John Wyclif: Scriptural Logic, Real Presence, and the Parameters of Orthodoxy

John Wyclif: Scriptural Logic, Real Presence, and the Parameters of Orthodoxy

John Wyclif: Scriptural Logic, Real Presence, and the Parameters of Orthodoxy

John Wyclif: Scriptural Logic, Real Presence, and the Parameters of Orthodoxy

Synopsis

This study offers an appraisal of John Wyclif's eucharistic theology within the context of some larger medieval developments, none of which can be isolated from one another.

Excerpt

John Wyclif is still best known as the late medieval English theologian who railed against clerical wealth and various ecclesiastical abuses of power. in that vein, he is often spoken of as the progenitor of the Lollards, those religious dissenters responsible for translating the Bible into English and disseminating their views in the vernacular. All of this is accurate, but still remains only part of the story. Wyclif was a prolific writer who produced often massive volumes covering logic, metaphysics, politics, ecclesiology, biblical studies, and sacraments. Recent scholarship has rightly placed Wyclif in his proper context as the late medieval scholastic theologian, rather than the untimely born Protestant Reformer. This is very important, for it means that the depth of his thought is being more fully investigated with relation to his contemporaries. What I have written here focuses upon Wyclif's theology, specifically his eucharistic theology and its intersection with his understanding of Scripture. Two points have especially struck me while reading Wyclif over the last ten years: his sense of commitment to the larger continuum of Catholic tradition, and his placement of Christ, the Incarnate Word, at the heart of that tradition. Scripture, for Wyclif, is ultimately identified with the Eternal Word, and proper devotion to the Eucharist is reverence for the Word Made Flesh who instituted this sacrament. At the center of Wyclif's theology there is always a Living Person.

This book has its origins in my 1997 doctoral dissertation. Although the theme and structure are still close to that project, the content varies significantly in places. the intervening years have provided a time for much learning, and one hopes that is reflected in my attempts to correct errors and expand ideas. I began this process . . .

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