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Creation And Government: Eternal Law As The Fountain Of Laws In Richard Hooker's Ecclesiastical Polity

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Chapter Summary

In the first book of his treatise Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie, Richard Hooker constructs a complex generic division of the various forms of law. First there is the law “which God hath eternallie purposed himself in all his works to observe.” While there is a great variety of derivative forms of law, they are contained, as it were, within two principal kinds: the law of nature and the revealed law of scripture. The latter is often referred to by Hooker as the divine law, which is not to be confused with eternal law. These three summa genera—eternal law, natural law and divine law—together constitute a comprehensive division of the “kinds” of law. On account of the subordination of the two derivative summa genera to the one eternal law, there is a sense in which Law, viewed from the standpoint of its divine originative principle, is simply one.

Keywords: creation; divine law; eternal law; natural law; Of the Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie; revealed law of scripture; Richard Hooker; summa genera



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