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Stoic Origins of Erasmus' Philosophy of Christ (Hardcover) (Ross Dealy)
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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.