Book Series Lectio, vol. 10

Authority Revisited

Towards Thomas More and Erasmus in 1516

Wim François, Violet Soen, Anthony Dupont, Andrea Aldo Robiglio (eds)

  • Pages: 604 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:2 tables b/w.
  • Language(s):English, French
  • Publication Year:2021

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59061-5
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59062-2
  • E-book
  • Available

In-depth essays on Desiderius Erasmus’s Novum Instrumentum and Thomas More’s Utopia, which were both published for the first time in 1516 in Basel and Leuven respectively, and which have contributed dramatically to the rise of (early) modern Western thought and thoroughly influenced subsequent generations in their literary, philosophical and theological works


“We could add that, in Utopia, literature is precisely a political tool which invents new forms of political power while being perfectly aware of its limits. This is why Authority revisited is such a stimulating book: it judiciously explores the political strength of interpretation and literature, which both reinvent new traditions by contemporizing ancient sources.” (Blandine Perona, in Erasmus Studies, 42, 2022, p. 90)


In the year 1516, two crucial texts for the cultural history of the West saw the light: Desiderius Erasmus’ Nouum Instrumentum and Thomas More’s Utopia. Both of these works dealt freely with authoritative sources of Western civilization and opened new pathways of thought on the eve of far-reaching religious and political changes.

This book volume deals with aspects of the content, reception and influence of Nouum Instrumentum and Utopia in the (Early) Modern Era, while also focusing upon the sources they used and critically adopted. The overall approach is that both texts have contributed dramatically to the rise of (early) modern Western thought and have influenced the next generations in their literary, philosophical and theological works. This volume, multidisciplinary in scope, brings together contributions from the fields of bible exegesis, theology, philosophy, philology and history.


Authority Revisited: Leuven’s 500th Year Commemoration of Erasmus’ Nouum Instrumentum and More’s Utopia (Wim François)
Thomas More, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Humanist Erudition, Bible Philology and the Authority of the Classical Tradition (Uwe Baumann)

Part I
How to Order Four into One: Harmonizing the Gospels at the Dawn of Biblical Humanism (Serena Masolini)
Authority, Does It Displace the Judgment? Lorenzo Valla, Desiderius Erasmus, and the Rise of the Modern Homo Grammaticus (Jakub Koryl)
Traditional Features in Erasmus’ Nouum Instrumentum and the Order of the Writings of the New Testament (Henk Jan de Jonge)
Patristic Concepts of Original Sin in Erasmus’ Annotationes in Epistulam ad Romanos (Christian Houth Vrangbæk)
Dette des traductions espagnoles des évangiles envers le Nouum Testamentum d’Érasme et ses Annotationes (Hélène Rabaey)
Erasmus on I ad Corinthios 14. 15-19: The Erasmian Theology of Music and Its Legacy in Reformation England (Hyun-Ah Kim)
Seruare uirginem suam: Martin Bucer and Stephen Gardiner on I Cor. 7. 36-38 and the Prohibition of Clerical Marriage (Nicholas Thompson)
The Reception of Erasmus’ New Testament in the Louvain Franciscan Study House: The Case of Nicholas Tacitus Zegers and Adam Sasbout (Antonio Gerace)
The Impact of Erasmus on the 1614 Pauline Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide, S.J. (Daniel James [fr. Benedict] Fischer)

Part II
The First Edition of Thomas More’s Utopia in Louvain, Its Printer Dirk Martens and the Erasmian Network in Early Modern Europe: Exploring the Role of a Humanist Network in a Printing House in the Low Countries (Renaud Adam)
The Traveller Returns: Utopia and the City of God (Gillian Clark)
Waging War for Justice: Utopian Wars and the Roman Expansion (Jacob Langeloh)
Utopian Curiosity: Thomas More on the Desire to Know (Alissa MacMillan)
Travels with a Monkey: Raphael Hythlodaye’s Books (Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin)
John Clement and the Heritage of More and Erasmus (Grantley McDonald)

Biblical index
General index