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John Wyclif$
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Stephen Edmund Lahey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195183313

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183313.001.0001

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DOMINIUM AS FOUNDATION OF WYCLIF’S POLITICAL AND ECCLESIOLOGICAL VISION

DOMINIUM AS FOUNDATION OF WYCLIF’S POLITICAL AND ECCLESIOLOGICAL VISION

Chapter:
(p.199) 7 DOMINIUM AS FOUNDATION OF WYCLIF’S POLITICAL AND ECCLESIOLOGICAL VISION
Source:
John Wyclif
Author(s):

Stephen E. Lahey (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183313.003.0007

The resolution of the problems threatening Christianity and the church lay, Wyclif argued, in the hands of the civil lord, who ought take absolute control of all temporal affairs of the church, regulating clerical behavior and using Episcopal oversight to assure the right preaching of Christ’s law. Wyclif’s political thought depends on his conception of dominium, a technical term including both property ownership and juridical authority, the use of which had become politically charged during the Poverty Controversy in the century before Wyclif. Franciscans and papal theorists had developed a complex political theoretical framework in their dispute over the nature of Christian ownership of property and the power of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and Wyclif used this structure to articulate his vision of how a grace-favored king might relieve the church of the problems inherent in the ownership of property. Wyclif’s political theory is a significant outgrowth of his philosophical and theological thought, and ought not be considered apart from either.

Keywords:   Dominium, Poverty Controversy, civil lordship, papalism, juridical authority, property ownership

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