Jan Hus

Jan Hus

{{Infobox philosopher |region = Western philosophy |era = Renaissance philosophy |color = lightsteelblue |image = BildnisJanHus1562.jpg |image_size = 250px |caption = |name = Jan Hus |other_names = John Hus, John Huss or Jan Huss |birth_date = 1369 |birth_place = Husinec, Kingdom of Bohemia (now Czech Republic) |died_date = July 6, 1415 (aged 45–46)

|death_place = Executed (burned at the stake) 6 July 1415 (aged ca. 45) Konstanz, Bishopric of Constance, Holy Roman Empire (now Geligious denomination, and, more than a century later, on Martin Luther himself.[1] He was burned at the stake for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church, including those on ecclesiology, the Eucharist, and other theological topics.

After his death in 1415, the followers of Hus's religious teachings (known as Hussites) rebelled against their Roman Catholic rulers and defeated five consecutive papal crusades between 1420 and 1431 in what became known as the Hussite Wars.[2] A century later, as many as 90% of inhabitants of the Czech lands were non-Catholic and some still follow the teachings of Hus and his successors.[3]

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Papal schism 2.1
      • Kutná Hora Decree 2.1.1
  • Early life 3
  • Career 4
    • Papal schism 4.1
      • Kutná Hora Decree 4.1.1
      • Alexander V becomes Antipope 4.1.2
      • Excommunication of Hus 4.1.3
      • Indulgences 4.1.4
      • Crusade against Naples 4.1.5

Early life

Hus was born in Husinec, Bohemia, in 1369. At an early age he traveled to Prague, where he supported himself by singing and serving in churches. His conduct was positive and his commitment to his studies was remarkable.[4] In 1393, Hus earned the degree of Bachelor of Arts at the University of Prague, and he earned his master's degree in 1396. In 1400, he was ordained as a priest. In 1402 Hus began preaching inside the city demanding for the reformation of the Church. He served as rector of the University of Prague in 1402–03. He was appointed a preacher at the newly built Bethlehem chapel around the same time. Hus was a strong advocate for the Czechs, and therefore the Realists, and he was influenced by the writings of John Wycliffe. Although church authorities banned many works of Wycliffe in 1403, Hus translated Trialogus into Czech and helped to distribute it.[4]

Career

Hus tried to reform the church by delineating the moral failings of clergy, bishops, and even the papacy from his pulpit. Archbishop Zbyněk Zajíc tolerated this, and even appointed Hus as preacher to the clergy's biennial synod. On 24 June 1405, Pope Innocent VII, however, directed the Archbishop to counter Wycliffe's heretical teachings, especially the doctrine of impanation in the Eucharist. The archbishop complied by issuing a synodal decree against Wycliffe, as well as forbidding any further attacks on the clergy.[4]

In 1406, two Bohemian students brought a document to Prague bearing the seal of the University of Oxford that praised Wycliffe. Hus proudly read the document from his pulpit. Then in 1408, Pope Gregory XII warned Archbishop Zajic that the Church in Rome had been informed of Wycliffe's heresies and of King Wenceslaus's sympathies for non-conformists. In response, the king and University ordered all of Wycliffe's writings surrendered to the archdiocesan chancery for correction. Hus obeyed, declaring that he condemned the errors in those writings.[4]

Papal schism

At this time (1408) the Charles University in Prague was divided by the Western Schism, in which Gregory XII in Rome and Benedict XIII in Avignon both claimed the papacy. Wenceslaus felt Gregory XII might interfere with his plans to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor. He denounced Gregory, ordered the clergy in Bohemia to observe a strict neutrality in the schism, and said that he expected the same of the University. Archbishop Zajíc remained faithful to Gregory. At the University, only the scholars of the Bohemian "nation" (one of the four governing sections), with Hus as their leader, vowed neutrality.

Kutná Hora Decree

At the instigation of Hus and other Bohemian leaders, King Wenceslaus decreed (in Kutná Hora) that the "Bohemian nation" would have three votes (instead of one) in University affairs, while the Bavarian, Saxon, and Polish "nations" would have only one vote in total. As a consequence, between five thousand and twenty thousand foreign doctors, masters, and students left Prague in 1409. This exodus resulted in the founding of the University of Leipzig, among others. Thus Charles University lost its international importance and became a strictly Czech school. The emigrants also spread news of the Bohemian "heresies" throughout the rest of Europe. Archbishop Zajíc became isolated and Hus was at the height of his fame. He became

Jan Hus
Born 1369
Husinec, Kingdom of Bohemia (now Czech Republic)
Died Executed (burned at the stake) 6 July 1415 (aged ca. 45) Konstanz, Bishopric of Constance, Holy Roman Empire (now Germany)
Other names John Hus, John Huss or Jan Huss
Era Renaissance philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Hussite
Main interests
Theology

Jan Hus (Czech pronunciation:  ( ); c. 1369 – 6 July 1415), often referred to in English as John Hus or John Huss, was a Czech priest, philosopher, reformer and master at Charles University in Prague. After John Wycliffe, the theorist of ecclesiastical Reformation, Hus is considered the first Church reformer, as he lived before Luther, Calvin and Zwingli.

Hus was a key predecessor to the Protestant movement of the sixteenth century, and his teachings had a strong influence on the states of Europe, most immediately in the approval of a reformist Bohemian religious denomination, and, more than a century later, on Martin Luther himself.[5] He was burned at the stake for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church, including those on ecclesiology, the Eucharist, and other theological topics.

