Wycliff and Tyndale

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Does anyone know of some well-researched books on these two from a Catholic Perspective. Too often, it seems, we get one side of a story. I think of this particularly with respect to Galileo who was censored less for his astronomical speculations as for his unbearable arrogance and insulting demeanor. (Neither constitutes a good reason for censorship, but it becomes more understandable when one analyzes the whole event from an interpersonal rather than a theological perspective.)

One of the great "black marks" on the Catholic record is the persecution of men like Wycliff and Tyndale in their attempts to translate the Bible. These men are often made out to be martyrs to the truth, but I suspect there is something more to the tale that does not often emerge in partisan retellings. So if you all have any recommendations, they would be welcome.

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There might be something appropriate on Wycliffe at this web address:


You know I hate to say it, but yes, indeed, they are martyrs of a sort, to truth and liberty, but it has more to do with liberty from state tyranny than from Churchly repression, although in their time it was sometimes hard to distinguish the two. In any case, I'll advance, without either evidence or argument, that they were enemies of the state, rather than enemies of the Church, no matter what people thought at the time.

Oh, and I'm most relieved to hear you and yours are in one piece. You know, there just might be something to this prayer business.

Peace to all.

You are probably aware of this but subfield of English history and literature dealing with this is Lollard studies. Using "Lollard" as bibliographic keyword will get you an awful lot of interesting work situated firmly in the late medieval English context.

--Abe Delnore

Dear Mr. Delnore,

Thanks for the info. I knew of the association of the word Lollard, but wasn't clear on what significance it might have had. Thanks for the tip.





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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 7, 2004 12:56 PM.

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