Richard Hooker Criticism - Essay

L. S. Thornton (essay date 1924)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Thornton, L. S. “Hooker's System of Laws” and “Church and State.” In Richard Hooker: A Study of His Theology, pp. 25-40; 89-100. London: The MacMillan Co., 1924.

[In the following excerpt, Thornton examines of Hooker's hierarchy of laws and explores his concept of the proper relationship between church and state.]

We have had a preliminary glimpse into Hooker's mentality and have seen something of the differences which divided him from his Puritan opponents. We are now in a position to examine more closely his system of thought as it unfolds itself in the opening books of the Ecclesiastical Polity. The argument of Books I-IV develops directly out...

(The entire section is 8407 words.)

E. T. Davies (essay date 1946)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Davies, E. T. “Richard Hooker and The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.” In The Political Ideas of Richard Hooker, pp. 27-43. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1946.

[In the following excerpt, Davies provides an overview of Hooker's life and work and outlines the major arguments in Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity]

Although many had taken in hand to answer the Presbyterians, it was not until the last decade of the sixteenth century that the greatest and definite answer was given. It was given by Richard Hooker who was born in March, 1554, at Heavy Tree, then a village outside Exeter, but to-day a suburb of that city. His parents do...

(The entire section is 5752 words.)

John S. Marshall (essay date 1963)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Marshall, John S. “Hooker's Philosophy of the Appropriate.” In Hooker and the Anglican Tradition: An Historical and Theological Study of Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity, pp. 77-84. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1963.

[In the following excerpt, Marshall considers Hooker's interpretation of the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas.]

Hooker accepts the sixteenth century Thomism of Cardinal Cajetan but he also simplifies it. As the Prayer Book simplifies the mediaeval services, so Hooker simplifies the Thomism of the great philosophers of the Roman Church. The dialectic of objections and replies disappears as the form of philosophical exposition. Thomism...

(The entire section is 2756 words.)

Georges Edelen (essay date 1972)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Edelen, Georges. “Hooker's Style.” In Studies in Richard Hooker: Essays Preliminary to an Edition of His Works, edited by W. Speed Hill, pp. 241-77. Cleveland: The Press of Case Western Reserve University, 1972.

[In the following essay, Edelen examines the length and complexity of Hooker's sentences, concluding that his writing style places “a deliberate emphasis on the whole rather than the part.”]

I

The most significant elements of Hooker's style in the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity are the length of his sentences and the complexity of their structure. Even for his contemporaries it was these aspects of Hooker's prose...

(The entire section is 12229 words.)

John E. Booty (essay date 1979)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Booty, John E. “Richard Hooker.” In The Spirit of Anglicanism: Hooker, Maurice, Temple, edited by William J. Wolf, pp. 1-45. Wilton, Conn.: Morehouse-Barlow Co., Inc., 1979.

[In the following essay, Booty considers the influences on Hooker's writing career and the critical reaction to his works.]

Richard Hooker's importance for our day is suggested not so much by the work of modern Anglican theologians as by that of others who have contributed to a growing number of Hooker studies. Scholars of various nationalities, including a French Roman Catholic and a Swedish Lutheran, and various disciplines, including philosophers, historians and professors of English...

(The entire section is 18860 words.)

Robert K. Faulkner (essay date 1981)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Faulkner, Robert K. “Knowing What is Good: Rational Deduction and Rational Will.” In Richard Hooker and the Politics of a Christian England, pp. 83-96. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.

[In the following excerpt, Faulkner compares views of Aristotle and Hooker on man's nature and the use of the will to overcome evil.]

THE PROMINENCE OF REASON

From desire for infinite life and bliss Hooker deduces the principal moral duties, and his deduction by reason is no less singular than his orientation by desire. That the Christian Aristotelian Hooker relies more on calculation than the philosopher Aristotle will appear peculiar....

(The entire section is 6818 words.)

Stanley Archer (essay date 1983)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Archer, Stanley. “Ecclesiastical Polity, Books 6-8: Issues of Power and Authority.” In Richard Hooker, pp. 98-116. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1983.

