Chritening Pagan Mysteries

Chritening Pagan Mysteries: Erasmus in Pursuit of Wisdom

Marjorie O’Rourke Boyle
Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1981
Pages: 176
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt15jvw8p
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Chritening Pagan Mysteries
    Book Description:

    This is the first book devoted to investigating the scholarly commonplace that Erasmus' revival of classical learning defines his evangelical humanism.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3236-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Prologue
    (pp. xi-2)

    ‘IF MODERN SCHOLARS of Erasmus cannot congregate in his study to discuss with piety and learning the grammar of theological method, we can at least all meet where that grammar becomes syntax, in Eusebius’ garden, wherelogosis truly flesh in Everyman. ‘This ending, or peroration, ofErasmus on Language and Method in Theologyinvites a second book, one which translates an understanding of the Logos as the principle of Erasmus’ theological methodology to a discernment of its personal activity in Everyman’s nature and history.

    This is the first book devoted to investigating the scholarly commonplace that Erasmus’ revival of...

  4. ONE Under the Pear Tree
    (pp. 3-26)

    COME, LET US DISPUTE the loss of learning in our time. Some tragedy has wrenched from us the eloquent authors of antiquity and left an ‘uneducated erudition.¹ With this invitation, a youth ‘born for restoring literature.² enrols his readers in a pastoral academy. We are in the company ofAntibarbari(1487? → 1520),³ Erasmus and his boyhood friends Willem Hermans and James Batt, and of the local burgomaster and physician, a sympathetic pair of foils. In retreat from the pestilential cities, Erasmus is secluded for study in rural Brabant when a surprise visit from Hermans prompts a scholarly reunion. Now...

  5. TWO Scholars’ Ink
    (pp. 27-62)

    HOE OUDER, HOE HOTTER HOLLANDER: the Dutch grow dot tier with age.¹ Already compelled inAntibarbarito play ‘the greatest fool and clown of all.’² Erasmus was again to ally his fortune with folly two decades after he had exchanged the shelter of the pear tree for the stage of the world. Although it is a trick mirror of wisdom,Morias egkomion, Stultitiae laus(1509 → 1511) seems implausible evidence for his christening of pagan mysteries, for by the traditional reading it has to do with the satirical instruction of society.³ Moria does flaunt herself as a pagan goddess, and...

  6. THREE Martyrs’ Blood
    (pp. 63-96)

    WHEN ERASMUS PEERED for mysteries into the fool’s mirror, he saw himself. For Christ’s sake he exchanged a monk’s hood for a scholar’s cap, although its stiffer contours, like the soft folds of the habit, seemed no less likely to sprout ass’s ears and jingle bells. He could have agreed with the mysticalLaudafor Christ:

    He who enters in this school

    Learns a new and wondrous rule: -

    ‘Who hath never been a fool,

    Wisdom’s scholar cannot be.’¹

    While foolish implies being of small wit, ‘not all there,’ it equally applies to being ‘too much there,’ bumbling into large...

  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. 97-98)
  8. Notes
    (pp. 99-162)
  9. Bibliography of Primary sources cited
    (pp. 163-170)
  10. Index
    (pp. 171-174)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 175-175)