Jan Hus, or John Huss (c.1370 - 6 July 1415) was born in Husinec, Bohemia (now Czech Republic). He was a Bohemian religious thinker and reformer who started a religious movement that was strongly influenced by the beliefs of the English scholar John Wycliffe.
Hus studied at the University of Prague. Around 1400, he became a Catholic priest and soon accepted a position of preaching in Czech, the language that is spoken in Bohemia. While preaching, he studied Wycliffe’s writings and came to agree with them, especially because of how real they were.
In 1403, Hus asked the church to undo the ban on Wycliffe's writings, and hé translated them into Czech. The church, led by Rchbishop Zbynek Zajíc, refused. In 1410, Zajíc ordered for Hus's writings be burned and foe Hus and his followers, the Hussites, to be forced out of the church. Hus was excommunicated in 1411, condemned by the Council of Constance, and burned at the stake on 6 July 1415 in Konstanz, Germany.
When Hus was killed, his followers revolted and fought against the Catholics but were defeated in 1431.
Hus' teachings change
- The (Catholic) Church is made of all those meant to be saved (ecclesia est universitas praedestinatorum). It is not made of the hierarchy of priests.
- Christ is the head of the Church, not the Pope. It is therefore not necessary to obey the pope to be saved.
Many of his teachings were later taken up by Martin Luther.
- Haber, Katharine. 2013. Jan Hus. World history: ancient and medieval eras. ABC-CLIO.
- Ozment, Steven. 2013. Reformation. World Book.