Browsing by Subject "Erasmus"

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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.
  • Kemppainen, Atte-Veikko (Helsingfors universitet, 2015)
    This thesis examines the literal debate between Thomas More (1478–1535) and William Tyndale (1494-1535) between 1528–1533. The main theme is authority and what Tyndale and More believe to be the highest authority concerning all matters of faith: The Scriptures, the Church or the King. After the historical background this thesis is divided into three analysis sections: In the first section we examine the need for English vernacular Scriptures and Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament (1525) and especially the meaning of ekklesia and presbyteros in English. In the second section we examine the foundation of the Church, infallibility of the Church, the relationship between written and unwritten word and the interpreting and defining of the Scriptures. In the third part we examine earthly authority and King Henry VIII’s divorce and Tyndale and More’s relationship with the king. The sources selected for this thesis are Tyndale’s The Obedience of a Christian man (1528), More’s A Dialogue Concerning Heresies (1529), Tyndale’s An Answer to Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue (1531) and More’s Confutation to Tyndale’s Answer (1532-33). The method applied to the sources is close reading. The sources are presented in chronological order in each of the subjects and Tyndale’s and More’s views are also compared to Erasmus Desiderius and Martin Luther. Erasmus and Christian humanism is a common theological context for Tyndale and More. Tyndale was influenced by Erasmus and More was a collaborator and a friend of Erasmus. Tyndale is compared to Luther in order to examine his dependence on the German reformer. As a result this thesis shows that the highest authority concerning all matters of faith for Tyndale is the Scriptures and for More the Church. Tyndale believes that all matters that we need to know about faith have been written down and there can be no unwritten tradition or doctrine that contradicts the Scriptures. However, More believes that since Christ promised to be with his Church it is guided by his word both written and unwritten.