Justice, Mercy and Magna Carta

by Gerry Lynch last modified 01 Dec, 2014 01:37 PM

Find out what happened when a judge, a bishop and a politician went into a church...

“A judge, a bishop and a politician go into a church...” – no, it’s not the start of a limp joke, but the Fourth Annual Hooker Day lecture held in the historic church of St Andrew in Boscombe.

The three papers delivered at this year’s event focused on the theme of Hooker, Justice and Magna Carta – very appropriately as the Magna Carta 800th Anniversary events shall begin imminently. The three speakers were the Rt Revd Dr Graham Kings, Bishop of Sherborne; Robert Key, former MP for Salisbury and now Chairman of the Diocesan House of Laity; and His Honour Judge Keith Cutler CBE, Resident Judge of Winchester and Salisbury.

Richard Hooker was an Anglican priest and the late theologian in the late 16th Century, who wrote extensively on the theological controversies of a Church of England whose post-Reformation identity and ethos were still very much in flux. He was vicar of Boscombe between 1591 and 1595, and was Subdean of Salisbury Cathedral.

Traditionally, Hooker has been regarded as the originator of the Anglican via media between Protestantism and Catholicism; his Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity was the first systematic attempt to defend what would become the Anglican model of church governance. He formulated the famous Anglican “three-legged stool” of Scripture, Tradition and Reason.

All three papers are available on this website

Read Bishop Graham’s paper (HTML)

Read Robert Key’s paper (PDF)

Read Judge Keith Cutler’s speaking notes (PDF)

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