The essays collected in this volume represent many years of Professor Nauert's research and teaching on the history of Renaissance humanism, and more particularly on humanism north of the Alps. Much of the early work involved the significant but often-overlooked history of humanism at the University of Cologne, notoriously the most anti-humanist of the German universities. Later essays deal with the most famous humanist of the early sixteenth century, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and natural philosophy, a broad term covering many subjects now associated with natural science, is the topic of three of the pieces published here. Taken as a whole, the book presents a detailed study of intellectual development among European elites.
Charles G. Nauert (1928-2013) was Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA.
Contents: Introduction: Part I Scholastic Doctors and Humanist Challengers: The clash of humanists and scholastics: an approach to pre-Reformation controversies; Humanist infiltration into the academic world: some studies of northern universities; Humanism as method: roots of conflict with the scholastics; The humanist challenge to medieval German culture; Peter of Ravenna and the 'obscure men' of Cologne: a case of pre-Reformation controversy; Graf Hermann von Neuenahr and the limits of humanism in Cologne; Humanists, scholastics, and the struggle to reform the University of Cologne, 1523-1525. Part II Erasmus and the Conflict over Humanism: 'A remarkably supercilious and touchy lot': Erasmus on the scholastic theologians; 'The articular disease': Erasmus' charges that the theologians have let the Church down. Part III 'Christian Humanism' in Renaissance Culture: Rethinking 'Christian humanism'; Marguerite, Lefevre d'Etaples, and the growth of Christian humanism in France. Part IV Science in the Renaissance: Natural and Occult: Humanists, scientists, and Pliny: changing approaches to a classical author; Magic and skepticism in Agrippa's thought; Agrippa in Renaissance Italy: the esoteric tradition. Part V Directions in Renaissance Intellectual Life: The mind; Index.