Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556

By Carl R. Trueman | Go to book overview

7
John Hooper

HOOPER'S WRITINGS

While John Hooper has traditionally been regarded as a protopuritan English mouthpiece for the ideas of Heinrich Bullinger, a close examination of what Hooper actually wrote suggests that such a view needs to be considerably modified.1 His writings, however, present a number of problems which could obscure a correct understanding of his thought. First, he was not a systematic thinker or accomplished prose stylist: his writings are often rambling and repetitive. Therefore, a workby-work analysis of his entire output would probably emulate these same faults and shed little light on his thought. However, a purely thematic approach would scarcely be any better: Hooper's doctrine of salvation was, to a large extent, hammered out in the heat of controversy; divorcing statements from their historical context could therefore lead to a basic misunderstanding of Hooper's motivation in writing.

As a result of these considerations, Hooper's thought on salvation is best approached through those treatises which take this as a central theme. Such an approach allows for the omission of irrelevant ramblings and for the treatment of key themes within their historical and polemical contexts.

____________________
1
See F. J. Smithen, Continental Protestantism and the English Reformation ( London, 1927), 81-4; Letham, "Saving Faith and Assurance", 245-7. The most thorough statement of the Bullinger-Hooper thesis is that of W. M. S. West in his doctoral thesis and subsequent articles. G. W. Locher has recently argued that Hooper's dependence on Zwingli and Bullinger has been overstated, but his arguments are based on the radical position Hooper adopted in the vestment controversy and not on study of the texts: see Zwingli's Thought, 365. As will become clear, a close reading of Hooper's works reveals a source for his doctrine which could never have been suggested by the kind of stance he took over vestments.

-205-

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Luther's Legacy: Salvation and English Reformers, 1525-1556
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Note on Texts xi
  • Abbreviations xii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - The Historical and Intellectual Context 7
  • 1 - Five Roads to Martyrdom 9
  • 2 - The Intellectual Context 1 31
  • 3 - The Intellectual Context 2 54
  • Part Two - The Reformers Under Henry VIII 81
  • 4 - William Tyndale 83
  • 5 - John Frith 121
  • 6 - Robert Barnes 156
  • Conclusion to Part Two 198
  • Part Three - The Reformers Under Edward VI and Mary 203
  • 7 - John Hooper 205
  • 8 - John Bradford 243
  • Conclusion to Part Three 289
  • Bibliography 294
  • Index 303
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