Richard Hooker

Biographical Sketch

by Dylan Fredenburg, Biola University

3906576233_6b53853be6_b.jpg

Summary of Life[1] [2]

  • Born on or around March 25, 1554
  • Parents: Roger and Joan Hooker
    • Roger probably served as a religious leader in Ireland without being ordained

-Rarely home during the early years of Richard’s life

-Surrogate fathers stand in

  • Place of Birth: Not certain but most likely Heavitree just outside of Exeter.

-Probably around 8 years old Hooker moved to Exeter with his mother

-Mother’s early death

  • Probably raised on his wealthy uncle John Hooker’s estate in Exeter

-Received maternal attention from his aunt

  • Was not shipped off to trade school because he showed unusually high intellect and devotion to his studies
  • Uncle John helped him get into Corpus Christi College and Oxford
    • John financially supported him
  • Richard arrived at Oxford in 1568
    • Studied under John Rainolds, a follower of Calvin
    • BA in 1573, MA in 1577, Fellow in 1579
    • Known to be bright and self-controlled at Oxford
  • Appointed aster of Temple Church in England in 1585
  • Married Jean Churchman in 1588
  • Died November 2, 1600 after catching a cold on a trip to Gravesend
    • Buried at Bishopsbourne

Influence and Recognition

  • Richard Hooker was influenced by:
    • Aquinas’ Christology and reason [3] [4]
    • Negatively influenced by much of Calvin’s view of sacraments
    • Against Roman Catholic Church’s works and absence of laity in priesthood, but some Roman Catholics could be saved
  • Richard Hooker influenced:
    • Anglicanism: Major divide with Roman Catholic Church as the Catholics corrupted the English Church with their rituals and no emphasis of Scripture
    • Philosophers such as John Locke[5]
  • Known for his emphasis of Scripture and clear portrayal of his views in his works
  • Theological ideas include:
    • Sovereignty of God
    • Man’s reason is completed by God’s grace
    • Only mentions common grace once in Lawes
    • Justification by faith
    • Sola Scriptura:
      • All human action should be governed by Scripture

Works:[6]

    • Types: Hooker’s works are theological treatises that expand upon his convictions as to what is true of man, God and Scripture.

Major Works:

  • Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie
    • 8 books total with last 3 published posthumously
    • Possibly England’s first great work of philosophy and theology
      • Scripture alone is to govern all human conduct
      • Scripture gives unalterable Church government
      • English Church is corrupted by Roman Catholic Church rituals
      • Law is corrupt for not allowing lay elders
      • Bishops must not be unconditionally permanent in any church
    • Mostly dedicated to church order and government
    • Drew on Aquinas’ Natural and Eternal laws

Publications:[7]

  • Books 1-4 Of the Lawes
    • 1594
  • Book 5 Of the Lawes
    • 1597
  • Books 6+8 Of the Lawes
    • 1648 (Posthumous)
  • Book 7 Of the Lawes
    • 1662 (Posthumous)
  • Lifelong friend Edwin Sandys paid for the first five books to be published

Secondary Works:

  • Philip Bruce Secor’s Richard Hooker: Prophet of Anglicanism
  • Izaak Walton’s The Life of Mr. Richard Hooker

Bibliography:

Brydon, Michael. The Evolving Reputation of Richard Hooker: An Examination of Responses, 1600-1714. n.p.: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Kindred-Barnes, Scott N. Richard Hooker’s Use of History in His Defense of Public Worship: His Anglican Critique of Calvin, Barrow, and the Puritans. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2011.

Reisman, Rosemary M. Canfield. “Richard Hooker.” Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia (January 2016): Research Starters, EBSCOhost (accessed November 3, 2016).

Secor, Philip Bruce. Richard Hooker: Prophet of Anglicanism. n.p.: Tunbridge Wells, Kent, [Engl.]: Burns & Oates ; Toronto, Canada : Anglican Book Centre, c1999., 1999.

Voak, Nigel. Richard Hooker and reformed theology : a study of reason, will, and grace. n.p.: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2003.

Footnotes:

[1] Philip Secor, Richard Hooker: Prophet of Anglicanism (Burns & Oates: Toronto, 1999), 1-42. Much of the information I gathered about Hooker’s early life was found in this text.

[2] Rosemary M. Canfield, Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia (Salem Press: Pasadena, CA, 2016), s.v. “Richard Hooker.” This article offers insight into Hooker’s later life and his works.

[3] Scott Kindred-Barnes, Richard Hooker’s use of History in His Defense of Public Worship: His Anglican Critique of Calvin, Barrow, and the Puritans (Edwin Mellen Press: Lewiston, NY, 2011).

[4] Nigel Voak, Richard Hooker and Reformed Theology: A Study of Reason, Will, and Grace (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2003).

[5] Voak, Richard Hooker and Reformed Theology, Chapter 4.

[6] Canfield, “Richard Hooker.”

[7] Michael Brydon, The Evolving Reputation of Richard Hooker: An Examination of Responses, 1600-1714 (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2006).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s