Kingship and the Commonweal
Political Thought in Renaissance and Reformation Scotland
by Roger Mason
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About the Book
This major collection of essays brings together in readily accessible form the fruits of research into the political thought and culture of Renaissance and Reformation Scotland. As a collection, it ranges from detailed studies of the writings of figures of international standing, such as John Mair, John Knox, George Buchanan and King James VI and I, to more discursive explorations of the changing self-perceptions of the Scottish political community during an era of dramatic political, cultural and religious upheaval.
Each essay is self-contained, making its own contribution to a specific area of research. All are variations on the crucial theme of kingship and the commonweal, analysing from a variety of perspectives the way in which the changing nature of the relationship between the Scottish crown and the Scottish people was perceived and articulated by contemporaries. At once focused and ranging, this important collection illuminates in original and innovative ways how a traditionally conservative political community came to terms not only with the cultural influences emanating from Renaissance Europe, but with the revolutionary impact of the Reformation, the constitutional crisis of the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, and the increasing likelihood and eventual reality of union with England.