• Erasmus called it living like Jesus Christ.
  • Erasmus revolted against the study of theology.
  • It became one of Erasmus' most influential works.”

How do we know that these books are not supposed to be “divine promises?” The answer is Erasmus had no idea that they had existed.

Erasmus will also go to work on a Greek version of the New Testament.

It is usually attributed to Erasmus because of its style.

Erasmus’ construction was influenced by Thomas More’s intention of social conflict in England.
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His residence in the Netherlands, exposed Erasmus to much criticism from those ascetics, academicians and clerics hostile to the principles of literary and religious reform and the loose norms of the Renaissance adherents to which he was devoting his life. However, feeling that this lack of sympathy was actually a form of mental persecution, he sought refuge in Basel, where under the shelter of Swiss hospitality he could express himself. Here he was associated for many years with the great publisher Johann Froben, and to him came the multitude of his admirers from all quarters of Europe. Erasmus also greatly influenced the leader of the Reformation in Switzerland Huldrych Zwingli.

Paul from the Bible, quoted by Erasmus here.

Now trained, Erasmus would enter the order of the Augustinian Monk, and so will Martin Luther.
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When the city of Basel was definitely and officially "reformed" in 1529, Erasmus gave up his residence there and settled in the imperial town of Freiburg-im-Breisgau. It would seem as if he found it easier to maintain his neutrality under Roman Catholic than under Protestant conditions. His literary activity continued with out much abatement, chiefly on the lines of religious and didactic composition. The most important work of this last period is the Ecclesiastes or "Gospel Preacher" (Basel, 1535), in which he brings out the function of preaching as the most important office of the Christian priest, an emphasis which shows how essentially Protestant his inner thought of Christianity was. The same impression comes from his little tract of 1533 on "Preparation for Death," in which the emphasis throughout is on the importance of a good life as the essential condition of a happy death.


as the great hope of the Catholic Church, should stand up against ..

Erasmus argued, if one wants accuracy, one must go to the original languages to achieve accuracy.
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In this way Erasmus came into closer relations with German humanism, and his influence did much to increase its prestige in south-western Germany, inasmuch as the followers of the "new learning" in Basle, Constance, Schlettstadt, and Strasburg, looked up to him as their leader.

This allowed Erasmus an opportunity to mingle with European’s finest society.
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At that stage it was far from clear that Luther would be successful and if he were to be defeated that would mean a cold winter ahead for the more liberal thinkers within the Church. However, he never denounced Luther and in 1521 his position within the Netherlands became untenable. Unlike Germany the Reformation had no protection from local Counts or Dukes as the Netherlands was rapidly brought under the central control of the Habsburg rulers, who were staunch Catholics. As a consequence the Netherlands suffered Europe’s most severe clash between the Reformation and the authoritarian attitude of the rulers. This became a key precursor of the Dutch Revolts which would start a few decades later. For Erasmus there was no other way than to ‘flee’ to Switzerland, never to return to his mother land again.

Desiderius Erasmus - a summary: History In An Hour

For him Christian Humanism was not just a revolution in learning, studies and secular culture but also in religious thought, piety, philosophy and art. For him humanism also had to lead to a deepening of the scholar’s commitment to Christ. Thanks to Erasmus humanism made greater stride in the Low Countries than in any other part of northern Europe and its intellectual influence played a key role in developments to come including the Reformation and the Dutch Revolt..

Read the fascinating story of Erasmus, ..

After Deventer Erasmus completed his studies at a monastery of the Brethren of the Common Life in Den Bosch. Interestingly he studied in Den Bosch, at the same time as the famous artist Hieronymus Bosch painted his remarkable works, which have many humanist overtones, it is unknown if the two actually met but Den Bosch certainly had an active early humanist community. Hieronymus was unique amongst Dutch painters who at that time all still were very much working on the typical traditional medieval religious works of art.

Protestant Reformation: Desiderius Erasmus - Reformation

Erasmus also played a key role in spreading humanism further into the Low Countries and the rest of northern Europe. From places such as Deventer humanism first spread via the (civic) Latin schools in Holland, Brabant and Flanders.

Desiderius Erasmus Protest Against the Church ..

The important position that Erasmus during the Late Middle Ages was very much influenced by his monastic education and in particular by the Brethren of the Common Life (see above), where he gleaned the importance of a personal relationship with God. He attended the Latin school in Deventer between 1475 and 1484 where he followed lectures from among others Rudolph Agricola, who was another key player in the Modern Devotion and Religious Humanism..