Monday, August 07, 2006

A Book Recommendation: Something old made new.

Philip Secor has created a cottage industry in presenting a series of well-written books on that gifted defender of Anglicanism, Richard Hooker. Secor’s books include a fine biography of Hooker as well as a short compilation of his sermons in modern idiom. Perhaps his best work is really something that he didn’t write—Hooker’s fifth book in the Ecclesiastical Polity. The fifth book is presented as a stand alone volume and retitled Richard Hooker on Anglican Faith and Worship. Secor has done a wonderful service in rendering the entire text in contemporary phrasing without altering the meaning. This is a recommended read for all laity in classical Anglicanism and a must read for the clergy. It is an excellent opportunity to get a glimpse into the mind of one of the great thinkers of the Anglican tradition.


Mark said...

We moderns indeed find the archaic language of late 16th and early 17th-century divinity daunting to read. ( Though we shouldn't ; we don't allow the strangeness of Jacobean English to get in the way of our enjoying the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare. Why should it be any different with Hooker, Andrewes, et al ? ).

At any rate, If Secor has made Bk V of the Ecclesiastical Polity more accesible to the average Christian layman-without "dumbing down" Hooker's concepts, and by rendering the text into good contemporary English-then my hat is off to him.

Perhaps, some deep-dyed Anglican will one day do something similar with Dean Field's "Of The Church"?


Will said...


Thanks for telling us about this book. I thought Secor's biography of Hooker was not bad--and he definitely knows his subject matter. I will have to add this new book to my reading list.