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Desiderius Erasmus

church reform

Erasmus, Desiderius (1466?–1536), Dutch Roman Catholic humanist and advocate of church and social reform. One of the leading scholars of the Renaissance, he did the first Latin translation of the New Testament from the original Greek and edited the works of the Church fathers. His works include The Christian Soldier's Handbook (1503) and In Praise of Folly (1509), a witty satire on Church corruption. Although he advocated church reform, he opposed the Protestant Reformation. He had a bitter debate with Martin Luther on the issue of predestination and free will.

See also: Humanism.

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