A Conflict That Could Have Been Avoided: Erasmus' Involvement in the Early Reformation

Topics: Catholic Church, Martin Luther, Protestant Reformation Pages: 3 (510 words) Published: June 3, 2013

Daniel Martin
CHHI 525
Instructor: Dr. Jeff Brawner
September 7, 2012

Thesis Statement:
If Erasmus had not been unwilling to get involved in conflict could the protestant reformation been avoided.

The Need for the Study:
I will try to show how if Erasmus and others with similar views would have been more vocal and chose side then many of the deaths and tragedies of the reformation could have been avoided. Erasmus’ philosophy of Christianity of being decent, moderate, and living a balanced life could have been applied to divert the rising passion of both sides of the reformation and possibly direct the outcome of the reformation to a more peaceful and productive outcome. Since he was respected by both sides he stood in a position to play a much larger role than he did. His stable balanced demeanor could have played a peace making role that allowed the opposing sides to discuss and come to a resolution about the differences which they had. While both sides were influenced by his ideas Erasmus did not want to be apart of conflict this attitude ultimately led to both sides criticizing him. Yet in all of this he still maintained a position of tolerance. Had more people adopted his position much of the blood shed of that time could have been avoided. The Procedure for the Study:

I will start from Erasmus’ Handbook of the Christian Soldier and look at the his position on what it takes to led a Christian life. After that I will discuss the character of Erasmus and see how that could lead to his reluctance to get involved. From there I will look at how Erasmus’ ideal influenced many of the notable reformers. Also I will address his influence in the Catholic Church. Finally I will address criticisms of Erasmus from both sides.

Brashler, James, “From Erasmus to Calvin:...

Bibliography: (2008) 43 – 66.
George, Timothy, “Reading the Bible with the Reformers,” First Things 211 (March 2011) 27
Heesakkers, Chris, “Erasmus’s Controversies,” The Catholic Historical Review 95, no.1 (2009)
Kim, Hyun-Ah, “Erasmus on Sacred Music,” Reformation and Renaissance Review (2008).
Rummel, Erika, “New Perspectives on the Controversy Between Erasmus and Lee,” Nederlands
archeif voor kerkgescheidenis/ Dutch Review of Church History 74 (1994) 226.
Thorton, Robert, “Erasmus,” Modern Age 47, no. 4 (Fall 2005) 367-371.
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