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Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity: A Critical Edition with Modern Spelling Critical Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199604951
ISBN-10: 0199604959
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Editorial Reviews

Review

For the present excellent edition, I can imagine no one better qualified than Steve McGrade to introduce this great work of English prose to a new generation of readers, and I congratulate Oxford University Press for taking it on and for producing three such elegant and legible volumes ... Every library interested in English literature, philosophy, theology, and the European Reformation should acquire it forthwith. Brian Vickers, Review of English Studies This is a very useful ... edition of this major work, attractive and easy to use while still suitable for most scholarly purposes Nigel Voak, Journal of Ecclesiastical History Ever since gauden, Hooker's editors have used their introductions to decribe Hooker's life and readership, to summarize his argument, and to extol the majesty of his style. McGrade is no exception. Scott Mandelbrote, The Times Literary Supplement Hooker fans everywhere should be delighted by what will now surely become the standard critical edition of a breathtaking work of Anglican erudition and argument. Lee Gatiss, Churchman

About the Author


Arthur Stephen McGrade is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1100 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Critical edition (December 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199604959
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199604951
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 4.6 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #885,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Arthur Stephen McGrade provides in this edition of Richard Hooker's most important work a modernized version of the author's language that makes The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity readily accessible to readers in the twenty-first century. Hooker's book is one of the most significant prose works in the English Renaissance and it deals with topics that are still being debated by theologians, philosophers, and political scientists. These topics include the nature of law, the principles of biblical interpretation, the uses of history, the most appropriate forms of worship, and the theory and practice of government, civil as well as ecclesiastical. In some ways McGrade's edition of the Laws is of even more value to scholars than that provided by the authoritative Folger Library Edition of Hooker's works, of which McGrade was one of the editors. McGrade translates Hooker's quotations from ancient and modern languages in the text and the notes and he identifies the sources Hooker used. His extensive introduction deals in an engaging and critical way with the historical and cultural context of the work, including the character of the various parties engaged in bitter conflict over the character of the English Church in the reign of Elizabeth I and the most important theological and philosophical arguments advanced in the period. McGrade deals persuasively with Hooker's defense of reason in theological discourse and his respect for Christian history and tradition. This introduction and the text itself make clear that Hooker's work continues to influence and to challenge ways of thinking and writing about significant subjects in the modern English-speaking world. W. Brown Patterson
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Format: Hardcover
Scholars and theologians and curious believers like to turn to an Authority for a given religious position: Roman Catholics have Thomas Aquinas, or Augustine, Lutherans have Martin Luther, Calvinists have Calvin, the Eastern Orthodox have the Cappadocians, and so on. To whom do Anglicans turn? Henry VIII? Elizabeth? Cranmer, Laud, or some other eminent Archbishop of Canterbury? It's Mr. Richard Hooker who defined the famed Anglican Polity, but he may be one of those writers everyone has begun to read, and then realized that there was something pressing, like doing laundry or making tea or scheduling an appointment with the dentist. This is a real shame, because his smoothly reasoned thought and brilliant insight into the tension between Catholics and Protestants continues to suggest the possibility of an end to ecclesiastical division. If only he had written in the kind of English that people use...McGrade's new edition of the Laws is a wonderful aid to readers hungry to find a foundation to Anglicanism, with the antiquated prose rendered into modern English without losing the stately beauty of Mr. Hooker's prose. This leaves the reader with one remaining problem, though: Hooker delights in page long sentences, replete with rhetorical flourishes, apparently unwarranted digressions, and so on. The best thing to do is to read the way Augustine did: aloud. Hooker comes alive when he is read aloud, and McGrade's rendering allows the reader to do this smoothly and easily. Now maybe the Episcopal Church of the United States will be able to expect its clergy to know their way around the Laws.
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Format: Hardcover
I had a chance to see this and I am so impressed! The "Laws" have been neglected far too long in our communion! The old editions had difficult spelling and grammar as well as sentence structure. This edition has fixed all that and made the works accessible now the average Anglican. Unfortunately the price makes this unobtainable for most Anglicans not attached to a parish or seminary. Hopefully Oxford will out out some less expensive paperback editions. I would love to buy this but the price is prohibitive.
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