11.2.3 Aspects of Christianity in medieval Europe

The struggle of church dignitaries for worldly power and their failure to take direction from the gospel led to widespread secularisation of the Christian church, which entailed ever increasing moral decay. More and more efforts were made to reform the church. While some truth-seeking individuals sought to serve God through rational knowledge (scholasticism), others attempted to do so in mysticism through the direct experience of the nearness of God.

Individuals like the French merchant Peter Waldo, also called Pierre de Vaux (died before 1218), the English theologian John Wycliffe (1320-1384), and the rector of the University of Prague, Jan Hus (ca. 1369-1415), were consistent critics of the secularised church. The pre-Reformation movements initiated and supported by them affected large parts of Europe and ultimately led to the Reformation.

See also