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Erasmus and Calvin on the Foolishness of God: Reason and Emotion in the Christian Philosophy

Kirk Essary

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ISBN 10: 1487501889 / ISBN 13: 9781487501884
Published by University of Toronto Press
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Title: Erasmus and Calvin on the Foolishness of God...

Publisher: University of Toronto Press

Binding: Hardback

Book Condition: New

About this title


What did Paul mean when he wrote that the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom? Through close analysis of the sixteenth-century reception of Paul's discourses of folly, this book examines the role of the New Testament in the development of what Erasmus and John Calvin refer to as the "Christian philosophy."

Erasmus and Calvin on the Foolishness of God reveals the importance of Pauline rhetoric in the development of humanist critiques of scholasticism while charting the formation of a specifically affective approach to religious epistemology and theological method. As the first book-length examination of Calvin's indebtedness to Erasmus, which also considers the participation of Bullinger, Pellikan, and Melanchthon in an Erasmian exegetical milieu, it is a case study in the complicated cross-confessional exchange of ideas in the sixteenth century. Kirk Essary examines assumptions about the very nature of theology in the sixteenth century, how it was understood by leading humanist reformers, and how ideas about philosophy and rhetoric were received, appropriated, and shared in a complex intellectual and religious context.


-Erasmus and Calvin on the Foolishness of God is a profound, elegant, and persuasive work. Kirk Essary has produced a work of formidable intellectual rigour that makes a significant contribution to the study of Renaissance and Reformation thought. The prose flows beautifully, the language is mercifully free of jargon, and the author makes extensive use of the primary sources to enable the reader to gain a clear sense of how Erasmus and Calvin (with others) interpreted Paul.-

--- Bruce Gordon, Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History, Yale University

-Kirk Essary's Erasmus and Calvin on the Foolishness of God is a significant contribution in Erasmus and Calvin studies. The scholarship is sound and scholars who work through it will find substantial reward for their efforts.-

--- R.Ward Holder, Professor, Saint Anselm College

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