Zweig sees more in Erasmus than a mere propounder of the notion of “la vertu païenne”, so easily refuted by La Rochefoucauld in the maxims. His design is more akin to the unifying purpose of Bach’s B Minor Mass. Regrettably, neither has yet had a unifying impact, largely owing to a want of common purpose and a poverty of educational aspiration. I do not consider the solution to reside in either the pipe-dreams of progressivism or in the trammelled apprehensiveness of a complacent conservatism. As I’ve said before, I’d march for neither, but I should wish for the ghosts of Erasmus, Zweig, Egon Friedell and their ilk to march abroad. “Für Erasmus bestand kein moralischer, kein unüberbrückbarer Gegensatz zwischen Jesus und Sokrates, zwischen christlicher Lehre und antikischer Weisheit, zwischen Frömmigkeit und Sittlichkeit. Er nahm die Heiden, er, der geweihte Priester, im Sinne der Toleranz in sein geistiges Himmelreich und stellte sie brüderlich zu den Kirchenvätern; Philosophie war ihm eine andere und ebenso reine Form des Gottsuchens wie die Theologie, zum christlichen Himmel sah er nicht minder gläubig empor wie dankbar zu dem griechischen Olymp.” from “Triumph und Tragik des Erasmus von Rotterdam (German Edition)” by Stefan Zweig

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