Student Notes

This chapter is written by Steve Bruce, professor of sociology at Aberdeen University, and Scotland’s foremost expert on the sociology of religion. Using historical and empirical evidence, he charts the declining salience in mainstream religions, while exploring whether or not ‘new age’ beliefs have taken their place.

The aim of the chapter is to:

  • describe the current religious affiliations, beliefs and behaviour of Scots.
  • consider the part played in secularisation by Presbyterian factionalism and schism.
  • assess the contemporary importance of sectarian conflict.
  • explain why the national identity of Scots no longer features a religious component.