Reason, Will, and Common Grace

Nigel Voak

in Richard Hooker and Reformed Theology

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780199260393
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602146 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

 Reason, Will, and Common Grace

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Begins the second part of the book, examining Hooker’s views on the relation of grace to the human reason and will, in this case from the perspective of non-Christians, who are not in receipt of sanctifying grace. This permits a study of Hooker’s views on human nature, natural law, and original sin, and it is argued that although Hooker accepts that humanity in its natural state after the Fall is totally depraved, through his belief that humans are generally aided by common grace he is able to adopt a relatively optimistic view of humanity’s ability to know and to obey natural law, and to accept the religious authority of reason in religious as well as civil affairs. Hooker’s views are contextualised in the Reformed theology of his day, and it is shown how the nature of the earlier Admonitions controversy helped Hooker in the development of such ideas, and to criticise fundamental aspects of the Reformed tradition through attacking presbyterianism and puritanism. Finally, examines how a lack of understanding of Hooker’s views on common grace has led to critical misinterpretation of his work in the past.

Keywords: common grace; grace; John Calvin; natural law; original sin; reason; religious anthropology; religious authority; will

Chapter.  31698 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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