Erasmus: Live Learn Love Essay

Erasmus: Live Learn Love Essay

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Desiderius Erasmus, a man of few spoken words, wrote many arguments about how the church was being run. He felt that everyone acted “godly” and thought that they were above people. He critiqued not only those in the church, but many broad generalizations of people as well, citing the bible. Most of Erasmus’ disdain for the way things were run was due to the circumstances he was raised in. With his “The Praise of Folly” Erasmus shows his humanistic worldview, as well as tells people what they should change in order to live a better life.
Erasmus was born in Rotterdam to unmarried parents. His mother was a widow, and his father became a priest sometime shortly after his birth. His father was a devotee of Italian humanism, who knew Latin and Greek and supported himself in Rome as a scribe. Erasmus had a brother, Pieter, three years older, and the boys were orphaned by the early death of both parents about 1484. Little more about his origins can be said with certainty. He was then, with his brother sent off to his guardians, they not wanting to deal with them and viewing them as a heavy burden sent them off to a monastery school near Gouda. This is where he learned his introduction to humanism which he holds for his later works. After Erasmus spent six years at the monastery he left and went to Paris in order to attend more schooling. He later started a handbook to keep track of his thoughts and views as well as his criticisms.
Using the inclusion in his handbook of a section on "imitation," the normal practice in rhetorical theories, Erasmus would seem to hold to particular elements of standard rhetorical and educational practices. He moves counter to the way people were starting to move in that time. For Erasmus, a writer shows ...


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...error, so that they could fix it, and help heal the world. His main view was to live the world the way it was; a live, learn, and love view if-you-will. He believed that no one was above any other person i.e. the pope, and/or other people of importance, and therefore shouldn’t act in a condescending manner. The bible tells all humanity that no one knows any knowledge about God, or how to be “Godly.” People should follow that, and just live life the way we are intended to, learning as we go along and spreading the gospel, correctly, to whomever we can.



Works Cited

Erasmus, Desiderius, and Loon Hendrik Willem Van. The Praise of Folly,. New York: Published for the Classics Club by W.J. Black, 1942. Print.

Kreis, Steven. "Desiderius Erasmus, 1466-1536." The History Guide -- Main. 14 May 2004. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. .

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