Erasmus’ Heritage

Priestly Doubts of the Magical Universe

in Erasmus Studies
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

The ironic but very readable dialogues on folk religion in Erasmus’ Colloquia were used as school books for two centuries. Though their influence on the battle against superstition is difficult to measure, they obviously reflect the practices and debates of their own time. This article confronts Erasmus’ dialogue on exorcism with the ideas and practices of folk religion in the sixteenth-century biconfessional duchy of Cleves under Duke William V. Two sources stand out in particular: the influential treatise De praestigiis daemonum (1563) of court physician Johan Wier, an admirer of Erasmus and opponent of magic and sorcery, and the vernacular treatise on magical agency by Jacob Vallick, Catholic parish priest of the village of Groessen, which was printed by Nicolaas Biestkens in 1559. Vallick’s practical and pastoral approach to these matters, though it greatly irritated Wier, nevertheless reflects the influence of Erasmianism in Cleves even among the lower clergy.

Erasmus’ Heritage

Priestly Doubts of the Magical Universe

in Erasmus Studies

Sections

References

5

Marcel Gielis“Toverij en duivelspact volgens theologen uit de Nederlanden” in Nederland betoverd. Toverij en hekserij van de veertiende tot in de twintigste eeuwed. Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra & Willem Frijhoff (Amsterdam: De Bataafsche Leeuw1987) 183–195 and “The Netherlandic Theologians: Views of Witchcraft and the Devil’s Pact” in Witchcraft in the Netherlands from the fourteenth to the twentieth century tr. Rachel M.J. van der Wilden-Fall (s.l. [Rijswijk]: Rotterdam University Press 1991) 37–52.

7

Michaela ValenteJohann Wier. Agli albori della critica razionale dell’ occulto e del demonico nell’ Europa del Cinquecento (Firenze: Olschki2003) 217–247 after “Erasmus posuit ova Lutherus eduxit [or: exclusit] pullos.” See Marcel Bataillon Érasme et l’Espagne. Recherches sur l’histoire spirituelle du XVIe siècle (Genève: Droz 1998) 270.

8

Cf. E. Le Blant“Le premier chapitre de Saint Jean et la croyance à ses vertus secrètes,” in Revue archéologique3e série 25 (1894) 9–13.

16

J.H.M. TesserPetrus Canisius als humanistisch geleerde (Amsterdam: H.J. Paris1932); Hilmar M. Pabel “Praise and blame: Petrus Canisius’s ambivalent assessment of Erasmus” in The Reception of Erasmus in the Early Modern Period ed. Karl A. Enenkel (Leiden-Boston: Brill 2013) 130–159.

17

Piet Eligh“Duivelsfiguren in Mariken van Nieumeghen” in Duivelsbeelden. Een cultuurhistorische speurtocht door de Lage Landened. Gerard Rooijakkers Lène Dresen-Coenders and Margreet Gerdes (Baarn: Ambo1994) 123–136. In the same book see also Marcel Gielis “De duivel in het volksgeloof en in de rooms-katholieke verkondiging” 329–355. Also on this subject P.C. van der Eerden “Incubus: demon droom of moster” in De betovering (note 4 above) 101–127.

18

Hans de WaardtToverij en samenleving: Holland 1500–1800 (Den Haag: Hollandse Historische Reeks1991) 121–126.

20

Vera HoorensEen ketterse arts voor de heksen: Jan Wier (1515–1588) (Amsterdam: Bert Bakker2011).

23

Johan WierDe praestigiis demonum. Von ihren ursprung / underscheid / vermoegenheit / und rechtmessiger straaff / auch der beleidigten ordenlicher hilff / sechs Buecher (n.p., 1578; reprint Amsterdam, 1967) 32–33: “Es ist gewesen ein Pfarrherr auff einem Dorff / der mir sehr wohl bekant / und durch mich schrifftlich zum abstandt seiner verfuerung ermanet / Welcher sich der Artzney kunst / die er nit wust underwunde / und sich vernemen ließ / das er zu der Zauberey rath wuste / […] Und hat gemelter Pharrherr ein Teutsch buechlein von Zauberey gemacht und in truck gehn lassen / darin so naerrische dingen stehn / das es schandt zu nennen ist.” This German translation, accessible to a wider audience, is to be preferred over the allegations against the Groessen priest that can already be found in the Latin edition (Basel: Oporinus1566) 189–190. The German translation was composed by Johan Wier himself in 1567 with the express purpose to correct an earlier unauthorised translation by Johannes Fuglinus from 1565. Wier’s book was actually placed on the Index as early as 1569. This anecdote can be found in book two chapter seventeen starting with the sixth Latin edition (Basel 1583). For the English translation from the Latin see Witches Devils and Doctors in the Renaissance (Binghamton NY: MRTS 1991) 151–152.

