Among the most important of Erasmus’ contributions to Christian humanism were his Greek text, new Latin translation, and annotations of the New Testament, an implicit challenge to the authority of the Vulgate and one that provoked numerous responses. This volume of the Collected Works contains translations of four of Erasmus’ responses to his critics, written between 1520 and 1532 and directed primarily to his Franciscan and Dominican contemporaries at the university in Louvain. Three are connected to his Annotations on the New Testament. The fourth, a letter to Christopher von Utenheim, bishop of Basel, deals with pastoral questions such as fasting, abstinence, and the celibacy of priests.
Though they mostly deal with philological rather than doctrinal matters, these debates were no less important to Erasmus’ work. Carefully and extensively annotated by the translator, Denis L. Drysdall, volume 73 of the Collected Works invites the reader to examine Erasmus’ own explanations of his philological method and its theological significance.
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