Erasmus and the Age of Reformation (Torchbooks)

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9780061300196: Erasmus and the Age of Reformation (Torchbooks)

Excerpt: ...eggs his German friends on to write against Lee and to ridicule him in all his folly and brag, and then he assures all his English friends: 'All Germany is literally furious with Lee; I have the greatest trouble in keeping them back'. Alack! Germany had other causes of disturbance: it is 1520 and the three great polemics of Luther were setting the world on fire. Though one may excuse the violence and the petty spitefulness of Erasmus in this matter, as resulting from an over-sensitive heart falling somewhat short in really manly Pg 136 qualities, yet it is difficult to deny that he failed completely to understand both the arguments of his adversaries and the great movements of his time. It was very easy for Erasmus to mock the narrow-mindedness of conservative divines who thought that there would be an end to faith in Holy Scripture as soon as the emendation of the text was attempted. '"They correct the Holy Gospel, nay, the Pater Noster itself!" the preacher exclaims indignantly in the sermon before his surprised congregation. As if I cavilled at Matthew and Luke, and not at those who, out of ignorance and carelessness, have corrupted them. What do people wish? That the Church should possess Holy Scripture as correct as possible, or not?' This reasoning seemed to Erasmus, with his passionate need of purity, a conclusive refutation. But instinct did not deceive his adversaries, when it told them that doctrine itself was at stake if the linguistic judgement of a single individual might decide as to the correct version of a text. And Erasmus wished to avoid the inferences which assailed doctrine. He was not aware of the fact that his conceptions of the Church, the sacraments and the dogmas were no longer purely Catholic, because they had become subordinated to his philological insight. He could not be aware of it because, in spite of all his natural piety and his fervent ethical sentiments, he lacked the mystic insight which is the foundation of...

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Product Description:

This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

About the Author:

Huizinga, one of Europe's greatest historians, was educated at the universities of Groningen and Leipzig. After teaching history in Haarlem and lecturing in Indian literature at Amsterdam, he was professor of history first at Groningen (1905-15) and then at Leiden until 1942, when he was held as a hostage by the Nazis. He remained under open arrest until his death in 1945.

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