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In Erasmus's The Praise of Folly, what does Folly find most praiseworthy about...

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chassitybonton | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 22, 2009 at 8:34 AM via web

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In Erasmus's The Praise of Folly, what does Folly find most praiseworthy about theologians?

It's for my Humanities 2320 course.

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ecofan74 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted June 5, 2009 at 9:08 AM (Answer #1)

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In The Praise of Folly, Erasmus takes the excesses of much of early sixteenth-century society to task.  This being said, Erasmus levies his harshest criticism on theologians and monks.  He argues that theologians occupy their times with useless questions, particularly those that spring from the concerns of the Scholastic tradition.  In the text, Folly views theologians who preoccupied themselves with attempts to provide a rational framework for religious concerns as exercising folly.  From this, Folly concludes that theologians who exercise a simpler form of piety are the most praiseworthy because they do not abandon their humility for intellectual pride.  Preserving religious mysteries rather than selfishly seeking to solve them approaches the true role of religion.  For Folly, religion is experiential, not academic.

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