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Erasmus: Wild Bird
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David Hello all,

There's a new book on Erasmus which some of you may be interested in. I know he's not a church father, though the book does discuss how he did a lot of work to translate the Fathers, including bringing the forgotten Eastern Fathers to be known in the West. Also, this group has some diversity, both Catholics and Orthodox as well as Protestants, and the basic question of the book is what if Erasmus, rather than Luther, had won the day? With Luther we get division and then the Catholic church hardening at Trent. Erasmus was a mediating voice who criticized the church but also wanted unity, so he was hated by both sides.

Anyway, its only 3 bucks on the Kindle and it makes me want to read Erasmus more:
https://www.amazon.com/Erasmus-Wild-B...


message 2: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 317 comments I want to learn more about Erasmus too. Thanks for the tip!

I am wondering though, the Protestant Reformation turned political very quickly where the new theologies became vassals to the European political wranglings. The more moderating voices in such a scenario are usually brushed aside.


message 3: by Clark (last edited Jan 03, 2018 09:47AM) (new)

Clark Wilson | 586 comments I bought the book, because it was only $3 and because he seems to be a high-quality cranky old man, nearly as old as I am. Also, he wrote about Thomas Merton. It seems he also did a book on the spirituality of John Cassian, a guy whom I like. Cassian is a Christian Father.

Here is the official Goodreads link: Erasmus: Wild Bird


message 4: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments Clark wrote: "I bought the book, because it was only $3 and because he seems to be a high-quality cranky old man, nearly as old as I am. Also, he wrote about Thomas Merton. ..."

I think you meant Thomas More, In Praise of Folly.

If Erasmus is “cranky”, I don’t know what to say about Luther.


message 5: by Clark (last edited Jan 03, 2018 12:28PM) (new)

Clark Wilson | 586 comments Nemo said, "I think you meant Thomas More, In Praise of Folly."

Truly, my antecedent was ambiguous. I was referring to Ron Dart, the author of the book, not to Erasmus, its subject.


message 6: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 317 comments Nemo wrote: "I think you meant Thomas More, In Praise of Folly.

It is Erasmus :) Praise of Folly


message 7: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments Clark wrote: "Nemo said, "I think you meant Thomas More, In Praise of Folly."

Truly, my antecedent was ambiguous. I was referring to Ron Dart, the author of the book, not to Erasmus, its subject."


Sorry, Clark, I should have read your comment more carefully. I guess my mind was turned to time of the Reformation.


message 8: by Ruth (new) - added it

Ruth thanks for the tip, it certainly sounds interesting!


David I am wondering though, the Protestant Reformation turned political very quickly where the new theologies became vassals to the European political wranglings. The more moderating voices in such a scenario are usually brushed aside.

I mean, theologies were always vassals for European political wrangling. The entire 14th century was plagued by the papacy being in Avignon France, controlled by the French, followed by a time of two popes and so much other craziness. And yes, Luther and Calvin did not question the marriage of church and state. Uniquely the Anabaptists did (my church, and my personal beliefs, fit in the Anabaptist family) which led to persecution both from Lutherans and Catholics.

One argument Dart makes in this book is that Erasmus was arguing for a theology of peace that impacted the Anabaptists and his influence needs to be recognized (by Anabaptists). Also, Anabaptists are peace-churches but also just as quick as anyone else to create sects and imply they are the only church while Erasmus taught peace (as in no war) but also extended this to peace with Christians (as in, no divisions).

I think the challenge for today is that none of us are in the position of the pre-Reformation church. The Catholic Church did not really listen to Erasmus and became just as hardened to reconciliation with the Reformers as the Reformers were hardened to them. Or, practically, any sort of reconciliation requires both sides to admit mistakes so if one church today (whether Anabaptist, Lutheran or Catholic) thinks they're 100% right and unity is simply joining them...well that's more groveling than reconciliation.

I am personally hopeful for some sort of unity, though I also doubt we'll all go to the same church...unity as a recognition we're all on the same team.


message 10: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 586 comments David said, "none of us are in the position of the pre-Reformation church."

I would like to make a very narrow and simple assertion: There is a significant Christian communion, Eastern Orthodoxy, that did not go through the Reformation, and whose identity is not wrapped up in the Reformation.


message 11: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments [Moderator’s Note: I’ve moved this topic to a new folder, specially created for people to discuss their personal reading projects.]


message 12: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments David wrote: "One argument Dart makes in this book is that Erasmus was arguing for a theology of peace .."

The name of peace is sweet, and the thing itself wholesome, but between peace and servitude the difference is great. Peace is tranquil liberty, servitude the last of all evils, one to be repelled, not only by war but even by death.

I suppose the Reformers like Luther and Calvin saw something in the Christian faith as non-negotiable as liberty itself.

It would be interesting to read the dialogue between Erasmus and Luther.


message 13: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 586 comments Nemo quoted, "The name of peace is sweet, ..."

From whom is that quotation?


message 14: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 1503 comments Clark wrote: "Nemo quoted, "The name of peace is sweet, ..."

From whom is that quotation?"


Cicero, Philippics.


David Hey Clark, that's an intriguing point.

I barely know you, but if you're willing, can I private message you a question or two? I work in campus ministry and I knew one of my students was searching/interested in Orthodoxy so when I was at a food festival at a local orthodox church I got the priests' card - to make a long story short, he's probably going to be baptized into the church. My questions pertain to a few simple points - what Orthodox think of other Christians and another about worship.

Thanks.


message 16: by Clark (new)

Clark Wilson | 586 comments David said, "can I private message you a question or two?"

By all means.


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