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The five pieces in this volume are among the twenty selected for inclusion in volumes 66-70 of the Collected Works of Erasmus, the series of spiritualia and pastoralia. Like many of the other works in this series, they represent an Erasmus that, despite the recent growth of interest in him, has remained largely unfamiliar - the Erasmus of the works 'pertaining to pietas.'
As Professor O'Malley's introduction makes clear, Erasmian pietas assumes an intrinsic relationship among spirituality, theology, and ministry, and the five works in volume 70 characteristically develop the implications of that relationship. Professor O'Malley provides background and context for each of the selections, and shows how over the course of the years Erasmus gives pietas a theological base and centre by grounding it ever more firmly in the mystery of Christ's death and resurrection.
Volume 70 includes A Short Debate Concerning the Distress, Alarm and Sorrow of Jesus; A Sermon on the Immense Mercy of God; On Praying to God; An Explanation of the Apostles' Creed; and Preparing for Death.