Originally Posted by kaskade
perhaps the fact that they apeared at different times and Lollard came back as an underground movement during the reformation era...?
What separates the Lollard movement from the Lutheran Reformation is how successful they were. Wycliffe and the Lollards didn't have two important things:
1) The Lollards had little to no support from the major political figures in England.
Outside of John of Gaunt, the Lollards had little protection. Though they were able to get protection from some of the lesser nobles, they simply weren't able to gather the high profile support that Martin Luther had.
Think about who protected Luther. Frederick the Wise had royal standing AND was willing to protect Luther. It all came to a head at Augsburg when many of the German princes decided to back Luther's ideas instead of conceding their rights to Charles V.
Anyway, the backing that Luther received as opposed to what the Lollards received was significant.
2) The invention of the printing press came about 35 years after the height of the Lollard movement. The invention of the printing press allowed Luther's ideas to spread faster, cheaper, and more efficiently...something the Lollards didn't have.
The Lollard movement didn't have the wide spread publicity that Luther's ideas had. The movement really focused on the preaching of the bible toward the lesser members of society as well as toward the lowest ranking members of the clergy. These "poor preachers" traveled throughout England...some of the them traveled to Bohemia to spread Wycliffe's ideas (eventually, his ideas would influence John Huss who would be executed for heresy in Rome, I believe). With everything written by hand, it was up to those poor preachers to spread those ideas. Having to watch every step they made, I'm sure it was quite difficult for them to be out constantly preaching. While there are some Lollard tracts out there, it was few and far between....it certainly wasn't enough to allow those ideas to disseminate through England effectively.
However, the invention of the printing press allowed for Luther's ideas to spread so much faster to many more people. With Anti-clerical sentiment as high as it was, it didn't take much for his ideas to resonate with the people. The quick dissemination of ideas made it very difficult for the Church to stay on top of it. It also didn't help the Papacy believed that Luther wasn't a huge threat to them. By the time they acted, Luther's ideas were (for the most part) firmly in place.