Sunday, December 12, 2010

History and Faith of the Moravians - John Huss

Excerpt from "Old Salem - The Official Guidebook" by Penelope Niven and Cornelia Wright (click on the link to purchase your copy). Visit the official website of Old Salem Museums and Gardens
"The history of the Moravians comes to life at Old Salem. A unique religious group, the Moravians made the town of Salem an oasis of beauty and order in the Carolina back-country. Today in the workshops, homes, and gardens of Old Salem, men and women carry on the daily tasks of living just as they were done in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries - crafting beautiful objects, running households and businesses, and  engaging in artistic and musical pursuits. This guide will help you make the most of your visit to Old Salem, one of the most authentic living-history museums in the United States."
History and Faith of the Moravians - John Huss

John Huss
Born sometime between 1369 and 1372 to a poor Bohemian family, John Huss was ordained a Catholic priest and became the head of Charles University in Prague in 1409. A conscientious, dedicated cleric, he was upset by the corruption he saw in the Catholic Church at the time. From the pulpit he challenged the authority and principles of the church and advocated a number of reforms. He spoke up for the right of the people to hear the Mass in their own language rather than in Latin, and to read and interpret the Bible for themselves. He addressed the need to lessen distinctions between the clergy and the laity, including the right of the laity to receive both bread and wine (the body and blood of Christ) in Communion, as opposed to only the bread.

John Huss - His Life, Teachings And Death After Five Hundred Years
John Huss
Huss called upon the Church to conduct its affairs in keeping with the teachings of Jesus and to reform itself accordingly. He was censured by the Church and in 1414 was called to a Church council in Constance, Germany, ostensibly to defend his views. Although the council at Constance recognized the need for certain reforms in the Church, they feared that Huss's ideas were too radical. They condemned him as a heretic and offered him two choices: admit his heresy and live our his life in an isolated cell in a Swedish monastery, or die. Huss chose martyrdom, and was burned at the stake in Constance on July 5, 1415. His followers, the Hussites, carried on his ideas in the faith later reborn as the Unitas Fratrum.

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