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Peter Chelcicky

c.1390-1460. Founder of the Chelcic Brethren. A layman of earnest piety, he came under the influence of the writings of John Wycliffe* and made known his ideas in Prague from about 1420. He condemned or rejected the worldly power of the church and the use of secular force in spiritual matters. He did not believe the monastic life was valid as a service to God, and he worked for a reconstruction of society based on a mystical doctrine of the Body of Christ. With his followers, known as the Chelcic Brethren, and other likeminded people influenced by Archbishop Rokycana, he helped to sow the seeds from which the later Bohemian Brethren* movement was to grow. Among his books are Netz des wahren Glaubens (1455) and Postilla (1434-36). He died in Chicice, S Bohemia.