Convergent paths: the correspondence between Wycliffe, Hus and the early Quakers

Zemaitis, Daniel Staley (2012). Convergent paths: the correspondence between Wycliffe, Hus and the early Quakers. University of Birmingham. Th.D.


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This dissertation examines the correspondence in theology, practice and social views between Early Quakers and John Wycliffe and John Hus (QWH), founders of the late-medieval heretical sects the Lollards and Hussites. It discusses the diversity of religious experience that characterized the first generation of ‘Early Quakers,’ and argues the end of early Quakerism as 1678, when the Quaker establishment completed enforcement of greater conformity in belief and practice. The dissertation examines Wycliffe and the Lollards and Hus and the Hussites, placing them in an experiential religious tradition and exploring their belief in the need to return to a primitive church in reaction to the perceived apostasy of the Catholic Church. By focusing on possible modes of dissemination of Wycliffe’s and Hus’ ideas and personal stories in works such as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, the thesis concludes that there exists a close correspondence among QWH respecting the following characteristics: (1) accessibility of Christ’s message; (2) belief in the visible and invisible church; (3) biblical authority; (4) personal understanding of Scripture; (5) opposition to established churches; (6) return to a ‘primitive church’; (7) attitudes toward reforming society; (8) the imminence of Christ’s return; and (9) the role of women.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Th.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Th.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion, Department of Theology and Religion
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology


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