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Abstract only
Stephen Penn

for Ludgershall), suggesting that Wyclif may already have been involved with the Crown by this time. His account of the proceedings of the Parliament of 1371 in the second book of On Civil Lordship ( 37 ), together with a gift of tithes from the king in that year, have prompted speculation that he had actively been involved in royal service even earlier. 31 On 26 July 1374, Wyclif was commissioned to travel to Bruges with six others for the purpose of discussing papal taxation of the clergy. This was his first known public engagement on

in John Wyclif
Stephen Penn

For the student at any university in late medieval Europe, logic and metaphysics were the necessary preliminaries to any serious engagement with theological questions. Wyclif’s distinctive and controversial theological system relied upon an equally distinctive and impressively intricate philosophical system. His three logical treatises and his Summa de Ente (a modern title) are only now beginning to receive the attention they deserve from scholars, but only one of them ( On Universals ) is available in English translation. I have here

in John Wyclif
Abstract only
Stephen Penn

derivative way, and could easily lead the unwary exegete astray. If Wyclif is to be believed, the majority of his contemporaries in Oxford were caught up in a kind of early linguistic turn, devoting undue attention to the properties of terms, generally at the expense of any engagement with the truths underpinning them. Some people maintain that there is nothing anomalous about holy scripture being false. Indeed, if scripture is nothing more than the codices of human scribes, and those scribes happened to have been more untruthful than usual [when

in John Wyclif
Stephen Penn

( 37i and 37ii ); indeed, their lack of proper power in secular affairs effectively excluded church officials from any meaningful engagement with affairs of state. Wyclif is careful to point out in the sixth chapter of On the Office of the King that, of the two, the king’s office was superior ( 37i ). The king was quite at liberty to exercise his authority over ecclesiastical administration, especially in relation to perceived errors of the church, but any such intervention had properly to relate to secular, rather than spiritual, affairs of the church. In

in John Wyclif