Erasmus and Calvin on the Foolishness of God: Reason and Emotion in the Christian Philosophy

By Kirk Essary

© 2017

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.

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Product Details

  • Series: Erasmus Studies
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
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  • PUBLISHED APR 2017

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    ISBN 9781487501884
  • PUBLISHED MAY 2017

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Quick Overview

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.

Erasmus and Calvin on the Foolishness of God: Reason and Emotion in the Christian Philosophy

By Kirk Essary

© 2017

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.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Erasmus Studies
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    ‘Essary’s book offers much that will intrigue curious general readers as well as scholars. Excellent notes and bibliography.’


    P.A. Streveler
    Choice Magazine vol 55:03:2017
  • Author Information

    Kirk Essary is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe, 1100-1800).
  • Table of contents

    Preface

    Chapter One

    Calvin’s Erasmus, Theologia Rhetorica, and Pauline Folly

    Chapter Two

    Foolishness as Religious Knowledge

    Chapter Three

    Hidden Wisdom and the Revelation of the Spirit

    Chapter Four

    Milk for Babes: A Pauline Eloquence

    Chapter Five

    Blaming Philosophy, Praising Folly

    Chapter Six

    The Affective Christian Philosophy

    Conclusion

    Notes

    Bibliography