William Covel’s a Just and Temperate Defence of the Five Books of Ecclesiastical Polity Written by Richard Hooker
Covel’s book was first published in 1603. He intended it to be an epitome of Richard Hooker’s Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity. When Covel wrote, Hooker had only just recently provided the Church of England with its lasting theological basis. In addition to providing a clear summary of the Hooker work, it was in a general way a summary of school philosophy as preserved in Protestant England not long after the Reformation. Covel’s entire text is reprinted here, unabridged, in Benjamin Hanbury’s (Covel’s 19th-century editor) version. It has been set n fresh type specifically for this new edition. This reprint will illuminate the current discussion of English national identity, and provide historians with a convenient Anglican exhibit for Max Weber’s theories of the Protestant ethic.
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