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Richard Hooker “The Pelagian”. Is There A Case? Notes On The Christian Letter


Richard Hooker explicitly rejected the charge of Pelagianism. In late 16th century Reformation England, this was no small charge. The extreme sensitivity of the question together with Puritan suspicions of actual or latent Catholic sympathies left Hooker on the defensive. This situation came together in the Christian Letter. Although Hooker’s marginalia is fragmentary, they reveal his considerable frustration at the question of his theological integrity. The anonymous author(s) of the Christian Letter attributed their suspicions to the density and ambiguity, as they saw the matter, of Hooker’s writing. For Hooker, this way of writing and thinking was simply what was needed in order to handle the subtleties of Christian theology, especially in times of religious disruption. Theology was not for him, a blunt instrument, but a reasoned and precise scalpel the wielding of which required a commensurate measure of skill to use properly. However, there were important points of departure between Hooker’s protagonist and his own outlook. The author of the Christian Letter had clearly set out to depict Hooker’s writing style as so excessively subtle and dependent on the Schoolmen that contrary motives might well lie behind it. If not Catholic, then Pelagian.

Częstotliwość wydawania:
3 razy w roku
Dziedziny czasopisma:
Theology and Religion, General Topics and Biblical Reception