The Stoic Origins of Erasmus' Philosophy of Christ
This original and provocative engagement with Erasmus’ work argues that the Dutch humanist discovered in classical Stoicism several principles which he developed into a paradigm-shifting application of Stoicism to Christianity. Ross Dealy offers novel readings of some lesser and well-known Erasmian texts and presents a detailed discussion of the reception of Stoicism in the Renaissance. In a considered interpretation of Erasmus’ De taedio Iesu, Dealy clearly shows the two-dimensional Stoic elements in Erasmus’ thought from an early time onward. Erasmus’ genuinely philosophical disposition is evidenced in an analysis of his edition of Cicero’s De officiis. Building on stoicism Erasmus shows that Christ’s suffering in Gethsemane was not about the triumph of spirit over flesh but about the simultaneous workings of two opposite but equally essential types of value: on the one side spirit and on the other involuntary and intractable natural instincts.
- Series: Erasmus Studies
- Division: Scholarly Publishing
- World Rights
- Page Count: 424 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
‘This meticulous study of 16th century thinking can be dense, but the picture of Erasmus that emerges will prove worth the effort.’
Choice Magazine vol 55:01:2017
"The Stoic Origins of Erasmus’ Philosophy of Christ contains many interesting ideas, which Dealy presents in an engaging way and is a welcome addition to the literature. "
Sixteenth Century Journal vol. 49, no. 1 2018
Author InformationRoss Dealy is a retired associate professor from St. John’s University.
Table of contents
A Philosophy Beneath The Rhetoric
The Fifteenth-Century Background
Erasmus’ Two-Dimensional Stoicism
Stoic Natural Instinct and Christ’s Fear of Death, De Taedio Iesu
Larger Philosophical Issues
Correcting a Thousand Years of Christology
Beyond Devotionalist Assumptions
Subjects and Courses