What’s a theologians favorite lawn game? Duck, duck, Hus!

I should have known better, but finding useful sources was more difficult than I figured it would be.   Initial difficulties were experienced in the mere fact that there is disagreement on how to spell “Wycliffe”. As I mention in the paper, there are a number of variants, including but not limited to: Wyclife, Wyclif, Wyclyffe, Wyclyfe, and Wickliffe. Jan Hus’ name is often anglicised to John Huss, because of the close relationship of Hus’ and Wycliffe’s theologies. Some of the online sources St. Olaf is supposed to have access to through something at Carleton are unavailable. That was annoying. Another annoying thing was that all of the primary sources written by Wycliffe that Rolvaag owns were in dire disrepair, eg. pages falling out, and destroyed bindings. This included such gems as Tractatus de Universalibus.

Some sources I was able to use included Advocates of Reform, from Wyclif to Erasmus by Matthew Spinka. Spinka does a wonderful job of framing the reformer in question before including carefully selected writings from the reformer. However, while this source was good for getting a concise background of both Wycliffe’s and Hus’ theology, music is mentioned nowhere in the book. I was also pleased to find Writings of the Reverend and Learned John Wickliffe. Although it was published in 1831, this book contained documents of Wycliffe actually talking about music, as well as quoting the very same passage from Augustine that appears in Weiss/Taruskin. This short and sweet little passage showed not only Wycliffe’s admiration of Augustine, but that their similarities in theology led to the same concerns in music. Finally in my research on Hus, I was able to find his views on music in an article entitled “Jan Hus : Religious Reform and Social Revolution in Bohemia” by Thomas A. Fudge. In it, I found the same Augustinian fears once again, and was happily surprised by the slight quirkiness of Hus. This is not wholly surprising. Hus was an ardent follower of Wycliffe, so much so that he was burned at the stake 102 years before Luther posted the 95 Theses.

Although the sources I did find were good ones, I need to find a more diverse collection of sources if I am to get a more balanced understanding of these theologians and their thoughts on music. I was successful, however, successful in linking Augustine to Luther theologically via Wycliffe and Hus.

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