Encounters with a Radical Erasmus: Erasmus' Work as a Source by P.G. Bietenholz

By P.G. Bietenholz

Although Erasmus is now accredited as a harbinger of liberal traits in mainstream Christian theology, the novel - even subversive - features of his paintings have obtained much less cognizance. starting with a redefinition of the time period radicalism, Peter G. Bietenholz examines the ways that the unconventional features of Erasmus' writings encouraged radical reactions between 16th- and seventeenth-century readers.

Bietenholz examines the demanding situations to orthodoxy in Erasmus' scholarly paintings at the New testomony and the ways that they inspired generations of thinkers, together with John Milton and Sir Isaac Newton. Turning to different points of Erasmus' writings, the writer indicates the ways that his competition to warfare inspired radical manifestations of pacifism; how his reflections on freedom of proposal and spiritual toleration elicited either hot approval and fierce rejection; and the methods his serious perspective helped foster the early smooth tradition of Scepticism.

An attractive examine Erasmus' theological, philosophical and socio-political impact, Encounters with an intensive Erasmus will end up beneficial to students of humanism, theology, the Reformation and Renaissance.

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Extra resources for Encounters with a Radical Erasmus: Erasmus' Work as a Source of Radical Thought in Early Modern Europe

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The dubious honour of moving Erasmus to the fountainhead of modern Antitrinitarianism belongs to Edward Lee. While studying in Louvain, Lee, a future archbishop of York, reacted to the first two editions of the New Testament by raising concerns that were evidently shared by other conservative theologians. 4 Above all, Lee was the first to zero in on what is known today as the Comma Johanneum. This refers to a clause in the First Letter of John (1 John 5:7–8) that was commonly found in the Latin Vulgate.

That conclusion only strengthened his desire for a spontaneous spiritual encounter with the Son of God on the basis of a common humanity. With an awareness rooted much deeper than reasoning, though not averse to reason, Erasmus believed that for Christ to be the exemplary model of humankind he had to be seen as insecure at times and capable of suffering. By comparison with the human Jesus, the Christ, second person of the Deity and humanity’s redeemer from original sin, would need to pale. Erasmus’ frequent avowals of Christ’s divinity notwithstanding, a number of his statements continued to cause unease even among his friends.

That conclusion only strengthened his desire for a spontaneous spiritual encounter with the Son of God on the basis of a common humanity. With an awareness rooted much deeper than reasoning, though not averse to reason, Erasmus believed that for Christ to be the exemplary model of humankind he had to be seen as insecure at times and capable of suffering. By comparison with the human Jesus, the Christ, second person of the Deity and humanity’s redeemer from original sin, would need to pale. Erasmus’ frequent avowals of Christ’s divinity notwithstanding, a number of his statements continued to cause unease even among his friends.

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