Scripture Politics examines the central role played by Ulster Presbyterians in the birth of Irish republicanism. Drawing on recent trends in British and American historiography, as well as a wide range of Irish primary sources, Ian McBride charts the development of Presbyterian politics between the War of American Independence and the rebellion of 1798. McBride begins by tracing the emergence of a radical sub-culture in the north of Ireland, showing how traditions of religious dissent underpinned oppositional politics. He goes on to explore the impact of American independence in Ulster, and shows how the mobilization of the Volunteers and the reform agitation of the 1780s anticipated the ideology and organization of the United Irish movement. He describes how, in the wake of the French Revolution, Ulster Presbyterians sought to create a new Irish nation in their own image, and reveals the confessional allegiances which shaped the 1798 rebellion.
Above all, this innovative and original book uncovers the close relationship between theological disputes and political theory, recreating a distinctive intellectual tradition whose contribution to republican thought has often been misunderstood. _
Publisher: Oxford University Press