The name of Erasmus will never perish
John Colet (1516)
Erasmus has published volumes more full of wisdom than any which Europe has seen for ages.
The chief aim of Erasmus in his life’s work as a humanist scholar was to restore theology. In his times this meant to replace the theology then being taught and practiced as a professional science by a more adequate study of Holy Scripture and the Fathers of the early Church.
Erasmus was a wild bird, willing to be caressed but refusing to sing in a cage.
Those who have dipped into the life and prolific writings of Erasmus (1466-1536) might be aware of the importance and significance of the Praise of Folly. Others know Erasmus well because of his Adages and Colloquies. The voluminous correspondence of Erasmus holds the attention of others. The clash between Luther and Erasmus is part of Reformation lore and legend.
The fact that Erasmus was put on the Index makes him an activist and writer of some interest. The peace theology of Erasmus makes him an anomaly of sorts in the war stricken 16th century. Many 1st generation Anabaptists cut their peace tradition teeth by sitting at the feet of Erasmus in Basel. Erasmus was front and centre in heralding and doing new translations of the Bible. But, Erasmus was deeply committed as a Christian humanist and renaissance scholar in bringing to the fore the Fathers of the Church.