Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter addresses the definition of and limits of the authority of scripture in early modern England, focusing on Richard Hooker’s influential treatise, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie (1594). Pursing what Hooker calls the ‘sundrie kindes of Wisdom’, the chapter addresses the question of how the Bible stood in relation to natural reason, as well as the concessions and amplifications brought to the reformers’ doctrine of sola scriptura, that the Bible contains all things ‘necessary to salvation’. Whereas scripture alone was to be followed in the formulation of the ‘rule of faith’, reason, custom, and human authority were necessary in the external ordering of religion. This chapter explores Hooker’s contribution to the Reformation treatment of the boundaries between the authority of scripture and that of reason, as well as the political and philosophical correlates of such debate.

Keywords: Richard Hooker, scripture and reason, natural reason, sola scriptura, Wisdom literature, ecclesiology, Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.