This essay investigates the way Lollardy, a movement of religious dissent founded by the Oxford philosopher John Wyclif, theorized secular authority and conceptualized political community in late medieval England. The extent and influence of Lollardy in English society at large as a heterodox movement that faced brutal persecution and repression, especially after the beginning of the fifteenth century, have always been a matter of debate for scholars. By assessing the movement’s contribution to the development of political society and its presence in public discourse and civic life in late medieval England, my essay suggests that Lollardy as a movement was meaningful politically. The movement’s discourse of politics and governance brought radical change to English society. In particular, my essay scrutinizes the connection between the Lollard program of vernacular literate practice for the laity and the movement’s vision of political community. I suggest that Lollard undertaking in the uses and transmission of texts in the English language, in preaching in English, and in group study and discussion of vernacular writing facilitated the public discussion of ideas that informed, shaped, and expanded the political community.
KEYWORDS: Lollardy, Vernacular Literacy, Popular Preaching, Authority, Political Community, Laity
本文探討英國中世紀晚期的羅拉德派如何建立政權與 政治的理論。因為羅拉德派從十五世紀開始就受到極端的 壓迫和迫害,所以現代學者對羅拉德派以異端教派的身份 對英國社會到底有多少的改變和影響常有疑問。本文探討 羅拉德派對英國政治體與公民社會的貢獻,並指出它在歷 史上的政治義意。羅拉德派的政治理論與它帶給英國社會 的改革有著密切的關係。特別是,本文詳細探討羅拉德派 教徒群眾的白話文知識培養運動以及它對於政治社群的憧 憬之間的關聯。我認為羅拉德派因著手推廣組織性的英語 學習、以英語講道,並討論白話文書寫而促進了社會大眾 普遍的社政教育,更因此促進、塑造、並擴展政治社群的 理念。