A Companion to Lollardy


The last twenty-five years have seen an explosion of scholarly studies on lollardy, the late medieval religious phenomenon that has often been credited with inspiring the English Reformation. In A Companion to Lollardy, Patrick Hornbeck sums up what we know about lollardy and what have been its fortunes in the hands of its most recent chroniclers. This volume describes trends in the study of lollardy and explores the many individuals, practices, texts, and beliefs that have been called lollard.

Joined by Mishtooni Bose and Fiona Somerset, Hornbeck assesses how scholars and polemicists, literary critics and ecclesiastics have defined lollardy and evaluated its significance, showing how lollardy has served as a window on religion, culture, and society in late medieval England.

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J. Patrick Hornbeck II (DPhil Oxford 2007) is Chair and Associate Professor of Theology at Fordham University in New York. He is the author or editor of five books on lollards and lollardy, including What Is a Lollard? Dissent and Belief in Late Medieval England (2010).

Fiona Somerset (PhD Cornell 1995) is Professor of English and Medieval Studies at the University of Connecticut. Recent books include Feeling like Saints: Lollard Writings after Wyclif (2014) and Truth and Tales: Medieval Popular Culture and the Written Word (2015).

Mishtooni Bose (DPhil Oxford 1994) is Christopher Tower Student and Tutor in Medieval Poetry in English at Christ Church, University of Oxford. She is co-editor of Wycliffite Controversies (2011) and author of numerous articles and essays on late medieval English literature and culture.
“both accessible to students and useful to researchers […] It brings together a large body of research and introduces it to the uninitiated. It will also serve as an invaluable resource for anyone with knowledge of the field. […] All of the chapters provide excellent surveys [...] A major milestone.”
Rob Lutton, University of Nottingham. In: Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 68. No. 4 (October 2017), pp. 859-860.

Table of Abbreviations

1 Introduction: The Study of Lollardy

1.1 The formation of lollard studies
1.1.1 Terminological quandaries
1.2 The terminology of lollard studies

2 The People

2.1 John Wyclif
2.2 “Fellows and helpers”
2.3 Lollard knights
2.4 Later lollards
2.5 Lollard communities
2.6 Conclusions

3 Their Practices

3.1 Preaching and teaching
3.2 Lollard spirituality

4 Their Writings
Contributed by Fiona Somerset

4.1 Rapid, large-scale production.
4.1.1 The Floretum and Rosarium
4.1.2 The Wycliffite Bible
4.1.3 The Glossed Gospels
4.1.4 The English Wycliffite Sermons
4.1.5 Rolle’s English Psalter, Revised Version (RV) 1, RV2, and RV3
4.2 Independent projects
4.2.1 Spinoffs from Phase 1
4.2.2 Works that translate or cite Wyclif
4.2.3 Writings by named authors associated with Wycliffism
4.2.4 Anonymous declarative or confessional writings
4.2.5 Lollard learning
4.2.6 Writings in Verse
4.2.7 Prose Dialogues
4.2.8 Lollard anthologies: some representative lollard manuscripts
4.3 Recension and diffusion
4.3.1 Individual texts
4.3.2 Compilation-texts
4.3.3 Manuscript compilations

5 Their Beliefs

5.1 Salvation and grace
5.2 The sacraments
5.2.1 Sacraments of initiation: baptism and confirmation
5.2.2 The eucharist
5.2.3 Penance
5.2.4 Sacraments for states of life: marriage and holy orders
5.2.5 Extreme unction
5.3 The church and mainstream religious practice
5.3.1 Devotions and other religious practices
5.4 Conclusions

6 Their Opponents
Contributed by Mishtooni Bose

6.1 Chronology

7 Their Trials

7.1 The inquisitorial process
7.2 The making of records
7.3 A survey of the extant records
7.4 Conclusions

8 Their Afterlife

8.1 Lollards and lollard communities in the sixteenth century
8.2 England and Bohemia
8.3 Lollard literature and the new reforms
8.4 Historiography and lollardy



All interested in religion, culture, and society in late medieval England; undergraduate and postgraduate students, specialists, and educated readers concerned with lollardy, John Wyclif, and the history of Christian heresies.
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