Erasmus and Calvin on the Foolishness of God: Reason and Emotion in the Christian Philosophy
What did Paul mean when he wrote that the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom? Through close analysis of the sixteenth-century reception of Paul's discourses of folly, this book examines the role of the New Testament in the development of what Erasmus and John Calvin refer to as the “Christian philosophy.”
Erasmus and Calvin on the Foolishness of God reveals the importance of Pauline rhetoric in the development of humanist critiques of scholasticism while charting the formation of a specifically affective approach to religious epistemology and theological method. As the first book-length examination of Calvin's indebtedness to Erasmus, which also considers the participation of Bullinger, Pellikan, and Melanchthon in an Erasmian exegetical milieu, it is a case study in the complicated cross-confessional exchange of ideas in the sixteenth century. Kirk Essary examines assumptions about the very nature of theology in the sixteenth century, how it was understood by leading humanist reformers, and how ideas about philosophy and rhetoric were received, appropriated, and shared in a complex intellectual and religious context.
- Series: Erasmus Studies
- Division: Scholarly Publishing
- World Rights
- Page Count: 304 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
‘Essary’s book offers much that will intrigue curious general readers as well as scholars. Excellent notes and bibliography.’
Choice Magazine vol 55:03:2017
"This is an admirable study that reflects extensive scholarship in early modern and patristic sources."
William P. Weaver, Baylor University
Erasmus Studies, vol 39
Author InformationKirk Essary is Lecturer in History and Classics at the University of Western Australia.
Table of contents
Calvin’s Erasmus, Theologia Rhetorica, and Pauline Folly
Foolishness as Religious Knowledge
Hidden Wisdom and the Revelation of the Spirit
Milk for Babes: A Pauline Eloquence
Blaming Philosophy, Praising Folly
The Affective Christian Philosophy
Subjects and Courses