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Richard Hooker

Hooker, Richard, 1554?–1600, English theologian and clergyman of the Church of England. He studied and lectured at Oxford and preached at Drayton-Beauchamp, Buckinghamshire; at the Temple Church, London; at Boscombe, Wiltshire; and at Bishopsbourne, Kent. His famous Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (in 8 books, of which only 5 were published in his lifetime) was an epoch-making discussion of church government, written in an excellent prose style. It helped to formulate the intellectual concepts of Anglicanism, and its influence on the theory of government (civil as well as ecclesiastical) as based on rules of reason was widely felt in England. An edition of Hooker's works (1666) contained a celebrated biography by Izaak Walton (1665).

See the critical edition of his complete works, ed. by W. S. Hill et al. (2 vol., 1977–80); W. S. Hill, Richard Hooker: A Descriptive Bibliography of the Early Editions, 1593–1724 (1970); W. S. Hill, Studies in Richard Hooker (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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