Richard Hooker and Contemporary Political Ideas. F J. Shirley.
Richard Hooker and Contemporary Political Ideas
Richard Hooker and Contemporary Political Ideas

Richard Hooker and Contemporary Political Ideas

London: S.P.C.K., 1949. First edition. Octavo, original gray cloth, charcoal top edge, original dust jacket. Gentle spotting to book, mild spotting, creasing to the spine head of the price-clipped jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #835

"ENGLAND IS STILL A PROFESSEDLY CHRISTIAN STATE, AND IT IS THE DUTY AND HIGH PRIVILEGE OF THE CHURCH TO DIRECT THE GOVERNMENT TO THE WILL OF GOD" First edition of this consideration of Richard Hooker and the relationship between the Church and the State, with a frontispiece portrait (captioned "Richard Hooker, from an Engraving in the 1672 Edition of Sparrow's "Rationale'") and two additional plates reproducing manuscript entries in the Bishopsbourne Register. "Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity is commonly regarded as laying the foundation of Anglican theology, providing, as it does, a well-reasoned case for the existence of a national church. The work was composed in response to the criticisms of the Elizabethan Settlement which were launched against it by Presbyterians" (Frank Magill, Masterpieces of Christian Literature). Completed in Cornwall during the Second World War (but not published until 1949), Shirley focuses on the questions surrounding the seventh book of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. Only the first five chapters ("books") were published during Hooker's lifetime and there are doubts about the authenticity of the remaining books (they are often omitted from modern editions). Shirley's brief Preface (dated, F.J.S./Precincts 15/Canterbury") declares: "None the less, the fact remains that the Seventh Book cannot be squared with the first Five Books in certain material points. "we must go to the Books published in their author's lifetime, and not to Book VII, to discover certainly what Hooker believed about the Church." He concludes: "I set out from the Anglo-Catholic position in which I had been brought up, but I confess I became obliged to conclude that Hooker is not properly to be regarded as a High Anglican. Thus, I cannot accept the Seventh Book as genuine Hooker, though doubtless much of it is." Published for the Church Historical Society.

Price: $40.00

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