A satire on the intrinsic vanity of the social order and an exhortation towards a humanistic Christianity, Erasmus's Praise of Folly--written in 1509 and put on the Index of forbidden books by the Council of Trent in 1559 after becoming the greatest literary success of the Humanistic Age-- is the towering achievement of one of the most brilliant minds of all time, and one of the most influential books ever written.
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About the Author
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (27 October 1466 - 12 July 1536), known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, or simply Erasmus, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian.
Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a pure Latin style. Amongst humanists, he enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists"; he has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists". Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. These raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote On Free Will, The Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is surely Erasmus' greatest work. It is funny and still incredibly relevant today. This new translation really does it justice. A recommended read to anyone one with an interest in theology or the Renaissance.
In this brilliant satirical work, Folly gives a speech in praise of herself. the first 80% or so has a very ironic tone as Folly "praises" ignorance, various vices, and various classes of people whom she claims as her followers (most notably, the Roman Catholic traditions, superstitions, clergy, and theologians of Erasmus' day). The final portion is in a more serious tone as Folly genuinely praises "the folly of the cross" (I Corinthians 1:18) and the accessibility of true faith to even the simplest of people (I Corinthians 1:6). The sarcasm was entertaining and thought-provoking, and the final section on the foolishness of the cross was a good reminder of the true simplicity of the Gospel. Even though I would disagree with Erasmus on plenty of theological & sociological points, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Just a word of warning: don't try reading this without footnotes unless you are really up on your Greek/Roman mythology and philosophy and Renaissance theology.
this book is such a great social comm. of the time period. how he descibes the Catholic Church just makes you so drawn into the book. its is a fun read, as well as something your brain can chew on