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Hilmar Pabel

The first monograph in English on Erasmus of Rotterdam as an editor of St. Jerome, this book belongs to the growing scholarship on the reception of the Church Fathers in early modern Europe. Erasmus, like other Renaissance humanists, particularly admired Jerome (d. 419 or 420), and he expressed his admiration most conspicuously in his edition of Jerome’s letters. Proclaiming his editorial Herculean labours, Erasmus energetically promoted himself and his publication. Erasmus’ self-promotion cannot be reduced to a secular appropriation of Jerome, however. A detailed examination of a variety of editorial interventions demonstrates Erasmus’ religious purpose, his debt to previous editorial traditions as well as his editorial novelty, and his influence on subsequent sixteenth-century editions of Jerome.
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Hilmar M. Pabel

The publication in 1516 of Erasmus of Rotterdam’s New Testament and his edition of St. Jerome invites an exploration of his concept and deployment of this Church Father’s exegetical authority. A thorough analysis of Erasmus’s Annotations on the New Testament shows that he appealed to Jerome among other Fathers and on his own. Jerome figures primarily in the main business of the Annotations: the establishment of a correct Latin translation of the text of the New Testament. His role in the theological dimension of exegesis is secondary. Erasmus’s use of Jerome as authoritative support for his exegetical judgments as well as his criticisms of Jerome have the effect of asserting his credentials as an authoritative exegete.

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Peter Canisius and the Protestants

A Model of Ecumenical Dialogue?

Hilmar M. Pabel

Some modern interpreters have incorrectly suggested that Peter Canisius was an ecumenist before his time. Their insistence on his extraordinary kindness towards Protestants does not stand the test of the scrutiny of the relevant sources. An analysis of Canisius’s advice on how Jesuits should deal with “heretics” in Germany, of his catechisms, and of his polemical works reveals a typical Catholic controversialist of the Reformation era. Canisius was disposed to display hostility, more than good will, to Protestants.