J. Patrick Hornbeck II

in What is a Lollard?

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199589043
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594564 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs


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This chapter traces Wycliffite beliefs about salvation, starting with an analysis of Wyclif's doctrines of grace and predestination. Rather than espousing the view that God has arbitrarily elected those who will be saved and condemned those who will be punished, as medieval polemicists and later scholars alike have argued, Wyclif and many Wycliffite writers instead ascribed to good deeds an essential role in the process of salvation. A majority of lay heresy suspects agreed, and only a few defendants endorsed predestinarian views after the turn of the sixteenth century. This trend suggests that many dissenters were hesitant to abandon the dominant religious world view of the Middle Ages. Ecclesiastically sponsored sermons, poems, plays, and other texts often privileged the need to perform good works over and above the operation of grace, and whilst lollard dissenters were not enthusiastic about such practices as indulgences and bequests for soul‐masses, the underlying logic of their soteriologies was strikingly similar.

Keywords: Lollard; Wyclif; salvation; works; grace; sermons; predestination; trials

Chapter.  19687 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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