RICHARD HOOKER’S WORRIES ABOUT THE MIND: THE PATH TO CERTAINTY

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ABSTRACT

Focusing on two of Richard Hooker’s sermons, “Certaintie and Perpetuitie of Faith in the Elect” and “Learned Sermon of the Nature of Pride”, this essay explores Hooker’s worries about how the mind reacts to matters of religious doubt, curiosity, arrogance, and mental confusions. These worries of what enters the mind influence the search for what Hooker calls the certainty of adherence (faith) and the certainty of evidence (knowledge). Such worries, prompted by what Hooker sees as the mind’s frag- ileness in the face of religious experience and religious truth, lead Hooker in the sermons, as well as in his Ecclesiasticall Lawes, to a certain religious and rhetorical position which emphasizes the notion of approaching faith and knowledge in terms of simplicity or singleness. This approach, Hooker counsels, should lead the potentially confused mind, regardless of the certainty it seeks and of the influence of the Holy Spirit, toward the notion of surrender-to God or to the rhetor.

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Perichoresis

The Theological Journal of Emanuel University

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