ABSTRACT

Scotland's political position on the island of Britain has long been intertwined with religion. This chapter explores that absence by noting the reimagining of Scotland through religious lenses over its history and exploring the far-reaching secularisation undergone by late modern Scotland. It then demonstrates the extremely limited role of religion with relation to three core political issues: national identity, political partisanship and the constitutional issue. Whilst medieval Catholicism had been bent to the purpose of the nation, in the Reformation nationhood was hitched to the purposes of religion. The 1960s of scotland saw both the emergence of sharp secularisation and the decline of Britain. It also saw the emergence of the Scottish National Party (SNP) after decades on the fringes of Scottish life. The chapter shows responses on the Open Choice national identity question with regards to four identities: being British, Scottish, English and Irish.