Journal Article

Richard Hooker's Reputation

Diarmaid MacCulloch

in The English Historical Review

Volume 117, issue 473, pages 773-812
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI:
Richard Hooker's Reputation

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Richard Hooker emerged from the Reformed Protestant milieu of Elizabethan Oxford to establish his own idiosyncratic theological ground in a comparatively brief career, principally through his monumental Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. Before his death in 1600, debate over his purposes and theological stance was sparked by the controversial tract A Christian Letter; very quickly his memory was claimed by rival parties in the English Church and he gained an authoritative status, partly (paradoxically) because of early polemical use of his work by English Roman Catholics. This article studies the remarkably varied attempts to capture him over the next three centuries: by Laudian Anglicans, their evangelical opponents in the Church, Tories, Whigs, even dissenters and deists. It shows how Tories stressed his ecclesiology and were embarrassed by his statements on political consent and contract, and Whigs claimed him as a spiritual ancestor, although in the eighteenth century Bishop William Warburton came to see him as an opponent of significance. Only with the Oxford Movement's determined annexation of his memory in the wake of the 1836 edition of his works by John Keble did his memory become comparatively uncontested, at least until the development of modern scholarly controversy.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

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