product description page
Erasmus and Calvin on the Foolishness of God : Reason and Emotion in the Christian Philosophy
About this item
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.