One of the most significant thinkers and writers in late medieval England, John Wyclif continues to inspire vigorous debate. Probably the most infamous English heretic in history, Wyclif challenged some of the most deeply held doctrines of the medieval Christian church; yet he did so as a figure of the establishment, holding high office in Oxford University and occupying a significant role in high political circles. His posthumous reputation has been a battlefield between those, often representatives of Catholic orthodoxy, who imagine him as a dangerous rebel and opponent of tradition, and those, such as England's earliest Protestants, who construct him in diametrically opposed terms, as a courageous defender of truth against oppressive institutional structures. Although there is little…

1896 words

Citation: Coleman, David. "John Wyclif". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 October 2007 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=5437, accessed 16 July 2024.]

5437 John Wyclif 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.