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Monastic renewal of the eleventh century used to be treated by scholars as essentially Cluniac : Cluny, as the head of an order totalling hundreds of houses, spread its reform across Europe as the tide spreads across a beach. More recently, since Kassius Hallinger demonstrated the existence of multiple centres of reform in his classic study of Gorze, it has become common to draw distinctions between ‘Cluniac’ and ‘young’ (or ‘second-generation’) Cluniac influences, and Cluny's ‘order’ has been redefined to include only priories directly dependent on Cluny's abbot, encompassing not hundreds of houses but only dozens. However, Cluny's order is still commonly treated as something new and unprecedented and Cluniac reform in the tenth and eleventh centuries as prefiguring the monastic renewal of the High Middle Ages.
The problem of ascertaining by what means and what authority true teachings may be distinguished from false is fundamental to any ecclesiology, since the ecclesiastical community is based, above all, on commonly accepted doctrine. It is a community whose limits are defined — and the parameters within which it operates set — by the body of teachings which is accepted within it as true. Thus, the fundamental practical question which any ecclesiology must address becomes, in effect, who has authority to determine what is taught and what is not; and the answer reveals the main thrust ofthat ecclesiology. In broad terms, two principal, and often conflicting, emphases may be noted: on the community of Christian pilgrims (whom any structure exists to serve), and on the formal ecclesiastical structure (within which the faithful may find security). Pastorally, these emphases are associated to some degree with two different assumptions: either that the believer gains confidence in the institution because of the truth that is taught in it, or that a teaching will be received with confidence by believers ior he reason that it is taught within the institution. In the second case, the pursuit of truth may be subordinated to the support of the expedient.
I cannot but take my selfe to be particularly concerned both in duty, and conscience, when I see the peace, order and union of the church over which God hath sett me, broken, and divisions come to that degree that learned Camero calls the highest, and schisme [sic] even when those that hold communion with us, not onely depart from our communion, but alsoe sett upp and use prayers, preaching and sacraments apart, and at the same time that we doe, and in the same Towne.
It is well known that Thomas Reid, premier exponent of the Common Sense school of Scottish philosophy, was an ordained and active minister. Less clear is the role played by theology in the deve opment ofthat philosophy as it matured slowly under his pen, particularly in me most prominent of his works, the Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (1785) and the Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind (1788), works which range widely over the field of human experience and the nature of reality. When philosophy and theology assumed more distinct and separate identities in the generations which succeeded Reid, it became common for critics of the Common Sense school to base their analyses solely on philosophical foundations and to neglect the theological underpinning which is essential to a fuller and clearer grasp of Keid s position. It would be a useful contribution to more than one discipline were Thomas Reid's philosophy linked more closely to the development and extent of his theological thinking. While his philosophical writings are strewn with theological references in the way typical of the eighteenth century, there is more substance in these references than is usually the case, when divines ofthat age wrote philosophy. That they are much more than casual, conventional embellishments becomes apparent from a careful reading of his works.
The 1859 revival has been granted a special place in Ulster's religious history. It is most often portrayed as a spontaneous and dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit, leading to the conversion of many thousands of men and women, and resulting in the moral and social reformation of a formerly sinful society. While this popular image requires a degree of modification in the interests of historical accuracy, the importance of the movement itself is not questioned. As Peter Gibbon ha pointed out, ‘the Ulster religious revival of 1859 involved larger numbers of people in sustained common activity than any movement in rura Ulster between 1798 and 1913’. Its value to the historian lies in its revelation of the attitudes of Ulster society — both religiouss and secular — to the popular, evangelical style of Protestantism which had been making steady progress in Ireland from the late eighteenth century. The dramatic visible and well-publicised nature of religious activity in 1859 serves to highlight the more controversial aspects of that faith, and indicates the degree of adjustment made by churchmen and laity to a movement wich largely ignored conventional ecclesiastical and social boundanes. It is the purpose of this paper to assess the impact of the events of 1859 on Ulster society and to consider its significance in the light of modern sociological approaches to the study of revivalism.