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Title: Richard Hooker and Writing God into Polemic and Piety
Authors: Baker, Glenn
Supervisors: Campbell, Gordon
Award date: 2007
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis argues that Richard Hooker understands God as the primary authority in the argument of his Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie. Challenging the canonical view of Hooker in which it is contended that God has left church government undecided and that Scripture and reason are the twin authorities for Hooker, ‘Writing God into Polemic and Piety’ investigates how Hooker develops an extra-Scriptural perception of the guiding authority of God in what is good for the church in all ages. This study argues that Hooker polemically explains God’s involvement in the church by developing a metaphor which he names ‘Law’, by which Hooker imaginatively presents to the rational minds of his readers what human reason alone cannot grasp of the guidance of God. This thesis uncovers the difference for Hooker between perception and knowledge, divine truth and metaphorical truth, contesting the view that Hooker explains ecclesiology by drawing upon one philosophical ‘school of thought’. This thesis also investigates how Hooker develops love, desire and affective commitments to the divine in his vision of Christian piety, thus reassessing Hooker’s ‘rational’ outlook for the church. ‘Writing God into Polemic and Piety’ contextually situates Hooker in the theology, philosophy, piety and church controversy of the late sixteenth century, with reference to contemporary English and continental writers. This study is organised into seven chapters. Chapter One addresses Hooker’s sixteenth-century methodology for discussing the divine, while Hooker’s understanding of the divinely revealed language of Scripture in relation to extra-Scriptural perception will be examined in Chapters Two and Three. Hooker’s metaphor of Law and his argument for God’s guidance of what is good in church polity will be investigated in Chapters Four, Five and Six. Chapter Seven explores the role of affective commitments in Hooker’s polity and piety.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of English
Leicester Theses

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