We turn to Richard Hooker to understand the intellectual background of the Renaissance. He sets forth in his writing the ethical, political, and religious assumptions of his age. This magnificent old-spelling edition of Hooker’s works has long been needed, and is being greeted with universal admiration.
Volume Four presents the text of the first and only major attack on the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity—namely, A Christian Letter, 1599—with Hooker’s marginal notes made on his own copy of the Letter; and the more extensive essays which he left in manuscript, written in preparation for a published reply. The importance of these notes and essays lies in their expansion of some of the more controversial points made in the Laws, and in the light they shed on Hooker, his personality, method, and sources.
John Booty’s Introduction and substantial commentary place Hooker’s arguments firmly in their historical and theological contexts.