Conversing with God: Prayer in Erasmus' Pastoral Writing

By Hilmar Pabel

© 1997

In Conversing with God Hilmar M. Pabel examines Erasmus' understanding of prayer and how he taught western Christendom to pray in the Reformation era of the sixteenth century. To this end, Pabel adopts Erasmus' own rhetorical analysis of prayer, understood as a colloquy or conversation with God, and considers: Who is God, the audience of prayer? What sort of person should one be in order to pray? What is the proper object of prayer? With which words should one pray? Underlying this analysis is a principle both rhetorical and pastoral: accommodation. Pabel explains that in teaching his contemporaries how to accommodate their prayer to God, Erasmus engaged in a 'literary cure of souls,' or a pastoral ministry executed through the printing press.

Pabel follows his outline of Erasmus' principles of prayer with an investigation of his defence of the invocation of the saints at a time when Protestants were rejecting this form of devotion. He completes his study with an examination of Erasmus' interpretation of the Lord's Prayer, and an analysis of the prayer-book Precationes aliquot novae, published at the end of his life.

Conversing with God opens up for scholarly attention a much neglected aspect of Erasmus' philosophia Christi, building a lucid and cogent argument for the important theological aspect of Erasmus' prayers, which has often been discounted or denied by more traditional scholarship.

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Product Details

  • Series: Erasmus Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP000877

  • PUBLISHED JUL 1997

    From: $65.25

    Regular Price: $87.00

    ISBN 9780802041012
  • PUBLISHED JUN 1997

    From: $75.00

    Regular Price: $100.00

Quick Overview

A close reading of Erasmus' (d. 1536) work on prayer and spirituality that analyses how he understood prayer and demonstrates how his publications on prayer form part of the larger pastoral program that was implemented by the printing press.

Conversing with God: Prayer in Erasmus' Pastoral Writing

By Hilmar Pabel

© 1997

In Conversing with God Hilmar M. Pabel examines Erasmus' understanding of prayer and how he taught western Christendom to pray in the Reformation era of the sixteenth century. To this end, Pabel adopts Erasmus' own rhetorical analysis of prayer, understood as a colloquy or conversation with God, and considers: Who is God, the audience of prayer? What sort of person should one be in order to pray? What is the proper object of prayer? With which words should one pray? Underlying this analysis is a principle both rhetorical and pastoral: accommodation. Pabel explains that in teaching his contemporaries how to accommodate their prayer to God, Erasmus engaged in a 'literary cure of souls,' or a pastoral ministry executed through the printing press.

Pabel follows his outline of Erasmus' principles of prayer with an investigation of his defence of the invocation of the saints at a time when Protestants were rejecting this form of devotion. He completes his study with an examination of Erasmus' interpretation of the Lord's Prayer, and an analysis of the prayer-book Precationes aliquot novae, published at the end of his life.

Conversing with God opens up for scholarly attention a much neglected aspect of Erasmus' philosophia Christi, building a lucid and cogent argument for the important theological aspect of Erasmus' prayers, which has often been discounted or denied by more traditional scholarship.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Erasmus Studies
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.3in
  • Author Information

    Hilmar M. Pabel is Associate Professor of History at Simon Fraser University, and editor of Erasmus' Vision of the Church.

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