This introductory chapter presents the background of the study on lollardy animating this book. After a brief discussion of the history of lollardy the chapter turns to a more in-depth overview of the available textual evidence on lollardy—the writings influenced by John Wyclif, and similar—and how previous scholars have interpreted this evidence so far, especially in the midst of controversy surrounding the movement. This chapter also sets forth the research method undertaken for an investigation into lollard affiliations and clarifies pertinent terminologies and preconceptions as to what this book’s overall study will entail. In so doing the chapter aims to equip readers with an eye for subtlety in examining religious writings and in making their own decisions on their affiliations with lollardy.
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