Dunce caps at the ready for Duns Scotus Festival

Dr John Armes, the Bishop of Edinburgh, opened the exhibition John Duns Scotus and Medieval Berwickshire in the Museum Room at Duns Library at the start of the 2016 Duns Scotus Festival
Dr John Armes, the Bishop of Edinburgh, opened the exhibition John Duns Scotus and Medieval Berwickshire in the Museum Room at Duns Library at the start of the 2016 Duns Scotus Festival

The 2016 Duns Scotus Festival got under way in Duns at the weekend with the opening of an exhibition, lecture and a walk.

On Friday, the Right Reverend John Armes, the Bishop of Edinburgh, opened an exhibition entitled John Duns Scotus and Medieval Berwickshire in the museum room at Duns Library. It runs until Saturday, November 12.

That was followed on Saturday morning by a lecture in the Volunteer Hall in Duns by Glasgow University professor Alexander Broadie attended by 120 people.

Professor Broadie explained his view that John Duns Scotus, whom he regards as Scotland’s greatest philosopher, heavily influenced the struggle for Scotland’s independence in the early 1300s by suggesting that the people had the right to choose their monarch and overthrow him if he failed to protect them.

Among the audience was the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Russell Barr and 40 members of the congregation of the Church of Blessed John Duns Scotus in Glasgow, who presented a plaque to the museum to mark the anniversary of his birth.

On Sunday, 40 people took part in a guided walk around the Duns sites connected with John Duns Scotus, led by Kenneth McLean of LiveBorders’ museum service wearing an outsize dunce cap, originally named as an insult to the followers of John Duns Scotus.

The festival continues with the film Blessed John Duns Scotus in the parish church hall on Friday, September 23; a talk by J L H Thomas on the Duns portrait of Scotus to Dunse History Society on Wednesday, September 28; and a concert at the parish church on Sunday, October 2.