Who is John Wycliffe?

Who is John Wycliffe?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

John Wycliffe (Con Wiklif) was an English Scholastic philosopher who lived from 1320 to 1384. It is also defined as a theologian and reformer.

Wycliffe, who taught at Oxford, rose to prominence as an important dissident within the Roman Catholic Church in the 14th century. Various spellings of his name can also be found in the sources as Wyclif, Wycliff, Wiclef, Wicliffe, Wickliffe.

Wycliff is a theologian who criticizes the privileges of the priesthood. He sees the privileges of the priests as the main reason for the power of the priest class in England. Criticizing the luxury and fanfare of local churches in religious rites, Wycliffe advocates translating the Bible into spoken language so that these rites can be better understood and mistakes made can be seen. Based on the Vulgate in 1382, he translated what is now known as Wycliffe’s Bible, in Middle English, the spoken language of his time. It is estimated that he translated the New Testament and his colleagues translated the Old Testament. The translation appears to have been completed in 1384. In 1388 and 1395, Wycliff’s assistant John Purvey prepared updated versions of the translation.

Wycliffe’s followers are known as Lollards. They advocated algebra, anti-picture (iconoclasm) and papalism. On the other hand, they opposed the veneration of the saints, the sacraments, the rites of the dead, trans-substance, the tradition of the priesthood and the institution of the Papacy.

Beginning in the 16th century, the Howlers’ Movement is seen as the trigger of the Protestant Reformation. For those who hold this view, Wycliffe is the evening star of the scholastic age and the morning star of the English Reformation. Wycliffe’s Latin writings profoundly influenced the teachings and philosophy of Czech reformer Jan Hus. His execution in 1415 started the Hussite Wars.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook