the majority of the Protestant clergy were immersed in rural life, ministering to the people of the locality, sharing their joys and sorrows, working the same land and dealing with the same climate. According to Nicholas Hope, Lutheran pastors in the German lands and Scandinavia derived their status from being part of a local clerical family rather than from their social background. They were the guardians of the local Reformation tradition that was reinforced by their family's continuous occupation of the vicarage farm. In many areas such as central Europe, England and north-east Ireland, parochialism was strengthened by the tendency to appoint local men to vacancies. Such a close relationship with the local community undoubtedly had its advantages, but ministers could be hampered in their efforts to reform unofficial practices and beliefs by tradition, etiquette, patron interference, and the insularity of pre-modern parish life.

In general terms, the relationship between the clergy and the laity was symbiotic. In return for a salary and attentiveness during public worship, the laity expected ministers to conduct the weekly services, to preach adequately, to visit the sick and to be aware of significant developments in the life of the parish. The equilibrium of clerical-lay relations was upset when the traditional pattern of doing things was disrupted by the ignorance or calculation of the minister, the narrow-mindedness of the laity, or changes within society more generally. For example, compared to the systemic character of anticlericalism in France, incidents of anticlericalism in Britain were usually the result of local conflicts rather than a criticism of the system. Disputes only became common from the 1760s as a consequence of the rising financial status of the clergy and their appointment as magistrates. Yet in Scotland, Callum Brown has noted that hostility towards the clergy was 'hardly present at all' owing to their shared experience of hardship produced by the modernization of the Scottish economy.

Whether the developments outlined above promoted the professionaliza-tion of the Protestant clergies depends to a considerable degree upon what is taken as the measure. In addition to their monopoly of preaching, they took on other marks of an early modern profession, including a specialized education and training, a sense of belonging to a defined occupational group with its own language and symbols, and a clear sense of their role within the broader community. It is clear that despite changes in the intellectual, economic and political climate, they retained a commitment to a number of standard duties such as preaching, catechizing, pastoral visitation, and the performance ofthe rites of passage (baptism, confirmation or first communion, marriage, and burial). Pietism and evangelicalism certainly ensured that the performance of

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