What Were the Accomplishments of Desiderius Erasmus?

Desiderius Erasmus was a prominent philosopher and theologian during the Protestant Reformation and was responsible for creating a new edition of the New Testament as well as many other influential writings. He was a highly controversial figure and was heavily criticized by both Catholic and Protestant authorities. Nonetheless, his works were very popular, and he remains well known.

Desiderius Erasmus was the illegitimate son of a priest and was orphaned at an early age. Eventually, his guardians sent him off to be schooled with monks for several years, which left him with a bad impression of the church hierarchy. His writings were skeptical and highly critical of the Catholic church, which contributed to the success of the Protestant Reformation. Nonetheless, Desiderius Erasmus thought the Reformation went too far, and he criticized it.

Erasmus wrote on the subjects of politics, religion, language and knowledge itself. He was in favor of absolute obedience to kings, but also said that a king must be relatively pacifistic and rule, as much as possible, with the consent of his people. He never tried to get at absolute truth, which he thought was only contained in sacred texts, but instead focused on practical positions in regards to individual issues.