After his death in 1415, the followers of Hus's religious teachings (known as Hussites) rebelled against their Roman Catholic rulers and defeated five consecutive papal crusades between 1420 and 1431 in what became known as the Hussite Wars.[6] A century later, as many as 90% of inhabitants of the Czech lands were non-Catholic and some still follow the teachings of Hus and his successors.[7]

Early life

Hus was born in Husinec, Bohemia, in 1369. At an early age he traveled to Prague, where he supported himself by singing and serving in churches. His conduct was positive and his commitment to his studies was remarkable.[4] In 1393, Hus earned the degree of Bachelor of Arts at the University of Prague, and he earned his master's degree in 1396. In 1400, he was ordained as a priest. In 1402 Hus began preaching inside the city demanding for the reformation of the Church. He served as rector of the University of Prague in 1402–03. He was appointed a preacher at the newly built Bethlehem chapel around the same time. Hus was a strong advocate for the Czechs, and therefore the Realists, and he was influenced by the writings of John Wycliffe. Although church authorities banned many works of Wycliffe in 1403, Hus translated Trialogus into Czech and helped to distribute it.[4]

Career

Hus tried to reform the church by delineating the moral failings of clergy, bishops, and even the papacy from his pulpit. Archbishop Zbyněk Zajíc tolerated this, and even appointed Hus as preacher to the clergy's biennial synod. On 24 June 1405, Pope Innocent VII, however, directed the Archbishop to counter Wycliffe's heretical teachings, especially the doctrine of impanation in the Eucharist. The archbishop complied by issuing a synodal decree against Wycliffe, as well as forbidding any further attacks on the clergy.[4]

In 1406, two Bohemian students brought a document to Prague bearing the seal of the University of Oxford that praised Wycliffe. Hus proudly read the document from his pulpit. Then in 1408, Pope Gregory XII warned Archbishop Zajic that the Church in Rome had been informed of Wycliffe's heresies and of King Wenceslaus's sympathies for non-conformists. In response, the king and University ordered all of Wycliffe's writings surrendered to the archdiocesan chancery for correction. Hus obeyed, declaring that he condemned the errors in those writings.[4]

Papal schism

At this time (1408) the Charles University in Prague was divided by the Western Schism, in which Gregory XII in Rome and Benedict XIII in Avignon both claimed the papacy. Wenceslaus felt Gregory XII might interfere with his plans to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor. He denounced Gregory, ordered the clergy in Bohemia to observe a strict neutrality in the schism, and said that he expected the same of the University. Archbishop Zajíc remained faithful to Gregory. At the University, only the scholars of the Bohemian "nation" (one of the four governing sections), with Hus as their leader, vowed neutrality.

Kutná Hora Decree

At the instigation of Hus and other Bohemian leaders, King Wenceslaus decreed (in Kutná Hora) that the "Bohemian nation" would have three votes (instead of one) in University affairs, while the Bavarian, Saxon, and Polish "nations" would have only one vote in total. As a consequence, between five thousand and twenty thousand foreign doctors, masters, and students left Prague in 1409. This exodus resulted in the founding of the University of Leipzig, among others. Thus Charles University lost its international importance and became a strictly Czech school. The emigrants also spread news of the Bohemian "heresies" throughout the rest of Europe. Archbishop Zajíc became isolated and Hus was at the height of his fame. He became Rector of the University, and enjoyed the favor of the court. Wycliffe's doctrines also regained favor in Prague.

Alexander V becomes Antipope

In 1409, the Council of Pisa tried to end the schism by electing Alexander V as Pope, but Gregory and Benedict did not submit. (Alexander was declared an "antipope" by the Council of Constance in 1418.)

Hus, his followers, and Wenceslaus transferred their allegiance to Alexander V. Under pressure from Wenceslaus, Archbishop Zajíc did the same. Zajíc then lodged an accusation of "ecclesiastical disturbances" against Wycliffites in Prague with Alexander V.

Excommunication of Hus

On 20 December 1409, Alexander V issued a papal bull that empowered the Archbishop to proceed against Wycliffism in Prague. All copies of Wycliffe's writings were to be surrendered and his doctrines repudiated, and free preaching discontinued. After the publication of the bull in 1410, Hus appealed to Alexander V, but in vain. The Wycliffe books and valuable manuscripts were burned, and Hus and his adherents were excommunicated by Alexander V.

By this time, Hus's ideas had become widely accepted in Bohemia, and there was broad resentment against the Church hierarchy. The attack on Hus by the Pope and Archbishop caused riots in parts of Bohemia. Wenceslaus and his government took the side of Hus, and the power of his adherents increased from day to day. Hus continued to preach in the Bethlehem Chapel. The churches of the city were put under the ban, and the interdict was pronounced against Prague. To protect the city, Hus left and went into the countryside, where he continued to preach and write.[8]

Indulgences

Archbishop Zajíc died in 1411, and with his death the religious movement in Bohemia entered a new phase, where the disputes concerning indulgences assumed great importance.

Crusade against Naples

Alexander V died in 1410, and was succeeded by John XXIII (also later declared an antipope). In 1411, John XXIII proclaimed a crusade against King Ladislaus of Naples, the protector of rival Pope Gregory XII. This crusade was preached in Prague as well. John XXIII also authorized the sale of indulgences to raise money for the war, and priests selling indulgences urged people to crowd the churches and give their offerings. This traffic in indulgences was to some a sign of the corruption of the church.==NZIB/NZOR==