Author: Erika Rummel
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Desiderius Erasmus was one of the most influential writers of his time and widely acclaimed as the principal Northern humanist. He was, however, not only a man of letters but also a shrewd observer of society, a sharp critic of the institutional church, and a scholar on the cutting edge of biblical studies. Although not a systematic philosopher or theologian, he left his stamp on the intellectual milieu of his time and was regarded by Catholic apologists as the inspirational source of the Lutheran reformation.
In this book, Erika Rummel introduces readers to Erasmus' ideas on education, piety, social order, and the epistemology underpinning his thought. The educational program proposed by Erasmus aims at creating a Christian humanist, speaking with Ciceronian eloquence and breathing the spirit of the gospel. The perfect piety envisaged by Erasmus involves a progression from the observance of rites to inner devotion and a love of Christ that guides every action. The ideal social order, according to Erasmus, is hierarchical. He depicts the three estates arranged in concentric circles around Christ, with the clergy closest to him, followed by the nobility and the common people. The Christian prince reflects the qualities of God, whose steward he is. A father-figure to his people, the ruler dispenses justice and provides spiritual leadership. Erasmus' magnum opus, his pioneering edition of the Greek New
This is part of the Outstanding Christian Thinkers series published by Continuum. Series editor, Brian Davies OP, is Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University, New York. The series offers a range of authoritative studies on people and movements who have made an outstanding contribution to Christian thought and understanding. The series ranges across the full spectrum of Christian thought to include Catholic and Protestant thinkers, to cover East and West, and both historical and contemporary figures.
Erika Rummel is Professor Emerita of History (Wilifrid Laurier University), Canada and presently Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. She is the author of several books on Erasmus and Northern Humanism. Professor Rummel is also a member of the editorial board of the Collected Works of Erasmus.
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