1466 - 1536
Erasmus of Rotterdam was the dominant figure
of the humanist movement and the intellectual
arbiter during the last years of Christian unity.
Desiderius Erasmus was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. After six years in an Augustinian monastery, he became a priest.
He went to Paris, then moved to England in 1498, and became professor of
divinity and of Greek at Cambridge. Here Erasmus wrote his satire, 'Encomium moriae'
After 1521 he lived mainly in Basel, where he was engaged in continual controversy, but enjoyed great fame and respect in his later years.
Erasmus' writings rank him as one of the greatest scholars of his time. His masterpiece, 'Colloquia' - a critical text about Church abuses - appeared in 1519.
He criticized with witty satire the ignorance of the clergy, and their over-reliance on ceremonies, and their neglect of charity and the study of the Bible. Although he did not attack the teachings of the Church he tried to arouse interest in Church reform.
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From the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy