Erasmus and the Age of Reformation

Erasmus and the Age of Reformation
with a selection from the letters of Erasmus

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Erasmus and the Age of Reformation by Johan Huizinga

Published:

1924

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Erasmus and the Age of Reformation
with a selection from the letters of Erasmus

By

5
(1 Review)
Huizinga's text was translated from the Dutch by F. Hopman and first published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1924. The section from the Letters of Erasmus was translated by Barbara Flower.

Book Excerpt

culture among the middle classes; a culture of a very narrow, strictly ecclesiastical nature, indeed, but which for that very reason was fit to permeate broad layers of the people.

What the Windesheimians themselves produced in the way of devotional literature is chiefly limited to edifying booklets and biographies of their own members; writings which were distinguished rather by their pious tenor and sincerity than by daring or novel thoughts.

But of them all, the greatest was that immortal work of Thomas à Kempis, Canon of Saint Agnietenberg, near Zwolle, the Imitatio Christi.

Foreigners visiting these regions north of the Scheldt and the Meuse laughed at the rude manners and the deep drinking of the inhabitants, but they also mentioned their sincere piety. These countries were already, what they have ever remained, somewhat contemplative and self-contained, better adapted for speculating on the world and for reproving it than for astonishing it with dazzling wit.