David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
University of Chicago Press (1986)
Erasmus of Rotterdam was the greatest Christian humanist scholar of the Northern European Renaissance, a correspondent of Sir Thomas More and many other learned men of his time, known to his contemporaries and to posterity for subtlety of his thought and the depth of his learning. He was also, according to some modern writers, an anti-Semite. In this complete analysis of all of Erasmus' writings on Jews and Judaism, Shimon Markish asserts that the accusation cannot be sustained. For Markish, to ask whether Erasmus was a friend or enemy of the Jews is to ask a modern question of a sixteenth-century man, whose attitude can best be called "asemitism." Erasmus' chief preoccupation was with the future of "the true philosophy of Christ"; he had little interest in the Jewish community of his own time. Erasmus and the Jews discusses Erasmus' critique of Mosaic law and his view of the conflict between "Judaism" as legalistic morality and Jesus' teaching; his judgment on the Pharisees of Jesus' time; his emphasis on the importance of the study of Hebrew; and his opinions of sixteenth-century Jews. This meticulous analysis reveals an Erasmus who defended his vision of true piety by rejecting "Judaizing" Christians more than Jews and who saw the Old Testament as integral to the Christian worldview. As a Christian, he regretted nonbelief and pitied unbelievers, without vicious hostility toward any single people. His theological opposition to a form of religious thought which he identified with Judaism was not translated into crude prejudice against actual Jews. In general, his calm consideration of the strange and the foreign and his willingness to restrict his judgments to the philosophical realm were, Markish argues, early and significant steps toward enlightened toleration. Markish's discussion of Erasmus is supplemented with an Afterword by theologian and philosopher Arthur A. Cohen, who offers a variant interpretation of Erasmus' writings and attitudes. The juxtaposed arguments of the two scholars make this an especially illuminating work for any student of Erasmus and his influence. Erasmus and the Jews also gives a necessary clarity to our understanding of the meaning of anti-Semitism and the history of religious toleration. Markish's profound knowledge of Erasmus allows him to demonstrate the fundamental importance of putting arguments and terminology in the context of a thinker's work and his own time.
|Keywords||Christianity and other religions Judaism Judaism Christianity|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Buy the book||$6.59 used (89% off) $48.00 new (15% off) $56.00 direct from Amazon Amazon page|
|Call number||B785.E64.M32813 1986|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Charles G. Nauert (2009). Humanist and Critic. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 83 (2):279-290.
Kevin Hart & Michael Alan Signer (eds.) (2010). The Exorbitant: Emmanuel Levinas Between Jews and Christians. Fordham University Press.
Desiderius Erasmus (1997/1965). The Education of a Christian Prince. Cambridge University Press.
David Price (2010). Humanism and Judaism: Johannes Reuchlin and the Campaign to Destroy Jewish Books. Oxford University Press.
Peter G. Bietenholz (1966). History and Biography in the Work of Erasmus of Rotterdam. Genève, Droz.
David Novak (1989). Jewish-Christian Dialogue: A Jewish Justification. Oxford University Press.
S. Daniel Breslauer (2001). Creating a Judaism Without Religion: A Postmodern Jewish Possibility. University Press of America.
David Price (2010). Johannes Reuchlin and the Campaign to Destroy Jewish Books. Oxford University Press.
Jacob B. Agus (1971). Dialogue and Tradition. New York,Abelard-Schuman.
Alastair Hamilton (2011). Encounters with a Radical Erasmus: Erasmus' Work as a Source of Radical Thought in Early Modern Europe. By Peter G. Bietenholz, Exploiting Erasmus: The Erasmian Legacy and Religious Change in Early Modern England. By Gregory D. Dodds and Paraphrases on the Epistles to the Cortinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians. By Desiderius Erasmus [Collected Works of Erasmus, Vol. 43]. Edited by Robert D. Sider. Translated and Annotated by Mechtilde O'Mara and Edward A. Phillips Jr. [REVIEW] Heythrop Journal 52 (3):500-501.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #267,266 of 1,725,575 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #349,436 of 1,725,575 )
How can I increase my downloads?