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Reading Augustine through Erasmus' Eyes: Humanist Scholarship and Paratextual Guidance in the Wake of the Reformation

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This article investigates Erasmus' edition of the collected works of Augustine of Hippo (Basel 1528–1529) as an example of the interaction between the scholarly culture of Renaissance humanism and the Reformation. It examines how Erasmus' reservations about Augustine's thought informed his presentation of the church father as a brilliant bishop but a mediocre writer. It shows how Erasmus' humanist perspective and theological agenda guided—and at times misguided—his editorial practice, such as in the assessment of authenticity. The result was an edition in which Augustine's works were framed by a highly ideological textual apparatus, which proved especially controversial in post-Tridentine Catholic circles.


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