Thursday, November 3, 2016

Richard Hooker

Today we remember one of the Anglican Fathers who helped to define our tradition as separate from either Rome or Geneva.

Hooker was born in March 1554 in Heavitree, Exeter from a good family, but one that was neither noble nor wealthy. His uncle John Hooker was a success and served as the chamberlain of Exeter.

He was educated in Exeter until he was sent, with Bishop Jewel as his patron, to Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He graduated MA in 1577, and became a fellow of the college in the same year.

On 14 August 1579 Hooker was ordained a priest by Edwin Sandys, then bishop of London. Sandys made Hooker tutor his son Edwin, and Richard also taught George Cranmer, the great nephew of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer.

In 1581 Hooker married Jean Churchman, who's family were members of the Puritan wing of the Church of England, but this did not affect Hooker's own High-Church views or his ability to argue against the Geneva system taking hold of the English Church.

In 1585, Archbishop Edwin Sandys brought Hooker to the attention of Queen Elizabeth I, who appointed him Master (i.e. rector) of the Temple Church in London. There, Hooker soon came into public conflict with Walter Travers, a leading Puritan and Assistant at the Temple.

Later Hooker wrote one of the most influential works of Anglican thought, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, published in 1593, and subsequently, Hooker's eight volume work is primarily a treatise on Church-state relations, but it also deals comprehensively with issues of biblical interpretation, soteriology, ethics, and sanctification. Throughout the work, Hooker makes clear that theology involves prayer and is concerned with ultimate issues, and that theology is relevant to the social mission of the church.

In 1595, Hooker became Rector of the parish of St. Mary's in Bishopsbourne in Kent. He died 3 November 1600 at Bishopsbourne.He was buried in St. Mary's Churchyard.


Propers for Richard Hooker - 3 November - Anglican Divine


The Collect.

O GOD, who hast endowed thy servant Richard Hooker with clarity of faith and holiness of life: Grant us to keep with steadfast minds the faith which he taught, and in his fellowship to be made partakers of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epistle - Wisdom 7:7-14:

I CALLED upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out. All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands. And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them. I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally: I do not hide her riches. For she is a treasure unto men that never faileth: which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning.


The Gospel - St. John 17:18-23:

AS thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me though their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.


References and Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Hooker
http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/11/03.html
http://www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk/Clergy/Hooker.html
http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/hooker.htm
http://www.commonprayer.org/calend/propers/com_theo.cfm

1 comment:

Alice Linsley said...

Hooker is the most outstanding Church figure of the English Renaissance. His works should be studied by all serious Anglicans.