Browsing by Subject "Erasmus of Rotterdam"

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  • Visala, Aku; Vainio, Olli-Pekka (2020)
    In this article, we will use contemporary analytic tools to make sense of the main arguments in the classic debate on free will between Erasmus of Rotterdam and the Reformer Martin Luther. Instead of offering another exegesis of these texts, we put forward an analysis that links this historical debate with contemporary discussions on free will and grace in philosophical theology. We argue that the debate was ultimately about how three theological core claims are related to one another: the Anti-Pelagian Constraint (humans are incapable of willing any good, in order to come to faith), the Responsibility Principle (humans are morally responsible in the eyes of God) and human free will. Erasmus attacks Luther by arguing that the Responsibility Principle cannot be maintained without free will, while Luther responds by arguing that Erasmus must reject free will, because it is in conflict with the Anti-Pelagian Constraint. Luther is then left with the dilemma of justifying the Responsibility Principle without free will – a task, which in our estimation, fails. In the concluding section of the article, we point out some continuities and discontinuities between the contemporary debate and that of Luther and Erasmus.
  • Havu, Kaarlo (2019)
    The Erasmian Republic of Letters has often been portrayed as a place of retreat where intellectual qualities could be cultivated among the learned. This article argues that Erasmian humanists thought that the Republic of Letters could make a decisive contribution to a life of active engagement (negotium). The article claims that Erasmian humanists understood that the reputation forged within the Republic of Letters could be turned into intellectual authority and rhetorical ethos, which were deemed decisive for a successful life of negotium. This was visible in rhetorical theory which, despite the insistence on virtue as the only source of true authority, underscored the importance of one’s social reputation as a potential source of rhetorical ethos. This was equally perceivable in actual discussions within the Republic of Letters (most notably in the discussion between Erasmus and Guillaume Budé), where the importance attributed to reciprocal relations as a source of public visibility, reputation and, ultimately, authority, was explicitly recognized. In the long history of the Republic of Letters, Erasmian humanism represented the emergence of a new form of non‐institutional authority which, however, proved inefficient in the attainment of specific reforms, because it was often appropriated by the powerful for their own purposes.