John Wycliffe Is Condemned for Attacking Church Authority (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: John Wycliffe is condemned for attacking Church authority and advocating a separation of church and state, but a number of theological reforms which he propounds are later adopted by the Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century.
Summary of Event
John Wycliffe (also spelled Wyclif), born in the 1320’s, was an English ecclesiastic and statesman of the first order. His early life, partly spent preparing himself at Oxford for an ecclesiastical career, saw England in the throes of great changes. Everywhere an air of restlessness prevailed as a result of the long and costly Hundred Years’ War with France, to which the Black Death (bubonic plague) added social, physical, and psychological horrors. A rising middle class caused dislocations of society, and the increasingly heavy taxation levied upon England by an unsympathetic papal court at Avignon aroused national resentments. Wycliffe, quick in mind, tenacious of memory, and profound in religious sympathies, hungered for security in a cleansed Church. He carried out his campaign for a reformed Church both as an academic and as a popular preacher. He was ordained a priest in 1355 and established himself as a popular preacher. In 1374, the Crown presented him with the rectory of Lutterworth in Leicestershire which would serve as the base of his reform movement until his death. Additionally, however, he continued his academic training and accepted a...
(The entire section is 1528 words.)
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