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Richard Hooker on Anglican Integrity

Arthur S. McGrade

It has been said that Richard Hooker invented Anglicanism. To the extent that this assessment is accurate, it is because Hooker strove, both in his early ministry and in his magnum opus, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, to reconcile divisions among English Christians of the late sixteenth century that are arguably comparable in character and depth to those which threaten the integrity of the Anglican Communion today. Even with regard to current issues not directly treated in his work (issues of gender, sexuality, and structures of authority within the Communion), Hooker offers aids to reflection. Perhaps most important, he offers a persuasive account of why this sort of communion might be considered a great good.

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