John Wycliffe — English Theologian died on December 30, 1384
John Wycliffe was an English scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher at Oxford in England. He was an influential dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. His followers were known as Lollards, a somewhat rebellious movement, which preached anticlerical and biblically-centred reforms. The Lollard movement was a precursor to the Protestant Reformation. He has been characterized as the evening star of scholasticism and the Morning Star of the Reformation. He was one of the earliest opponents of papal authority over secular power. In assessing Wycliffe’s historical role, Lacey Baldwin Smith argues that Wycliffe expounded three doctrines that the established church recognized as major threats. First was his emphasis upon an individual's interpretation of the Bible as the best guide to a moral life, as opposed to the Church’s emphasis on receiving its sacraments as the only way to salvation. Second, he insisted that holiness of an individual was more important than official office; that is, a truly pious lay person was morally superior to a wicked ordained cleric. Wycliffe challenged the privileged status of the clergy, which was central to their powerful role in England. Finally he attacked the exorbitant luxury and pomp of the churches and their ceremonies... (wikipedia)
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