[In the following excerpt, Archer examines Books six through eight of Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, asserting that Hooker's goal in the last three books was to reject the lay elders as part of church polity, while defending the office and authority of the bishops and upholding the monarch as the head of the Church of England.]

The final three books of Ecclesiastical Polity have long been subject to uncertainty, doubt, and tentative conclusions as to authorship. Although Hooker lists...

(The entire section is 7353 words.)

Eve D. Lurbe (essay date 1996)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Lurbe, Eve D. “Political Power and Ecclesiastical Power in Richard Hooker's Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.Cahiers Elisabethains 49, (1996): 15-22.

[In the following essay, Lurbe discusses Hooker's attempt to set up a foundation for royal supremacy over the Church of England and his philosophy of Anglicanism as set down in Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.]

In writing his bulky Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Richard Hooker purported to provide an a posteriori foundation to the royal supremacy over the Church, which had been instituted sixty years before by Henry VIII's 1534 Supremacy Act, and was restored in 1559 by Elizabeth I.

...

(The entire section is 4318 words.)

P. G. Stanwood (essay date 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Stanwood, P. G. “Richard Hooker's Discourse and the Deception of Posterity.” In English Renaissance Prose: History, Language, and Politics, edited by Neil Rhodes, pp. 75-90. Tempe, Ariz.: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1997.

[In the following essay, Stanwood surveys the critical reaction toOf the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, arguing that various groups have interpreted Hooker's writings to serve their own ends.]

Though for no other cause, yet for this; that posteritie may know we have not loosely through silence permitted things to passe away as in a dreame, there shall be for mens information extant thus much...

(The entire section is 6578 words.)

Debora Shuger (essay date 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Shuger, Debora. “‘Society supernatural’: the imagined community of Hooker's Laws.” In Religion and Culture in Renaissance England, edited by Claire McEachern and Debora Shuger, pp. 116-42. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

[In the following essay, Shuger discusses community-related matters explored by Hooker in his writings, including jurisdiction, authority, law, and socio-political organization.]

Since the 1970s, studies of Richard Hooker's Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity have, to no one's surprise, grown suspicious of its lofty disinterestedness. Current scholarship, reacting against the hagiographic tradition established by...

(The entire section is 9741 words.)

W. David Neelands (essay date 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Neelands, W. David. “Hooker on Scripture, Reason, and ‘Tradition.’” In Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community, edited by Arthur Stephen McGrade, pp. 75-94. Tempe, Ariz.: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1997.

[In the following essay, Neelands examines the commonly held belief that Hooker originated the concept of “the triple authority of Scripture, reason, and tradition.”]

It is a commonplace of Anglican self-understanding to refer to the triple authority of Scripture, reason, and tradition. For at least one hundred years, Richard Hooker has been identified as a principal and original source of this...

(The entire section is 8300 words.)

Arthur P. Monahan (essay date 1997)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Monahan, Arthur P. “Richard Hooker: Counter-Reformation Political Thinker.” In Richard Hooker and the Construction of Christian Community, edited by Arthur Stephen McGrade, pp. 203-17. Tempe, Ariz.: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1997.

[In the following essay, Monahan contrasts the views of Hooker to those of Martin Luther and John Calvin.]

A broad continuum of basic concepts exists across the all-too-often asserted gap between medieval and modern thought. In particular, the assumed or alleged modernity of Renaissance and Reformation political thinking, with its stress on individual freedom and rejection of absolutism, is more fiction than...

(The entire section is 6190 words.)

Bryan D. Spinks (essay date 1999)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Spinks, Bryan D. “Sacraments and Hooker's Ordo Salutis: Instruments of Participation in God.” In Two Faces of Elizabethan Anglican Theology: Sacraments and Salvation in the Thought of William Perkins and Richard Hooker, pp. 109-33. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1999.

[In the following essay, Spinks explores Hooker's understanding of the purpose of the sacraments]

Hooker explained the place and purpose of sacraments thus:

Christ and his holie Spirit with all theire blessed effectes, though enteringe into the soule of man wee are not able to apprehend or expresse how, doe notwithstandinge give notize of the...

(The entire section is 8787 words.)