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Samuel Parker (1640-1688) was one of Restoration England's most significant religious controversialists, the writer of numerous pamphlets and books dealing with subjects on which learned opinion was completely polarized. His works attracted both praise and condemnation from many of England's most prominent figures, and there is little doubt that he helped frame the terms of debate on several religious issues. At the peak of his career, just before his death, he was both bishop of Oxford and president of Magdalen College, Oxford; his appointment to the latter post by King James II occasioned one of the most important episodes in the struggle between that monarch and the Church of England. Parker died about nine months prior to his royal patron's overthrow in the Revolution of 1688. This dissertation offers an interpretation of the career and writings of Samuel Parker. It concludes that Parker placed the concept of legitimate authority at the center of his political and social philosophy. Parker's concern was rooted in the desire, so prevalent among elites in the early modern period and particularly in Britain after the Interregnum, for a practical policy of ensuring social stability. Over a period of nearly twenty years, he developed a well-thought-out yet almost deceptively simple theoretical model of authority based on scripture, natural law, and historical precedent. This dissertation provides a detailed analysis of that model as found in Parker's writings. It also treats subordinate themes in Parker's works, such as the moralist concept of grace and the use of history as a polemical tool. In so doing, it offers a corrective to contemporary scholarship which frequently views Parker as a superficial thinker and timeserver in the Church of England.