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The Influence Of The Protestant Reformation On Philip Melanchthon’s Letters Of Recommendation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates what Philip Melanchthon's letters of recommendation can teach us about new patterns that developed in recommendations on account of the Reformation. As a pre-eminent humanistically-trained reformer, his letters of recommendation still exhibit humanist elements, as outlined in the letter-writing manuals of Erasmus and Vivesthe use of classical rhetoric and motifs and the continued attention to the triangular relationship between the author, the recipient, and the recommended. His letters of recommendation capture the process of change from humanism to the Reformation and exhibit some of the new developments. The focus of the recommendation is entirely on his late father. In his quest for peace and concord, Melanchthon did his utmost not to promote those who might later cause further dissension within the church by heterodox opinions. This was achieved most frequently by a personal examination of the recommendeds doctrinal knowledge.

Keywords: doctrinal controversies; Erasmus; letters of recommendation; Philip Melanchthon; Protestant Reformation; Vives



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