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Scott, Tom 1947–

Scott, Tom 1947–

PERSONAL:

Born 1947. Education: Holds an M.A., Ph.D., Litt.D., and FRSA.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Scotland. Office—School of History, University of St. Andrews, St. Katharine's Lodge, The Scores, St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9AR, Scotland. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

University of St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, Reformation Studies Institute, professor.

WRITINGS:

Regional Identity and Economic Change: The Upper Rhine, 1450-1600, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1997.

(Editor) The Peasantries of Europe from the Fourteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries, Longman (New York, NY), 1998.

Society and Economy in Germany, 1300-1600, Palgrave (London, England), 2002.

Town, Country, and Regions in Reformation Germany, Brill (London, England), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS:

Writer and educator Tom Scott holds a number of academic degrees, including a master's and two doctorates. He serves on the faculty at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, where he is a professor in the Reformation Studies Institute. His primary areas of research and academic interest include both regional identity and the relationship between town and country in Germany during the late medieval and early modern periods, with a particular focus on the German Peasants War and the more basic grassroots levels of the Reformation. He has written a number of books about this time period in German history, including Regional Identity and Economic Change: The Upper Rhine, 1450-1600, Society and Economy in Germany, 1300-1600, and Town, Country, and Regions in Reformation Germany, and he served as editor for The Peasantries of Europe from the Fourteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries.

Regional Identity and Economic Change addresses the multicultural nature of border regions that characterizes much of Europe, focusing in particular on the area of Germany between Strasbourg and Basel, along the Upper Rhine, and stretching into the Black Forest. Although Scott examines the nature of the diverse population from the latter half of the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries, attempting to determine what overriding qualities unified the people of the area, he also acknowledges that the phenomenon is not one isolated to Reformation Germany or to any time period in Europe, as the question of shades of national identity and comingling of history has been brought into the spotlight with the joining of the modern-day European nations into the European Union. Despite any regional barriers that might otherwise have kept the people living in these regions isolated from one another, Scott determined that they had multiple overlapping interests, some economic, some political or territorial, that led to blending of identities and the creation of an overriding identity that encompassed the area. The Rappen League, a monetary organization of the time, was a major influence on the structuring of these regional associations, as they were responsible for monitoring many aspects of life between towns, including the regulation of currencies, food distribution, and the laws by which the various guilds were maintained. Karin Friedrich, in a contribution for the English Historical Review, commented that "despite Scott's eminently readable style, the reader needs great stamina to work through large amounts of detailed archival material." She concluded that his effort "is most valuable for offering a larger, regional perspective for the great number of already existing case-studies of towns and villages of the German south-west in the early modern period."

The Peasantries of Europe from the Fourteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries, which Scott edited, offers readers a collection of essays that address various aspects of rural communities and individuals who have worked the land over several hundred years, including ten entries that cover different regions and time periods in Europe. While there is not an overriding theme to the individual contributions, certain issues and questions were suggested and are considered in light of each essay's topic, making for a unified book overall. In addition to editing the volume, Scott provides an introduction that discusses the basics behind each of the essays, including providing a solid definition of what a peasant is within the parameters of the book, and various information regarding the approach to the subject, historical sources, and background material on any debates that might arise between the content of the individual contributions. Among other things, the book addresses the changes in the overall demographics of the world population over time as the peasant class has steadily dwindled in Europe. This is linked to a number of other issues, including the changing economy, weather patterns, rural politics, rates of productivity in European agricultural production, and the course of various wars. Gregor Dallas, in a review for the Journal of Social History, praised several of the individual essays in particular, citing those on Germany and Austria and especially highlighting the essay on Scandinavia by David Gaunt. Dallas concluded that "despite its theoretical shortcomings, this is a book of capital importance which no decent historian of Europe can afford to ignore." David J. Sturdy, writing for the English Historical Review, declared that "The Peasantries of Europe makes an outstanding contribution to its subject. Its essays are written with authority and clarity, and challenge many orthodox interpretations."

In Town, Country, and Regions in Reformation Germany, Scott gathers approximately fifteen of his essays, all of which have been previously published in various journals, but several of which have never before been available in English, and a number of which were originally only printed in some of the more obscure publications, making them less available. While Scott refrained from making any major alterations to the individual essays as they were originally conceived, he provides readers with an assortment of footnotes to indicate where his ideas and thoughts on given subjects have evolved over the period since they were initially published. The collection is divided into three sections, the first of which includes six essays that focus on both town and country and how they were affected by both local revolts and reformation in general. In the second section, Scott includes five essays that address the idea of towns unified under a specific economic agenda or landscape. The last four essays that comprise the final section of the book look at regional identities as identified through social, economic, and cultural detail. The book covers a wide range of subjects within the time period that Scott focuses upon, providing a solid basis of information about Reformation Germany and the years that bracket it. Herbert Eiden, in a contribution for the Journal of Ecclesiastical History, opined that Scott is "one of the few British scholars who have embraced the German concept of Geschichtliche Landeskunde or historical regional studies based on a comparative, interdisciplinary approach to history." Renaissance Quarterly reviewer Gerritdina Justitz commented that "Scott demonstrates his considerable erudition and linguistic acumen, as well as a keen appreciation for the many theoretical possibilities and dimensions of his subject."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, June 1, 2000, Paul M. Hohenberg, review of Regional Identity and Economic Change: The Upper Rhine, 1450-1600, p. 1028.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, December 1, 2002, J.T. Rosenthal, review of Society and Economy in Germany, 1300-1600, p. 699.

Economic History Review, November 1, 1999, Sheilagh Ogilvie, review of Regional Identity and Economic Change, p. 816; November 1, 2002, Paul Warde, review of Society and Economy in Germany, 1300-1600, p. 778.

English Historical Review, September 1, 1999, David J. Sturdy, review of The Peasantries of Europe from the Fourteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries, p. 975; June 1, 2000, Karin Friedrich, review of Regional Identity and Economic Change, p. 704.

History: The Journal of the Historical Association, January 1, 2000, Jane Whittle, review of The Peasantries of Europe from the Fourteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries, p. 106.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, July 1, 2006, Herbert Eiden, review of Town, Country, and Regions in Reformation Germany, p. 598.

Journal of Economic History, September 1, 1999, Terence McIntosh, review of Regional Identity and Economic Change, p. 805; June 1, 2003, Terence McIntosh, review of Society and Economy in Germany, 1300-1600, p. 579.

Journal of Social History, March 22, 2000, Gregor Dallas, review of The Peasantries of Europe from the Fourteenth to the Eighteenth Centuries, p. 712.

Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2002, review of Society and Economy in Germany, 1300-1600, p. 77; August 1, 2005, review of Town, Country, and Regions in Reformation Germany, p. 95.

Renaissance Quarterly, March 22, 2006, Gerritdina (Ineke) Justitz, review of Town, Country, and Regions in Reformation Germany, p. 195.

Sixteenth Century Journal, September 22, 1999, Charles J. Herber, review of Regional Identity and Economic Change, p. 828.

ONLINE

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (November 1, 2005), Beat Kumin, review of Town, Country, and Regions in Reformation Germany.

University of St. Andrews Web site,http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/ (June 24, 2008), faculty profile.

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