Review Of "Philosophy And Politics In The Thought Of John Wyclif" By S. E. Lahey

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Fourteenth-century English thinker John Wyclif is best known as the first translator of the whole Bible into English and for his influence on the Lollard movement, which attempted to reform the church through the empowerment of the laity. Most striking was his call for the king to assume a direct role in the reform of the church, given the way this theme played itself out in the English Reformation under Henry VIII and Elizabeth. Most scholars have been primarily interested in Wyclif's political and ecclesiastical ideas, neglecting the philosophical treatises he produced during his Oxford years. As a result, they have tended to discount a connection between his realism of universals and his program of church reform. In this careful and erudite study Lahey (Le Moyne College) shows that the two are so intimately connected that Wyclif's practical treatises are infused with the same theological vision as his early theoretical works. Although the study occasionally presumes previous knowledge of medieval thought, it is generally accessible to advanced students and to scholars. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.


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