Controversies

Controversies: Volume 78

HISTORICAL EDITOR James D. Tracy
GENERAL EDITOR Manfred Hoffmann
Volume: 78
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 496
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/9781442660076
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  • Book Info
    Controversies
    Book Description:

    Spanning the period of 1523 to 1534, the compositions in Volume 78 of theCollected Works of Erasmusdetail Erasmus' theological disagreements with the Swiss and Upper German 'evangelicals' and the German Lutherans, including Luther himself.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6007-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. General Introduction
    (pp. ix-xxii)
    JDT and MH

    This volume presents Erasmus’ polemical works against critics who called themselves evangelicals, and who would now be called Protestants. Much has been written about Erasmus’ standpoint vis-à-vis the Reformation,¹ but for present purposes the essential point is this: In a time of sulphurous theological polemics, and an occasional war,² he was conspicuous for maintaining that the main points at issue, at least between Catholics and Lutherans, could and should be resolved by compromise. In the fall of 1520, asExsurge Domine(the papal bull threatening Luther with excommunication) was circulating in Germany and the Low Countries, Erasmus and a Dominican...

  4. THE SPONGE OF ERASMUS AGAINST THE ASPERSIONS OF HUTTEN Spongia adversus aspergines Hutteni
    (pp. 1-146)

    Eighty years ago, it was not uncommon for scholars writing on this controversy to praise Ulrich von Hutten for his passionate convictions while censuring Erasmus for his cowardice.¹ Since then, Erasmus has become a good deal more accessible to scholars, through modern critical editions and translations of his works.² Perhaps more importantly, in the wake of a twentieth century dominated by wars or threats of war, it has become easier to appreciate the fact that Erasmus, in his efforts to define a middle ground between Catholics and Lutherans, had the courage of a would-be peacemaker.³ Conversely, the fiery patriotism that...

  5. THE UNCOVERING OF DECEPTIONS Detectio praestigiarum cuiusdam libelli germanice scripti
    (pp. 147-206)

    The context for the publication of theDetectio praestigiarumwas the Eucharistic controversy of the mid-1520’s. Erasmus himself indicated the sparkplug for the debate in two letters from Basel on 10 December 1524. One of these was to Melanchthon in which he reported: ‘Karlstadt was here, but he kept his visit a secret. He has published six pamphlets in German in which he explains that nothing is involved in the Eucharist except the symbols of Christ’s body and blood.’¹ In the other, to Heinrich Stromer, he stated Karlstadt’s doctrine somewhat differently: ‘he teaches that the true body of the Lord...

  6. EPISTLE AGAINST THE FALSE EVANGELICALS Epistola contra quosdam qui se falso iactant pseudevangelicos
    (pp. 207-254)

    TheEpistola contra pseudevangelicos, published in 1529, presents a troubling spectacle for those whose impressions of Erasmus are shaped by his lyrical articulation of thephilosophia Christiin such works as theParaclesisand theEnchiridion.Here we find him attacking a younger colleague, Gerard Geldenhouwer, who for years had been a trusted friend. Moreover, following this initial attack, Erasmus proceeded to denounce the entire Swiss and South German Reformation¹ (as distinct from the Lutheran Reformation) in the most unambiguous terms, not shrinking from sweeping accusations of immorality and licentiousness among its supporters. Finally, theEpistola contra pseudevangelicoswas the...

  7. LETTER TO THE BRETHREN OF LOWER GERMANY Responsio ad fratres Inferioris Germaniae ad epistolam apologeticam incerto autore proditam
    (pp. 255-368)

    TheEpistola contra pseudevangelicospredictably created a stir among those against whom it was directed. Its intended recipient, Gerald Geldenhouwer, responded by publishing an unauthorized version of the three Erasmus texts whose meaning was under debate, together with his own annotations, refuting Erasmus’ accusations.¹ Erasmus was furious, but a more thorough response was yet to come, this time from Martin Bucer, leader of the new church in Strasbourg. TheEpistola apologetica, published in May 1530, was addressed to the brethren in Lower Germany and East Frisia.² It did not bear Bucer’s signature, but was attributed to the ministry at Strasbourg...

  8. AN ADMONITION AGAINST LYING AND SLANDER Admonitio adversus mendacium et obtrectationem
    (pp. 369-394)

    Heinrich Eppendorf¹ hailed from the small village of Eppendorf near Freiberg in Meissen, Saxony, where his father, Nikolaus, most likely was a local judge and a hereditary reeve(Erbschulze), probably also a brewer and innkeeper.² After Latin school at Freiberg in Saxony, young Eppendorf earned his BA at the University of Leipzig in 1508. His prince, Duke George of Saxony, was persuaded to support the young man’s studies.³ In 1520 it was Eppendorf that Duke George sent to deliver a gift to Erasmus in Louvain, ‘three lumps of native silver.’⁴

    Having matriculated at Freiburg im Breisgau later in 1520, Eppendorf...

  9. DESIDERIUS ERASMUS OF ROTTERDAM AGAINST A MOST SLANDEROUS LETTER OF MARTIN LUTHER Purgatio adversus epistolam non sobriam Martini Lutheri
    (pp. 395-464)

    Luther’s violent denunciation of Erasmus was published as a letter on 11 March 1534, addressed to Nikolaus von Amsdorf, superintendent of the Lutheran church in Magdeburg.¹ Luther had been promising to ‘confess Christ against Erasmus.’ The theology students boarding at the former Augustinian friars’ cloister in Wittenberg, now home to Luther and his wife, knew his mind best: ‘By divine authority, I enjoin hatred of Erasmus upon all of you . . . I have decided to slay him by the pen.’² To Luther, Erasmus was ‘the worst enemy of Christ, such as there has not been for a thousand...

  10. WORKS FREQUENTLY CITED
    (pp. 465-471)
  11. SHORT - TITLE FORMS FOR ERASMUS’ WORKS
    (pp. 472-476)
  12. Index of Biblical and Apocryphal References
    (pp. 477-482)
  13. General Index
    (pp. 483-498)