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Montaigne And Christian Humanism

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Chapter Summary

Montaigne was both a practising Roman Catholic and a lifelong reader of Latin poetry and ancient history. Christian humanists are defined by their wish to reach the bedrock of Christian belief without some of the accretions of subsequent tradition. Montaigne suggests that the Lord's Prayer should be widely used than it is on the evangelical grounds and that it is the only prayer to have been taught directly by Jesus. Montaigne's Essais aim to portray reason in action, that is to say, in movement, in change. Montaigne rejects important aspects of Christian humanism. He thinks it inappropriate to apply grammatical knowledge and editorial techniques to improve the text and translations of the Bible. At the same time Montaigne manages to be a Christian humanist in the sense that he describes a world strongly influenced by classical literature which yet allows room for a Christian revelation.

Keywords:Bible; Christian humanism; Essais; Jesus; Latin; Montaigne



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