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Selected Latin works in translation
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John Wyclif (d. 1384) was among the leading schoolmen of fourteenth-century Europe. He was an outspoken controversialist and critic of the church, and, in his last days at Oxford, the author of the greatest heresy that England had known. This volume offers translations of a representative selection of his Latin writings on theology, the church and the Christian life. It offers a comprehensive view of the life of this charismatic but irascible medieval theologian, and of the development of the most prominent dissenting mind in pre-Reformation England. This collection will be of interest to undergraduate and graduate students of medieval history, historical theology and religious heresy, as well as scholars in the field.

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Stephen Penn

Wyclif’s views on sacramental theology are difficult to summarise collectively, but much of what he said on the topic was generally concerned with removing a particular sacrament from its ceremonial or accidental trappings, rather than questioning its necessity. The only sacrament about which he expressed some doubt is confirmation, but, even here, it would seem to be its administration at the hands of bishops that is the true target of the doubts he expresses. His beliefs about the process of sacramental change in the eucharist represent a more radical and controversial departure from orthodox teaching, but, once again, the need of this sacrament is never questioned. Because of the complexity of Wyclif’s ideas about the eucharist, and of the metaphysical principles that inform it, as well as the volume of writing dedicated to this topic, it will be covered separately in Chapter 4.

in John Wyclif
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Stephen Penn

insisted that the sacrament was indeed an accident without a substance, and that this position was fully consistent with orthodox ecclesiastical teaching. 5 It could be no coincidence, he must have thought, that the second of his conclusions condemned as heresy there was precisely that an accident could not remain without a substance in the consecrated host ( 46 ). This text also provides one of the clearest articulations of Wyclif’s own position in respect of the Eucharist. Both the bread and the body of Christ are present in the host, he argues here, but the former is

in John Wyclif
Stephen Penn

Wyclif’s views on sacramental theology are difficult to summarise collectively, but much of what he said on the topic was generally concerned with removing a particular sacrament from its ceremonial or accidental trappings, rather than questioning its necessity. The only sacrament about which he expressed some doubt is confirmation, but, even here, it would seem to be its administration at the hands of bishops that is the true target of the doubts he expresses. His beliefs about the process of sacramental change in the eucharist

in John Wyclif
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Carmen M. Mangion

-evangelised Catholics.28 Missions encouraged a variety of pious activities including receiving communion, frequent confession, reciting the rosary, following the stations of the cross and attending pilgrimages and processions. Prayer and devotion were encouraged through novenas, benedictions, expositions of the Blessed Sacrament, the Quaran’ Ore and special devotions to the Holy Family or the Sacred Heart. Devotional aids such as scapulars, medals and rosaries were also advocated.29 Missions lasted for days or weeks, and their achievements were heralded by the Catholic faithful. In

in Contested identities
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Condemnation of Wyclif’s teaching
Stephen Penn

, proclaiming, among other things, two of their deadly doctrines: The first is that in the sacrament of the altar the substance of the material bread and wine, which were present prior to consecration, really remains in place after consecration. The second, which is more execrable to hear, is that in that venerable sacrament, the body and the blood of Christ are not present either essentially or substantially, or even corporally, but only figuratively or tropically; therefore, Christ is not truly present in his own, physical person

in John Wyclif
Peter Lake

However, even as they made these exalted claims, our authors went out of their way to explain how, in both the collective life of the church and the individual life of faith, preaching was integrally related to the sacrament and to public worship and corporate prayer. But, typically enough, even as he did that, Williams started out by emphasising that preaching was the fons et origo of a saving faith. ‘Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, saith the apostle . . . and the lamp of faith is kindled by the fire of the heavenly word, saith St Chrysostom

in Reformed identity and conformity in England, 1559–1714
Elliot Vernon

Hildersham the being ( esse ) of a true church was to be found in whether saving doctrine was preached and pure sacraments administered, in other words, the two marks of the Church considered essential to ecclesiastical constitution by Reformed ecclesiology. 17 Church discipline, by contrast, often considered in the magisterial Reformed tradition as a ‘third mark of the Church’, while deemed important to the Church's well-being ( bene esse ), was not viewed to be a legitimate ground for separation if it was imperfectly

in Reformed identity and conformity in England, 1559–1714
Anthony Milton

Reformed conformist bishops played a key role in the justifications of episcopacy and the liturgy that were advanced at this time, and did their best to look the part. Thomas Morton's Of the Institution of the Sacrament of 1635 had caused alarm by including an apparent defence of bowing towards the altar (possibly inserted by the Laudian licenser), but his 1640 tract Totius Doctrinalis Controversiae de Eucharistia decisio sounded more reassuringly anti-Laudian, opposing the use of the word ‘altar’ and the practice of bowing towards it, while bearing a dedication to

in Reformed identity and conformity in England, 1559–1714
Christy Wang

, Meditations on the Holy Sacrament of the Lords Last Supper , directly addressing issues around the communion and dedicating it to Marten. The treatise, which has never attracted as much scholarly attention as Reynolds's 1637 sermon before Francis Dee, marked an escalation in Reynolds's criticism of the Laudian reform. Denouncing the ‘wickednesse of a wil-worship’, Reynolds condemned those who promoted and imposed ceremonial novelty: 30 [M

in Reformed identity and conformity in England, 1559–1714