25

Willem Frijhoff“Jakob Vallick und Johann Weyer: Kampfgenossen, Konkurrenten oder Gegner?” in ‘Vom Unfug des Hexen-Processes’. Gegner der Hexenverfolgung von Johann Weyer bis Friedrich Spee [Wolfenbütteler Forschungen 55] ed. Hartmut Lehmann & Otto Ulbricht (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz1992) 65–88; Willem Frijhoff “Johan Wier en Jacob Vallick: medicus tegen pastoor?” in Grenzen van genezing. Gezondheid ziekte en genezen in Nederland zestiende tot begin twintigste eeuw ed. Willem de Blécourt Willem Frijhoff & Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra (Hilversum: Verloren 1993) 17–45.

27

Paul SeesingEin Totenbuch der Münsterkirche St. Martini in Emmerich (Emmerich: Emmericher Geschichtsverein1980) 18 126.

28

See L.J. van der Heijden“Het kerspel Groessen en zijn ‘Kerckenboeck’,” Archief voor de geschiedenis van het aartsbisdom Utrecht46 (1921) 1–107here 93–98.

29

Compare Heribert Smolinsky“Erasmianismus in der Politik? Das Beispiel der vereinigten Herzogtümer Jülich-Kleve-Berg” in Erasmianism: Idea and Realityed. M.E.H.N. Mout H. Smolinsky J. Trapman (Amsterdam: North-Holland1997) 77–89. See also the essays by J.F. Gerhard Goeters Studien zur niederrheinischen Reformationsgeschichte ed. Dietrich Meyer (Cologne: Rheinland-Verlag 2002) especially “Der katholische Hermann von Wied” 106–126.

30

Jacob VallickTooveren wat dat voor een Werc is / Wat crancheit schade en hinder / daer van comende is / ende wat remedien men daer voor doen sal (Hoorn: Willem Andriessz.1598). For this edition see J.A. Gruys & C. de Wolf A Short-title Catalogue of Books Printed at Hoorn before 1701 (Nieuwkoop: De Graaf 1979) 96 nr. 321. The Hoorn printer Willem Andriesz in ’t Noord started his work in 1596 with a political pamphlet; Vallick’s booklet was his second or third publication. His later publications mainly concern history or contemporary events not religion. Compare Boekdrukkerij en uitgeverij in Hoorn voor het jaar 1700 (Exhibition catalogue Rijksmuseum Meermanno-Westreenianum; Den Haag 1979) 12–13. The reason for this new edition is therefore likely to be found in contemporary events. I am aware of three other copies: two in the Leiden University library and one in the BNF in Paris (Réserve pièce R 222). One of the two Leiden copies (sign. 341 G 10) mentions ‘G. Muys 1600’ likely a buyer as a former owner. The other copy (sign. 1225 F 37) was property of the Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde [Dutch Literature Society] (donated in 1841); this is thought to be the copy Scheltema has seen: Jacobus Scheltema Geschiedenis der heksenprocesen. Eene bijdrage tot den roem des vaderlands (Haarlem: Vincent Loosjes 1828) deel I pp. 150–152; deel II pp. 27–35.

39

P. Valkema Blouw“Nicolaes Biestkens van Diest, in duplo, 1558–1583” in Theatrum orbis terrarum. Liber amicorum presented to Nico Israeled. T. Croiset van Uchelen et alia (Utrecht: HES 1989) 310–331; W.F.W.M. van Heugten “Een 16e-eeuwse vluchtelingendrukkerij te Groessen” Jaarboek Achterhoek en Liemers 25 (2002) 35–41.

