Erasmus of Rotterdam in Praise of Folly Essay

1130 Words5 Pages
The works of the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, often titled the
Praise of Folly, Erasmus’s seminal pre-Reformation essay examines aspects of Church teaching as well as aspects of worship which Erasmus deems worthy of the biting satire he utilises
Erasmus was unrelenting in his criticism of pedantry, sophistry and demagoguery among both clerical and secular figures.
Rediscovery of Aristotle and the birth of humanism in the renaissance
The influence of Erasmus on humanism during this time was so great as to ensure that Northern Renaissance humanism came to be labelled Erasmian. A movement which, unlike its Italian counterpart and predecessor, would place faith and piety at the centre of theology and would place a large emphasis on ad
…show more content…
It will describe the role of Erasmus in the reformation and Erasmus’s unease at his position straddling the ever-increasing divide in Western Christendom between the traditionalist Catholic position and that of the Reformers.
, placing Erasmus in either camp, given his reputation as simultaneously the intellectual godfather of Reformation thought and his ostensible life-long loyalty (despite his persistent criticisms) to the Roman church is innately problematic.
Erasmus’s own view of Praise of Folly is a subject of much dispute. Going by his own writings it seems unsure just how seriously he expected that particularly work to be taken. Certainly its theological merit is utterly overshadowed by much of the rest of his body of work.
• Hard to know how much import Erasmus himself attached to the work given his writings hence and it place as a relatively insignificant part of a substantial corpus of work over his life.
• The power and potency of Praise of Folly and the effectiveness of Folly as a serious messenger were perhaps inadvertent on the part of the author.
• It’s more important historically then literarily.
• Already in chapter 40, under the guise of continuing frivolify and without any change of tone or style, Erasmus has thrown in a list of pious superstitions, quite long enough to make a thologians hair stand on end
• Chapter 48 with its attack on pretentiousness ‘forms the heart of the satire’.
• We can’t use

More about Erasmus of Rotterdam in Praise of Folly Essay

Get Access