Richard Hooker

English bishop and Anglican Divine

Richard Hooker (March 1554 – November 3, 1600) was an Anglican priest and an influential theologian. Hooker's emphases on reason, tolerance and inclusiveness considerably influenced the development of Anglicanism. He was the co-founder (with Thomas Cranmer and Matthew Parker) of Anglican theological thought.

Wenceslas Hollar - Richard Hooker (State 1).jpg
Statue of Hooker in front of Exeter Cathedral
Title page of 1666 edition Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie


  • Of Law there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world. All things in heaven and earth do her homage,—the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power.
  • Words must be taken according to the matter whereof they are uttered.

Quotes about Richard HookerEdit

  • Hooker, although he founded—perhaps because he founded—no especial school, has, perhaps more than any other single writer, given to our Anglican theology a tone a direction which it has never lost.
    • Alfred Barry, 'Richard Hooker', Masters in English Theology; Being the King's College Lectures for 1877 (1877), p. 59
  • [I]t is hard to overestimate the importance of Hooker.
    • John Sedberry Marshall, Hooker and the Anglican Tradition: Historical and Theological Study of Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity (1963), p. v
  • In the long crowded roll of great English men of letters there is no figure of greater significance to the instructed mind than Hooker.
    • Charles Jasper Sisson, The Judicious Marriage of Mr. Hooker and the Birth of The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity (1940), p. ix
  • [T]he incomparable Mr. Hooker.
  • There is a wheel within a wheel; a secret sacred wheel of Providence (most visible in marriages), guided by His hand that allows not the race to the swift nor bread to the wise, nor good wives to good men: and He that can bring good out of evil (for mortals are blind to this reason) only knows why this blessing was denied to patient Job, to meek Moses, and to our as meek and patient Mr Hooker.
  • I observe there is in Mr. Hooker no affected language; but a grave, comprehensive, clear manifestation of reason, and that backed with the authority of the Scriptures, the fathers and schoolmen, and with all law both sacred and civil.
    • Izaac Walton, The Life of Mr Rich. Hooker. In Walton's Lives, George Saintsbury, ed., reprinted in Oxford World's Classics (1927).
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