40

H. de la Fontaine Verwey“The Family of Love: Radical Spiritualism in the Low Countries,” in Quaerendo6 (1976) 219–271; Alastair Hamilton The Family of Love (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1981); Zijlstra Om de ware gemeente 197–214.

42

Eduard Simons“Matthes Wier, ein Mystiker aus der Reformationszeit,” in Theologische Arbeiten aus dem rheinischen wissenschaftlichen PredigervereinNeue Folge 9 (1907) 30–49. For the Anabaptist position on sorcery and healing see Gary Waite “Demonische kwelling of goddelijke kastijding? Opvattingen over ziekte en genezing bij Hollandse spiritualisten en mennisten circa 1530–1630” in Op zoek naar genezing. Medische geschiedenis van Nederland vanaf de zestiende eeuw ed. Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press1995) 11–28here 14–15.

44

Dorothea CoenenDie katholische Kirche am Niederrhein von der Reformation bis zum Beginn des 18. Jahrhunderts (Münster: Aschendorff1967); H. Kessel “Reformation und Gegenreformation im Herzogtum Cleve (1517–1609)” Düsseldorfer Jahrbuch 30 (1918/19) 1–160; J.F. Goeters “Die konfessionnelle Entwicklung innerhalb des Protestantismus im Herzogtum Kleve” in Der Niederrhein zwischen Mittelalter und Neuzeit ed. J.F. Goeters and J. Prieur (Wesel: Selbstverlag des Stadtarchivs 1986) 142–168.

47

P.J. Meij“Gelderland van 1492–1795” in Geschiedenis van Gelderland 1492–1795ed. P.J. Meij (Zutphen: De Walburg Pers1975) 72–78; Verdrag en tractaat van Venlo. Herdemkingsbundel 1543–1993 ed. F. Keverling Buisman (Hilversum: Verloren 1993); Wilhelm Janssen “Kleve—Mark—Jülich—Berg—Ravensberg 1400–1600” in Land im Mittelpunkt der Mächte. Die Herzogtümer Jülich-Kleve-Berg (Cleves: Städtisches Museum Haus Koekkoek 1984) 17–40. From 1538 to 1543 William V was for a short period also Duke of Gelre and Zutphen.

48

A. WoltersKonrad von Heresbach und der Clevische Hof zu seiner Zeit (Elberfeld: Lucas1867); H. Zwetsloot “Johan Wier zijn geschrift tegen de heksenwaan en zijn religieuze overtuiging” Annalen van het Thijmgenootschap 42 (1954) 1–23. Many authors wrongly take Wier for a militant Protestant. Even the very critical vicar apostolic Philippus Rovenius who from 1579 studied at the Emmerich school when Wier was the Duke of Cleves’ personal physician distrusted him because Wier “multa habet suspecta hereseos” and had “nimis laxam defensionem sagarum” but did not go as far as to consider him a heretic: Ph. Rovenius Respublica christiana (Antwerpen 1668) 534; compare J. Visser Rovenius und seine Werken (Assen: Van Gorcum 1966) 75 136; Jean-Claude Margolin “La politique culturelle de Guillaume duc de Clèves” in Culture et politique à l’époque de l’humanisme et de la Renaissance ed. Franco Simone (Turin: Accademia delle Scienze 1974) 293–324.

49

J.P. DolanThe Influence of Erasmus Witzel and Cassander in the Church Ordinances and Reform Proposals of the United Duchees of Cleve in the Middle Decades of the 16th Century (Münster (Westfalen): Aschendorf1957).

51

Philippe DenisLes Églises d’étrangers en pays rhénans (1538–1564) (Paris: Les Belles Lettres1984) 161–240; Gerhard Goeters “Der Protestantismus im Herzogtum Kleve im 17. Jahrhundert: Konfessionnelle Prägung kirchliche Ordnung und Stellung im Lande” in Goeters (note 29 above) 213–230. See also J.W. Zondervan “Grepen uit de geschiedenis der Protestanten te Zevenaar in de eerste helft der zeventiende eeuw” in Dezelfde roeping na 300 jaar (Zevenaar: Ecclesia Reformata Zevenariensis 1960).

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 19 19 3
Full Text Views 65 65 52
PDF Downloads 3 3 3
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0