Comments on the Oxford University Press site about my Scottish Puritanism


Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638

David George Mullan

Reviews and Awards


“Professor Mullan draws on an outstanding range of writings and has added a stimulating intellectual history rooted in its social and political context. He is adept at close readings and his examination of the tensions within divinity and political theory is to be applauded. The central section on spirituality is especially noteworthy and to be recommended … a thought provoking study.” – Reformation

“An extremely thorough and helpful survey of spirituality in the Kirk … essential reading for all who study the Church of Scotland in the seventeenth century.” – Scottish Journal of Theology

“This book offers a brilliant insight into Scottish Protestantism and should be read by anyone interested in early modern Scotland as well as by those in search of Puritanism wherever it can be found.” – Journal of Ecclesiastical History

“The great achievement of this volume is to open up the mind of early seventeenth-century Scottish Protestants in a manner that no other writer, apart from Schmitz, has come close to realising … Following an invaluable who’s who of the leading clergy, Mullan offers a unique insight into the self-perception of these men in their office as ministers. At the core of the book is a finely nuanced discussion of the Christian life, from conversion through assurance and the soul’s onward pilgrimage.” – Journal of Ecclesiastical History

“Excellent analysis of early seventeenth-century Scottish Protestantism … important book … Until the publication of Scottish Puritanism, the religious history of early seventeenth-century Scotland was thin indeed.” – Journal of Ecclesiastical History

“A breath of fresh air … a major contribution to puritan studies.” – Sixteenth Century Journal

“Mullan is not afraid to question old orthodoxies. He makes a significant contribution by finally divorcing covenanting from federal theology … and an even more significant one by dissecting with care and real insight the tensions within puritan thought, in each of his topical categories.” – Sixteenth Century Journal

“A major contribution to our understanding of this movement … a magnificent portrait of a movement that, more than any other, shaped the contours of the historic Scottish church … this book is a comprehensive, systematic introduction to puritan thought.” – Evangelical Times

“In 1986, Mullan produced an excellent work on Scottish Episcopacy. His reputation as an authority on Scottish Protestantism is well earned and greatly increased by his newest book, which serves as a useful companion to the earlier work.” – Northern Scotland


Comments on about my book Narratives of the Religious Self in Early-Modern Scotland

‘Narratives of the Religious Self is meticulously researched, and Mullan is the sort of experienced historian who has read widely enough to know the significance of what he finds in the archives and on antiquarian bookshelves. At various points, he contributes significantly, and offers new material, to scholarly discussions of marriage and family, education and literacy, gender, and popular religion, and he has an eye for comparative history, placing his material often in the context of similar developments in England and New England or within continental Catholicism and earlier church history.’ Journal of British Studies

‘In Narratives of the Religious Self in Early Modern Scotland, David George Mullan plies his skills both as an historian and a theologian as he delves into the undiscovered country of early modern Scottish autobiography… On the whole this book provides a valuable resource for people interested in Scottish social and religious history as well as for individuals involved in studying different ways in which people of the past constructed their sense of self within changing social and cultural conditions.’ Sixteenth Century Journal

‘Overall, this book represents an important contribution to the cultural history of early modern Scotland.’ Scottish Literary Review

‘Narratives of the Religious Self is a book which will be of great interest to those who are specialists in seventeenth-century Scotland or those who study international Calvinism.’ Journal of Northern Renaissance ‘

… this book offers a magisterial account of the evolution of the Scottish self in a period of national political and ecclesiastical fragmentation. It deserves to be widely read, both by historians and by practitioners of other disciplines.’ Northern Scotland

‘This book is a major achievement in its own right but also provides a stepping-stone for much future exploration of the religion and culture of Scotland during the early modern period.’ Review of Scottish Culture


David G Mullan, educator

I was born in Liverpool, England, in 1951, the youngest of three children. We emigrated to Alberta in 1954 and lived in Edmonton and environs for several years before moving to Calgary where I began grade 2 and in 1969 graduated from Henry Wise Wood High School, then going on to the University of Calgary thanks to a scholarship for children of employees of Canadian Fina Oil Company. I began theological study and eventually graduated Bachelor of Divinity from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. We then returned to Canada where I was engaged in pastoral work for a few years, along with part-time study for the Master of Theology at Emmanuel College. By the time I graduated I was already in the PhD programme in Scottish history at the University of Guelph. Upon completion of the doctorate in 1985, done with the inestimable aid of a generous scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, I returned to pastoral work for three years before earning my Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. I thought my future lay in teaching junior high school students, but at the last minute I received an offer of a one-year sabbatical replacement at the University College of Cape Breton in Sydney, Nova Scotia. One year turned into 27 and 1/2 years, ending with retirement on 31 December 2016. At that time my wife Arlene also retired as Registrar of Cape Breton University. We moved back to the West and now reside in St Albert, Alberta, a northern suburb on the periphery of Edmonton. We are members of Holy Family Parish, and are happy to live close to our only child, Joel, his wife Deborah, and their three children, Edmund, Annabelle, and Florence. I continue to research and write on early-modern Scotland and France, and am looking forward to applying for another research grant in 2023.

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