Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

Death: 12th July 1536
Location: Basel Münster, Basel, Switzerland
Photo taken by: Taxiarchos228
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Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, and theologian. Desiderius Erasmus was born in Rotterdam in about 1466. He joined the Augustinian monastery at Steyn in 1487 and was ordained in 1492.
He spent time in France before moving to England where he taught at Oxford University (1499) and Cambridge University (1509-14) where he was Professor of Divinity.
Erasmus became the leader of the movement of scholarship known as humanism. Erasmus believed strongly in the human capacity for self-improvement through education. He argued that world peace could be obtained by consensus and consent.
He advocated a tolerant Christianity and was highly critical of the abuses of the Catholic Church and his ideas helped to prepare the way for Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. However, Erasmus disapproved of Luther's radical methods and criticized him in his book De Libero Arbitrio (1523).  Erasmus's best-known work was Praise of Folly (1511) a satirical attack on the traditions of the European society, of the Catholic Church and popular superstitions.