In 1520, the reading public witnessed the eruption of a simmering conflict between Erasmus, the foremost advocate of the new biblical humanism, and Edward Lee, a younger scholar at the University of Louvain and spokesman for the traditionalists in matters of biblical interpretation and church discipline. When Erasmus (perhaps unconsciously) subsumed criticisms Lee had sent to him of his 1516 Annotations on the New Testament into the second edition (1519) without properly crediting their source, Lee resorted to publication of his collection of criticisms.
Erasmus responded immediately with theApologia which is neither arrogant nor biting nor angry nor aggressive, and which responds to the two invectives of Edward Lee, describing his version of the history of the dispute with Lee, and less than two months later produced Responses to Lee's criticisms. This new volume in the Collected Works of Erasmus series contains the first-ever English translations of theApologyand theResponses. These two pieces display Erasmus the humanist in the thick of academic turmoil, deploying all the rhetorical weapons at his command. The volume is an entertaining and informative look into Erasmus as a scholar and as a man.