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Lollardy was the political and religious movement of the Lollards from the mid-14th century to the English Reformation. The term Lollards refers to the followers of John Wycliffe,[1] a prominent theologian who was dismissed from the University of Oxford in 1381 for criticism of the Church, especially his doctrine on the Eucharist. Its demands were primarily for reform of Western Christianity.



It taught the concept of the "Church of the Saved", meaning that there was an invisible "true Church" of Christ which was the "community of the faithful", which overlapped with but was not the same as the visible Catholic Church.[citation needed] It taught a form of predestination.[citation needed] It advocated apostolic poverty[2] and taxation of Church properties.[3] Other doctrines include consubstantiation in favour of transubstantiation,[citation needed] although some of its followers went further. A Lollard blacksmith in Lincolnshire declared that he could make "as good a sacrament between ii yrons as the prest doth vpon his auter (altar)".[4]


Lollard, Lollardi or Loller was the popular derogatory nickname given to those without an academic background, educated if at all only in English, who were reputed to follow the teachings of John Wycliffe in particular, and were certainly considerably energised by the translation of the Bible into the English language. By the mid-15th century the term lollard had come to mean a 'heretic' in general. The alternative, Wycliffite, is generally accepted to be a more neutral term covering those of similar opinions, but having an academic background.

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