ANDREW GAŁKA OF DOBCZYN (Andrzej Gałka z Dobczyna—Jędrzej z Dobczyna near Śrem in Great Poland)—a philosopher, a representative of the conciliar movement, and a follower of Wycliffe, b. around 1400, d. around 1451.
He was a propagator of naturalistic views. He sought a natural foundation even in the Church which he saw not only as the mystical body but also as a social and political reality governed by the natural laws of society. He was a representative of fifteenth century practicism.
He began studies in the department of arts at the Kraków Academy in 1420. In 1422 he became a bachelor and in 1425 obtained the title of master. From 1429 to 1449 he was a lecturer in that department and was the dean of the department twice (in 1436 and 1444). From 1439 to 1449 he was a canon in the Church of St. Florian in Kraków. At the beginning of 1449, for a reason not completely known (probably on account of some moral offence) he was excluded from the college of the department and removed from the post of canon. Bishop Zbigniew Oleśnicki ordered him to do penance in the Cistercian Cloister in Mogiła. Soon he faced a trial under the Inquisition. The trial was to take place in Kraków. The writings of Wycliffe and others who were regarded as heretics had been found among Andrew’s book collections and were confiscated. The books were the grounds for the trial. Because of this threat, Andrew Gałka left Mogiła and took shelter with Prince Bolek of Głogów-Opole. Prince Bolek supported the Hussites and fought the clergy over the tithe. Andrew wrote three letters defending his religious views: to Bishop Oleśnicki who was trying without success to have Andrew extradited; to the professors of the Kraków Academy (those addressed in the letter include John of Ludziski, John Elgot, John Kanty, and Benedict Hesse); and a letter to a certain magnate, probably P. Szafraniec, chamberlain of Kraków. Andrew is regarded as the author of Songs about Wycliffe (Cantilena vulgaris) written in Polish. It came with a Latin commentary and writings against the Pope’s secular power and the material wealth of the Church (annotated edition, NKorbut). In these letters Andrew criticized the actions of Bishop Oleśnicki, accusing him of an attitude inconsistent with the Gospels or the law. He also criticized the intellectual level of the Kraków professors, saying that they were ignorant and that from the founding of the Academy to the present none of them had been able to present correctly the doctrine of the universals. While he criticized the professors of the Kraków Academy, he extolled the doctrines of Wycliffe.
None of Andrew’s manuscripts from his time as a teacher have survived. The above-mentioned letter to the professors of Kraków suggests that Andrew Gaঁka held to Wycliffe’s ultra-realist position in the question of universals. In the Liber promotionum a note appears beside his name: haereticus pessimus cum quo disputabant omnes (the worst heretic with whom everyone disputed).
J. Garbacik, PBS VII, 255–258; J. Zathey, Gdzie jest rękopis “Pieśni o Wiklikie” [Where is the manuscript of “Songs about Wycliffe”], Pamiętnik Literacki [Literary Memorial] (1954); idem “Pie÷ni o Wiklifie” i jej zapomniana melodia [“Songs about Wycliffe” and its forgotten melody], ibidem 3 (1955); H. M. Świderska, A Polish follower of Wikliff in the XVthe Cent., University of Birmingham Historical Journal 6 (1957); NKorbut II 178–184; S. Kolbuszewski, Herezja kanonika Jędrzeja Gałki [Heresy of Canon Andrew Gałka], Wr 1964.