The Ecclesiastical Polity of Samuel Parker

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Samuel Parker's works attacking Dissent during the late 1660s and early 1670s have been seen by historians and literary scholars as promoting an Erastian and Hobbist view of the Church of England. But in the early 1680s Parker also wrote about early church government and Christian obedience to rulers, writings which this article considers in new detail, along with his response to James II's Catholic kingship. It also revisits Parker's Ecclesiastical Politie and his subsequent defences of it, arguing that Parker sought to defend intolerance and royal power over the Church without creating a Hobbesian sovereign. Although Parker's career showed the difficulties of defending intolerance without sounding Hobbist, his works sought to reconcile divine right episcopacy with the royal supremacy over the Church.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-375
Number of pages26
JournalThe Seventeenth Century
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Parker, Samuel
  • Hobbism
  • Church of England
  • Episcopacy
  • Erastianism


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