Title Background

Langland’s Theology.

Langland’s Theology.

Finds as a general tendency of WL’s thought an emphasis on individual redemption rather than on the redemption of society; WL never assumes that the relief of social ills is a worthy end in itself nor does he expect that our efforts in demonstrating fidelity and love in a flawed human society can save the city of man. He is interested in salvation, rather than perfection, and emphasizes baptism and penance. His eschatological approach to ultimate reality is both vertical (in its atemporal path from spiritual mediation and vision) and horizontal (through salvation history and apocalyptic). Regarding grace, WL is “semi-Pelagian” in emphasizing the primacy of good works; and the pardon scene shows that God will never deny his grace to one who does his best. God owes no one anything, but is under a self-imposed obligation to honor good works to an extent dependent on the spiritual condition of the agent. Accepts Bloomfield’s characterization of WL’s essentially traditional, Augustinian (i.e. amillennial) eschatology. WL invites our consideration of the Angelic Pope or Last World Emperor only to belie in the Antichrist scene any hopes for a “mundane deliverance at the hands of a messiah made in our own image.” WL’s anti-intellectualism, biblicism, and suspicion of the Dionysian tradition of speculative meditation seem to link him to monastic thought. The influence of the moderni is not yet conclusive. Similarities with Wycliffite thinking are either coincidental (as partaking of a larger anticlericalism) or do not stand close scrutiny.


Alford, Companion to PPl, 87-114.

Cross Reference



Adams, Robert.