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Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, The

Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, The (1594, 1597, 1648, 1662). Richard Hooker set out to expound the Anglican philosophy of government, in both civil and spiritual matters. The essence of Anglicanism lay in the state establishment of the Church of England under the supreme authority of the monarch. Hooker's book, the most outstanding work of 16th-cent. political thought written in English—not least because of its beautiful prose—is a classic expression of conservatism, defending the Elizabethan polity as a middle way both between puritanism and papism, and between traditionalism and rationalism.

Tim S. Gray

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