Friday, February 15, 2008

Richard Hooker on the Church

Matt's blog reminded me of C.S. Lewis's treatment of Richard Hooker (1554-1600) in his English Literature in the Sixteenth Century (a volume in the Oxford History of English Literature). This book is probably the best of all of C.S. Lewis's works. Here's one of his comments on Hooker:
Hooker had never heard of a religion called Anglicanism. He would never have dreamed of trying to 'convert' any foreigner to the Church of England. It was to him obvious that a German or Italian would not belong to the Church of England, just as an Ephesian or Galatian would not have belonged to the Church of Corinth. Hooker is never seeking for 'the true Church', never crying, like Donne, 'Show me deare Christ, thy spouse.' For him no such problem existed. If by 'the church' you mean the mystical church (which is partly in Heaven) then, of course, no man can identify her. But if you mean the visible Church, then we all know her. She is 'a sensibly known company' of all those throughout the world who profess one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism (III.i.3) (p. 454).

4 comments:

wyclif said...

Wow, you're right-- that paragraph is just chock full of awesomeness.

Lori Shaffer said...

Do you OWN this book? If so, I'm gonna have to be extremely jealous! I recently found a copy at the Aiken's Coram Deo bookstore in Carbondale, but they were asking $150 for it!! Needless to say, I left it behind...

Jeff Meyers said...

Yeah, I've got it. I've had it for a long time, probably 20 years. Do you want to borrow it?

Wow. If I can sell it for $150, hmmm, that's tempting. Mine's in good shape, too.

Lori Shaffer said...

I might borrow it...but I really need to mark in books when I read them, and anything worth referencing is worth owning. I'll let you know. In the meantime, I'll keep looking for a cheaper copy!