), this wide-ranging discussion covers a great deal of territory as it considers how theology has responded to the perceived challenges posed by evolutionary thought.

Tabernacles of the Spirit

George Gammack (formerly minister of Whitfield Parish Church)

In the classic tradition of the exploratory essay, George Gammack examines the theme of community in this paper. He details varied aspects of the creation of community among those who are retired, taking as its focus the Men’s Sheds movement. The paper explores the relationship between persons and community in later years, looking in particular at how those with a lifetime’s worth of skills and knowledge can continue to contribute to the life of a community. Along the way we are introduced to the work of authors such as Charles Taylor, Richard Niebuhr, Primo Levi, Seamus Heaney and Richard Sennett on the subject of work and what comes after it.

Tak the hand

David D. Scott (minister of the parish of Traprain)
In “Tak the hand” David Scott discusses the theology and rites of ordination of the Scottish Reformed tradition and goes on to reflect on more specific aspects of ministry. His paper takes its title from his examination of the rites of ordination according to Knox’s liturgy whereby, rather than being set apart by the laying on of hands, new ministers were welcomed by colleagues who came forward to ‘tak the hand’ of the ordinand. Following on from a historical survey, the paper includes a critical review of the terminology of ministry in the contemporary Church of Scotland and reflects on issues relevant to ministry today such as assessment, training and the nature of ordination.

Books reviewed:

  • Robert Wild, A Catholic Reading Guide to Universalism
  • Alastair McIntosh and Matt Carmichael, Spiritual Activism: Leadership as Service
  • Thomas Ahnert, The Moral Culture of the Scottish Enlightenment, 1690–1805
  • Ashley Cocksworth, Karl Barth on Prayer
  • Scott MacDougall, More than Communion: Imagining an Eschatological Ecclesiology

Theology in Scotland cover (new)


How to subscribe


The Rev. Dr Ian D. Maxwell
Uphall South Parish Church,
8 Fernlea,
Broxburn EH52 6DF
Tel. (01506) 239 840

Reviews Editor
Dr Scott Spurlock
Theology and Religious Studies
4 The Square
University of Glasgow
G12 8QQ

Production Manager
Colin Bovaird
University Library
North Street
St Andrews, Fife
KY16 9TR
Tel: (01334) 462306
Fax: (01334) 462852

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