Era of Reform Desiderius Erasmus
(1469 - 1536)
Era of Reform

Dutch humanist and Roman Catholic advocate of reform.

Portrait of Erasmus, by
Hans Holbein the Younger

A native of the Low Countries, Erasmus was the leading northern European humanist in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries and a luminary throughout Europe. He revered antiquity and learning in both church and culture. A severe critic of abuse and corruption in the church, he advocated simplicity in both faith and life for the church. As one contribution to reform he published a critical edition of the Greek New Testament that served as the basis for scholarly interpretation for centuries to come. His other scholarly and polemical works were read throughout Europe. Although sympathetic to reform, Erasmus eventually broke with Martin Luther whom Erasmus thought extreme and fractious, especially in his views on the human will and predestination.

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Photo Credit: Corel