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The Architecture of Participation in the Thought of Richard Hooker

DOMINIAK, PAUL,ANTHONY (2017) The Architecture of Participation in the Thought of Richard Hooker. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis explores how the metaphysical concept of participation shapes and informs Richard Hooker’s apology for the Elizabethan Settlement in Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Polity. While scholars have long noted the presence of participatory language in selected passages of Hooker’s Lawes, the implicit ways in which participation structures the metaphysical, epistemological, and political arguments across the work have never been uncovered or explored. Accordingly, this work shows how Hooker uses the architectural framework of ‘participation in God’ in order systematically to build his cohesive vision of the Elizabethan Church. This study shows how Hooker’s account of participation thereby deflates the range of modern accusations that the Lawe is an incoherent work. It also illuminates, critiques, and opens up ecumenical and theological possibilities as part of a modern theological ressourcement of participatory metaphysics.

This thesis therefore explores the gestures between Hooker’s metaphysics, epistemology, and political vision in turn. The thesis first outlines as a heuristic device the ‘architecture of participation’ (the constituent ideas and themes which make up the polyvalent possibilities of the term) through which Hooker’s thought can be best understood. In the second chapter, this thesis explores two ‘mini-treatises’ in the Lawes that together reflect Hooker’s basic architecture of participation: the suspension of creation from God through the system of laws sharing in eternal law; and the redemption of creation through sacramental participation in Christ. The third chapter unveils how Hooker’s architecture of participation establishes a certain homology between his ontology and subsequent epistemology. As Hooker responds to his opponents in the Lawes, reason and desire emerge from the architecture of participation to become the constellating categories for a mixed cognitive ecology which circumscribes both natural and supernatural forms of cognitive participation in God. The fourth chapter investigates how the last three so-called ‘books of power’ in the Lawes represent a closing movement from the ‘general meditations’ of earlier books to the disputed ‘particular decisions’ of the Tudor polity, namely episcopacy and lay ecclesiastical supremacy. The chapter explains how the architecture of participation yields the substructure upon which Hooker constructs his political ecclesiology. The closing chapter addresses directly the opening provocations, arguing that Hooker’s architecture of participation provides a series of related gestures showing the logical and coherent connections in his thought that make him a systematic theologian of a particular type.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Richard Hooker; participation; Reformation; law
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 May 2017 08:23

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