Monday, November 24, 2014

Literature and the Scottish Reformation (edited by Crawford Gribben and David George Mullan), Ashgate Publishing, 2009.

Literature Scottish Reformation

This 2009 book caught my eye recently, as I've been reading a 2009 popular biography of Patrick Hamilton entitled Patrick Hamilton 1504-1528: The Stephen of Scotland: The First Preacher and Martyr of the Scottish Reformation. It was written by Brazilian Presbyterian minister Joe Carvalho who had been a minister in Scotland (at Cargill-Burrelton and Collace Church of Scotland, just north of Perth, where Andrew Bonar ministered) before returning to his homeland. Sometimes you need to go beyond your own usual bubble to get fresh perspectives, and the biography is very good, pulling together much information I hadn't seen elsewhere. 

The Preface makes mention of Rev Robert Bruce, a minister of the later Reformation period in Scotland who has interested me for years. I've gathered up most of the books about Bruce. Bruce famously preached in Scots, and when his sermons were published in the 1800s they were 'Englished' for wider readership. Bruce also was instrumental in taking the Gospel into the Highlands, where one of his converts was a Gaelic speaker, Alexander Munro of Durness, who then translated portions of the Bible into Gaelic as a means of evangelism. Bruce's biographies have some very interesting linguistic history and examples of vocabulary.

The languages of the 1600s Scots settlers in Ulster is often a subject of debate. Below is a page from the 1520s translation of the New Testament by Ayrshire Lollard Murdoch Nisbet, and below that is one of Samuel Rutherford's letters from the early 1600s - both are from early 1900s publications.

Literature and the Scottish Reformation looks excellent, one for the Christmas list. A popular edition of this would be worth producing and would provide a linguistic and literary context for the 1600s Lowland Scots settlements in Ulster.SAM 3470