Law and Revelation: Richard Hooker and His Writings

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When Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1558, little more than two decades after the break with Rome, the identity of Church of England was far from settled. After the religious persecution and intransigence which had marked the reigns of Edward and Mary, the questions were many and urgent. Elizabeth and her advisers were convinced of the need for a stable national church influenced neither by extreme Roman claims nor those of the Puritan party. Both sources of opposition were making their presence felt, but the ...

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Overview

When Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1558, little more than two decades after the break with Rome, the identity of Church of England was far from settled. After the religious persecution and intransigence which had marked the reigns of Edward and Mary, the questions were many and urgent. Elizabeth and her advisers were convinced of the need for a stable national church influenced neither by extreme Roman claims nor those of the Puritan party. Both sources of opposition were making their presence felt, but the latter, freshly enthused by the teachings of Calvin, Luther and Zwingli and increasingly radical, began to challenge not only the structure of the Church of England but also its doctrine. It was in defence of these attacks that Richard Hooker, then Master of the Temple Church in London, set out to record his views on church order and government.

His Laws of Ecclesiastical Policy, published in seven volumes, not only described the constitution of the Church of England, but enshrined a theological and philosophical outlook that formed the ground from which an essential Anglican identity would emerge and which characterizes it to this day.

Many people attested to Hooker's humility and holiness during his lifetime. The Laws are his lasting memorial. This volume offers selections that reflect its contents and development, Hooker's method and style, and particularly its continuing relevance for the ecclesiastical leviathan which has come to be known as Anglicanism.

Canterbury Studies in Spiritual Theology collects together the writings of outstanding figures who have shaped core Anglican belief, practice and identity. At a time when the Church faces many challenges, fromwithin its own ranks as well as from the secular world, this series aims to help clergy and laity alike to think, act and respond to the complexities of the age with greater confidence.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853119910
  • Publisher: SCM-Canterbury Press Limited
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.11 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Editorial note

Sources

1 Introduction 1

2 Preface Concerning the present state of the Church of God 24

3 Book One: Concerning Laws and their several kinds in general 32

4 Book Two: Concerning Sufficiency of Holy Scripture 53

5 Book Three: That which the general principles and rules of Scripture potentially claim 63

6 Book Four: To alter unnecessarily the ancient received custom of the whole Church 82

7 Book Five: The general maintenance and defence of our whole Church service 94

8 Book Six: Matter belonging to the power of Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction 178

9 Book Seven: Whether Ecclesiastical regiment by Bishops be lawful in the Church 189

10 Book Eight: The Church and Commonwealth do flourish together 200

Glossary 213

Further reading 215

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