A Center for the Retrieval of Christian Wisdom

Protestant Wisdom Capstone Course

The Spirit of Reformed Catholic Worship:
Reading Hooker’s Laws, Books IV-V

a five-day Davenant House/Davenant Hall Residential Intensive Course

Davenant Hall Students: If you are pursuing the M.Litt degree, participation in this residential Capstone Course counts for 2 elective credits.

This course has been cancelled.

Richard Hooker is often known as the “father of Anglicanism,” but his is a legacy that demands to be claimed by all Christians, and especially all magisterial Protestants. His magnum opus was the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie (1593-1600), and at the heart of that work is Book V, the largest of all, dedicated to a point-by-point defense of the reformed catholic liturgy of The Book of Common Prayer. Although more than four centuries old, many of the issues that Hooker addresses here—the role of music in worship, the importance of visible symbols to accompany the spoken word, and the pros and cons of rote prayers—remain as relevant as ever in intra-Protestant debates over worship and liturgy. And at the center of Book V is one of the most beautiful and powerful little theological treatises in English-speaking theology, Hooker’s account of the Christology and sacramentology that should undergird our worship. 

This summer at Davenant House, join Richard Hooker scholar Dr. Bradford Littlejohn for a deep-dive into the riches of this classic text. Over five days, we will read through the entirety of Books IV and V, in which Hooker gives his defense of English public worship, and discuss key passages in depth with an eye to both historical contextualization and contemporary application. And, of course, every day will be framed by a celebration of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, so that we can not only learn about the liturgy, but live the liturgy together.

Early Bird Cost: $375 (until May 13th)

 After May 13th: $500

This course has been cancelled.


Taught by Dr. Brad Littlejohn

W. Bradford Littlejohn is the President of the Davenant Institute. He has a PhD in Theology and Ethics from the University of Edinburgh where he focused on the concepts of law, authority and Christian liberty in the English Reformation and on the thought of sixteenth-century Anglican, Richard Hooker. Littlejohn wrote his dissertation under the supervision of Oliver O’Donovan and Joan Lockwood O’Donovan. He is the author of The Peril and Promise of Christian Liberty: Richard Hooker, the Puritans, and Protestant Political Theology.