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
- 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
"The Stoic Origins of Erasmus’ Philosophy of Christ is a challenging and thought-provoking book. It is a book that goes to the heart of the philosophical subject matter that is everywhere apparent in Erasmus’s writings, but hardly ever studied in serious ways."
Han van Ruler, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
Renaissance Quarterly, vol 71 4, Winter 2018
"The Stoic Origins of Erasmus’ Philosophy of Christ makes an important contribution to Erasmus scholarship through a close reading of two of Erasmus’ early works that are rarely considered alongside one another, the De taedio Iesu and the Enchiridion, in an attempt to trace their considerable Stoic elements."v
Kirk Essary, University of Western Australia
Erasmus Studies, vol 39
Author InformationRoss Dealy is a retired associate professor at St. John’s University, NY.
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