I came across the Lollards and Hussites recently on a trip to Prague and although I knew about them before I had not until then really compared them with the Cathars
When the king of Bohemia married an English princess, the Lollard ideas passed to that country, then one of the most enlightened in Europe, and, by the preaching of John Hus, a large part of the nation embraced and developed them.
OK, back up - what king of Bohemia married what English princess before or concurrent with Jan Hus' ministry?
The Hussites scorned the corrupt priests, monks, and nuns, attacked clerical celibacy, confession, the eucharist, and the ritual.
Which is pretty much true of any and all reform movements at that time, so I'm not clear on why these point directly to the Cathars.
Two hundred years of war and savage persecution were needed to suppress them. At one time, most of the nobles of Bohemia were Hussites.
That's a bit misleading, there wasn't a constant state of war and/or persecution lasting two hundred years. There was an often uneasy truce between Catholics and Hussites (and over time, other Protestant creeds) in Bohemia from 1436 to 1620 when Catholicism was re-established as the official religion, but by that time the Hussites were a minority among the various Protestant churches in Bohemia.
This article is interesting, it merges the Cathars with various other sects including the Lollards and its worth reading in its entirety IMHO
Interesting, perhaps, in its inventiveness; but as far as accuracy goes, I'd have to say the credibility is more than a bit strained.
The spiritual kinship between the Lollards and Waldensians directs our attention to the roots of the Waldensian doctrine which lie in Catharism. In fact, Waldo adopts from the Cathars their social vision and organisational model but abandons their complicated dualist mythology.
Vasilev negates his own proposition here. The roots of Waldensian doctrine lie in Catharism, but not in Catharist doctrine. That's tantamount to saying I was for it before I was against it. The Waldenses never "abandoned" the Cathars' dualist mythology, they never adopted it to begin with.
Vasilev sees a similarity of doctrines in the writings of the Lollards and in the evidence of the Norwich heresy trials (1428-31), and those of the Cathars or Bogomils.
If Vasilev wasn't trying to make such a narrow point of reference he might see "similarity of doctrines" with countless other reform movements as well, most of which rejected the very notions of Cathar dualism.
The nineteenth century scholar, J v Görres, says Cathars were also known by such names as Patarini and Piphlers, Beghards and Lollards. It might seem unlikely that doctrines separated by four centuries and a thousand miles could be linked. M D Lambert in his Medieval Heresy.
Forget about the miles and centuries, these doctrines ought not to be linked period
. The Patarins especially, that's a favorite claim of modern neo-Catharists that holds no water at all.
Popular Movements from Bogomil to Hus (1977) thought Cathars used stereotypical aphorisms to initiate a novice that were, even so, adapted, changed and interpreted for different situations. Their use shows a common thread or influence rather than identical meanings, and though Christians will not accept any such influences on their revealed religion, the historian and common sensical people know they are there. The anger of the Bogomils, Cathars and Lollards generated a vivid language which travelled almost unchanged across countries and centuries and was later used by the Protestants in their discourse with Rome.
Yeah, that "common thread or influence" is called anticlerical reform
and the commonality pretty much ends there.
Vasilev shows the myths and beliefs of the Lollards were in the Bogomil-Cathar tradition:
1. Beliefs and myths—the fall of Lucifer, Satan as creator and ruler of the visible world, denial of hell and purgatory,
The fall of Lucifer and the denial of purgatory, yes; the rest, false. Lollards believed that the souls of the dead go immediately to either heaven of hell, there was no middle ground.
2. ritual practices—baptism in the Holy Spirit, preference for the Pater Noster, direct confession to God, denial of Transubstantiation,
Denial of Transubstatiation, but embrace of Consubstantiation, which would have been just as unacceptable to Cathars.
3. anti-clericalism—the official Church is a community of Herod or the Anti-Christ, Church buildings are synagogues, cross-roads or wastelands,
Pretty much all reform movements embraced anticlericalism.
4. denial of the cross and crucifix, of icons (images) and relics of saints,
5. refusal to worship the Virgin and the saints,
Yes, iconoclasm and rejection of intermediaries for intercession - again, not unique to Cathars, but widespread among reform movements.
6. denial of social norms—legal authority and oath taking, condemnation of bloodshed, effective rejection of the feudal system.
All common beliefs in reform movements. Doesn't show "connection" to Cathars per se.
The coincidences can be enriched even further.
Oh, I'm sure of that!
The appellation “good men” (boni homini), “good Christians” (boni christiani), the title of the Perfecti, the spiritual leaders of the Bogomils and Cathars, “is unique in the whole spectrum of medieval heresies and is typical only of the dualists” (Vasilev).
These almost perfect coincidences and astonishing similarities point to the common roots of Bogomilism and Lollardy. Yet, it is surprising that given the well-studied problem concerning the views and beliefs of Lollards, there has been no attempt to trace down their Bogomil-Cathar roots.
Probably because there has never been a reason for it - because it isn't accurate.