The Reception of Erasmus in the Early Modern Period


Erasmus was not only one of the most widely read authors of the early modern period, but one of the most controversial. For some readers he represented the perfect humanist scholar; for others, he was an arrogant hypercritic, a Lutheran heretic and polemicist, a virtuoso writer and rhetorician, an inventor of a new, authentic Latin style, etc. In the present volume, a number of aspects of Erasmus’s manifold reception are discussed, especially lesser-known ones, such as his reception in Neo-Latin poetry. The volume does not focus only on so-called Erasmians, but offers a broader spectrum of reception and demonstrates that Erasmus’s name also was used in order to authorize completely un-Erasmian ideals, such as atheism, radical reformation, Lutheranism, religious intolerance, Jesuit education, Marian devotion, etc. Contributors include: Philip Ford, Dirk Sacré, Paul J. Smith, Lucia Felici, Gregory D. Dodds, Hilmar M. Pabel, Reinier Leushuis, Jeanine De Landtsheer, Johannes Trapman, and Karl Enenkel.
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Biographical Note

Karl Enenkel is Professor of Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Germany). Previously he was Professor of Neo-Latin at the University of Leiden (Netherlands). He has published widely on international Humanism, early modern organisation of knowledge, literary genres 1300-1600, and emblem studies.

Review Quote

“meticulously researched […] The ten essays in this volume […] are splendidly introduced by editor Karl Enenkel and provide an illuminating look at the ways in which Erasmus was perceived, received, and his work appropriated in a variety of European contexts.” Donald K. McKim, Germantown, Tennessee. In: Journal of Jesuit Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2 (2014), pp. 303-304. "To understand how Erasmus was read, as this rich and illuminating collection shows, is to read and understand Erasmus anew." Seth Lobis, Claremont McKenna College. In: Erasmus Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2 (2014), pp. 162-167.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Notes on the Editor Notes on the Contributors List of Illustrations Introduction – Manifold Reader Responses: The Reception of Erasmus in the Early Modern Europe Karl Enenkel PART I. HUMANISM A Blueprint for the Reception of Erasmus: Beatus Rhenanus’s Second Vita Erasmi (1540) Karl Enenkel Medicinae laus per Eobanum Hessum ex Erasmo, versu reddita Reassessed Dirk Sacré PART II. RELIGIOUS IDEAS Universalism and Tolerance in a Follower of Erasmus from Zurich: Theodor Bibliander Lucia Felici ‘Betwixt Heaven and Hell’: Religious Toleration and the Reception of Erasmus in Restoration England Gregory D. Dodds Praise and Blame: Peter Canisius’s Ambivalent Assessment of Erasmus Hilmar M. Pabel PART III. POLITICAL IDEAS: IRENISM AND MIRROR OF A CHRISTIAN PRINCE Erasmian Irenism in the Poetry of Pierre de Ronsard Philip Ford† On Good Government: Erasmus’s Institutio Principis Christiani versus Lipsius’s Politica Jeanine De Landtsheer PART IV. RABELAISIAN SATIRE, TRIUMPH, DIALOGUE AND OTHER ADAPTATIONS: RECEPTIONS OF THE PRAISE OF FOLLY IN FRENCH, ITALIAN AND DUTCH LITERATURE Jean Thenaud and François Rabelais: Some Hypotheses on the Early Reception of Erasmus in French Vernacular Literature Paul J. Smith Antonio Brucioli and the Italian Reception of Erasmus: The Praise of Folly in Dialogue Reinier Leushuis Erasmus and the Radical Enlightenment: An Atheistic Adaptation of the Praise of Folly by Jan van der Wyck (1798) Johannes Trapman Index Nominum


Reception studies, Erasmus, Renaissance and Reformation, History of the Church, Early Modern studies, Theology.