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Jurisdiction and the keys

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Chapter Summary

In Book VI (1648), Hooker promises he will now deal with the ?weightiest and last remaines? of the controversy between conformists and presbyterians, ?Jurisdiction, Dignitie, and Dominion Ecclesiasticall,? keyed to Books VI through VIII respectively. In Book VI, along with denying the reformers? platform of layelders, Hooker grapples with the theological, legal and political aspects of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, since the reformers not only sought ecclesiastical change but also directly challenged the English church?s power to enforce conformity by its courts, laws and legal processes. Hooker uses the terms order, jurisdiction and the power of the ?keys??among the most freighted words in the Catholic church?s lexicon?to explicate the power of the church and its ministers. The power of jurisdiction is more complicated?not all ministers hold this power, and it can be delegated to others as it was to lay court officials.

Keywords: Autograph Notes; Book VI; Catholic church?s lexicon; English church?s power; jurisdiction; keys; Richard Hooker; spiritual punishments



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