A journal of academic theology

John Wyclif: Christian Patience in a Time of War

[John Wyclif (d. 1384) was well acquainted with the medieval traditions of just war and crusading articulated by theologians and canon lawyers. Yet he had become disillusioned with a Christian society that exploited these traditions to pursue destructive policies of repression and conquest, thereby forsaking the eternal Law of Christ. For Wyclif, the Law of Christ calls upon Christians to conform themselves to the poor and humble Christ of the Gospels. While Wyclif never rejected the possibility of a just war in principle, he believed that it was all but impossible in practice. Even where a nation might have a just claim, the better path is always the way of Christ, suffering evil patiently rather than inflicting sufferings upon one’s neighbor.]

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