A service to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the Reformation in Scotland will take place at Glasgow Cathedral at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday 20 June 2010.
An address will be given by Prof Tom Devine, professor of Scottish History and Palaeography at Edinburgh University.
Writing in the January 2010 edition of the Church of Scotland’s magazine, Life & Work, Prof Devine said: “In the secular Scotland of this new millennium, the Reformation usually has a bad press. The Calvinist tradition that has moulded the nation is seen through a negative lens. Its malignant influence is said to have spawned intolerance, oppressive social disciplines, an aggressive and rapacious capitalism, sexual guilt and dysfunction, and warped attitudes to music, painting and the creative arts, which have only been changing in recent generations.
“There may be some truth in all of these stereotypes, but they reveal only one side of the coin and entirely ignore the profoundly positive influence which reformed Protestantism also had on Scottish history. I wish to argue here, for instance, that Calvinism was a key factor inspiring that great flower of intellectual culture in the 18th century, the Scottish Enlightenment.”
Sunday’s service is being organised by the Ecumenical Relations Committee of the Presbytery of Glasgow. Its convener, Rev Tom Pollok, said: “The idea is that we should acknowledge an event which over many years has defined Scotland’s character.
“The Reformation was a defining moment for us as a people, a major historical event in the life of the nation.
“Now that we are living in a post-Christian society it is important that we recognise the fact that the Reformation created an enormous social upheaval and marked a new development in European society in that people’s religion was not defined by their monarch.”
Guests at the service will include the Most Rev Mario Conti, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, and the Very Rev Dr Gregor Duncan, the Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway int he Scottish Episcopal Church.
The service will feature an anthem setting of Psalm 128 by George Buchanan, Master of the Song School at Glasgow Cathedral in the late 1500s. “This piece has probably not been performed here for 400 years,” said Mr Pollok.