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Desiderius Erasmus: Brilliant Renaissance Humanist Scholar

2020-06-07
Език:Dutch
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Erasmus, better known as Erasmus or Erasmus of Rotterdam, is considered to be one of the greatest scholars of the northern Renaissance. A Dutch humanist and priest, Erasmus was a leading activist and thinker. Referred to as the “crowning glory of the Christian humanists,” Erasmus defined the humanist movement in Northern Europe and sought to reform the Church. He was also the first editor of the New Testament. The brilliant scholar was passionate about moral philosophy and proposed what he called the “philosophy of Christ,” an ethical commitment and way of life which he displayed throughout his work and his precious time on Earth. Erasmus was born circa 1466 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Erasmus, meaning “beloved,” was his christened name. Throughout his life, he would visit and live in many countries, including England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. While in England, Erasmus taught at Cambridge University and lectured in theology. Around 1500, Erasmus began writing on theological and secular topics. He would become a prominent figure in classical and patristic literature. His early literary pieces criticized the dogma, superstition, and corruption he witnessed in the Church. The writings of Erasmus not only illustrated his profound intellect and scholastic talent, but also his exceptional humanity, wit, and optimism. In his book, Erasmus encourages readers to “inject into the vitals” Christ’s teaching through the study of meditation and scriptures. He pointed out that going to war goes against Christ’s peaceful example, and spoke out against preachers who encouraged superstition amongst their followers. He said, “If the Gospel were truly preached, the Christian people would be spared many wars.” While preparing to move to the Netherlands, Erasmus became ill and passed away on July 12, 1536, in Basel, Switzerland. Until the end, Erasmus believed in his direct relationship with God, and his last words were “Lieve God” in Dutch, meaning “Dear God.” May the words of Erasmus remind each of us to turn inward through meditation in order to develop our own connection with God. May we live a life of respect, peace, and love towards all human and animal co-inhabitants on our beautiful planet. Thank you, God, for your divine grace and blessings as we continue to strive for a more harmonious world.
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