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Title: The evolving reputation of Richard Hooker : an examination of responses to the Ecclesiastical Polity, 1640-1714
Author: Brydon, Michael Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0000 4724 3780
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis considers the contribution of seventeenth-century responses to the Polity towards the creation of Hooker's Anglican identity. It begins with an examination of the growing tensions between the old Refonned understanding of Hooker, and the new Laudian desire to comprehend the Polity as the expression of a distinctive doctrinal religious settlement. Although the dominance of the latter group was temporarily eclipsed by the Civil War it was their understanding of Hooker which emerged as the authentic opinion of the English Church at the Restoration. The examination of the Restoration response to Hooker considers how his recently established image as an Anglican father was perpetuated, the methods used to suppress rival assessments, and the weaknesses of this interpretation. The accession of the Catholic James effectively challenged the Restoration Hooker-sponsored belief in passive obedience, and challenged his Anglican credentials through the large numbers of Catholics who cited the Polity in support of the Roman Church. The long term effects of this upon Hooker are evaluated during the reign of William and Mary. The Whig desire to justify William encouraged them to exploit Hooker's belief in an original political compact, and to encourage more latitudinarian ideas within the Church. Restoration ideologies, however, were far from moribund. Several Tories were able to reconcile their opinions to the change of monarchs, and others waited until the reign of Anne where they endeavoured to put the political and religious clock back. This dominance was only temporary, however, since the advent of the Hanoverians led to the swift resurgence of the Whigs. Nevertheless this did nothing to undermine the now universal belief that Hooker was the leading exponent of the English Church. Although Hooker had anticipated that the Polity would be read as, a Reformed text, it had been turned into a specifically Anglican work within a century of his death.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Reformation England