Saturday, May 9, 2009

27 Erasmus

Ewa (from Sweden) let me know that she is not able to attend class today. Today she is a Saint Lucia in a Swedish SL sim and she sent me this picture.

Throughout Sweden the feast day of Lucia, or Lucy, is celebrated as a festival of lights. In the early hours of the morning of December 13 a young woman, dressed in a white gown, and wearing a red sash and a crown of lingonberry twigs and blazing candles, would go from one farm to the next

carrying a torch to light her way, bringing baked goods, stopping to visit at each house and returning home by break of day. Every village had its own Lucia. The custom is thought to have begun in some of the richer farming districts of Sweden and still persists although the crowns are now electric lights.

So we wish Ewa-Lucia all love and light of life, while we get enlightend about Erasmus...:-)

[Have a look at the photos]

Desiderius Erasmus

The scolastic aera is really over. The dominance of the Church is declining. New movements arise. All of them expressing the feeling of that moment in history. The individual person is now the focus.

And it is the Netherlands and Germany, where major cultural changes took place around 1512. One was the influence of the Devotia Moderna movement, a religious and educational movement, which emphazised the development of the individual.

It made a sharp distinction between ones own christian life on the one hand and the church and state on the other hand. Religion became a personal matter.

And in the center of this all we see a man like Desiderius Erasmus (1469 - 1536). A brilliant scolar, an expert in Greek and Latin, the root languages of the bible in those days.

He is THE representative of what is called humanisme. In his case a christian humanism. He propagates the humanistic method: critical text - analysis and back to the source: Greek and Latin. And its purpose was a closer relation with Christ.

His view was that everyone should live according to the live of Christ and should seek contact with him personally. And one should drop all false devotion, which means: the adoration of saints, statues in churches, pilgrimages, ceremonies and sacraments of the catholic church.

The highest authority in explaining the bible was the humanistic scolar, according to Erasmus. So..not the pope or the church or theologians.

This line of thinking brought him in close connection with Martin Luther, also a former Augustine monk. Erasmus and Luther exchanged letters, published pamflets about their debate on matters of religion.

However Erasmus never joined the Lutherans. He stays loyal to the catholic church because he hated conflict and schism. But he never condemned Luther either, which eventulaly made him into a suspect..a supporter of the Reformation. Therefore in 1521 he left the Netherlands and moved to Switzerland.

Erasmus was a scolar, a writer, the ultimate example of the brilliant humanistic educated man. Not so much a phlosopher who left us a new insight in real philosophical matters

Yet he is on my list for he is the ultimate representative of the new world, a world in which individual man decides about his convictions and not some church.

We still may recognize our own thoughts in the views of a man who lived some 500 years ago: the protest against the weath and richness of a church, meaningless rituals, true religion as something from the heart not represented by some orginazation.

The new mind has got its definite settings: not only independent in scientific thinking and research, but also free and independent in the search for a personal religious conviction.

Here you are witnessing the birth of a 'mindscape', which is so common nowadays.

The Discussion

[13:22] Herman Bergson: This about Erasmus....not a real philosopher in the strict sense
[13:22] Rainoir Ormsby: hi Manoly
[13:22] hope63 Shepherd: sounds a bit like ockham
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: again another who influenced
[13:22] Gemma Cleanslate: philosophy and is not one
[13:22] Herman Bergson: In a way he was,,,,but then more in the sense of fighting the institution
[13:23] Herman Bergson: His Laus Stultitiae was a ridiculing of the institution
[13:23] Cailleach Shan: I'm surprised he wasn't excomunicated.
[13:23] hope63 Shepherd: was the time when everyone fought the instututions of the chrch.. from hus to zwingli,calvin. luther..
[13:23] Herman Bergson: Yes Cailleach
[13:24] AristotleVon Doobie: Beating new paths yet keeping a strangle hold on the sheep.
[13:24] Herman Bergson: Yes..and the criticism is sounding so up to date still
[13:24] hope63 Shepherd: forgot farrel
[13:25] Cailleach Shan: Did the Church put his writings on the Index?
[13:25] Herman Bergson: When concentrating on Erasmus..what struck me was that his criticism could have been put to paper today
[13:25] Herman Bergson: As far as I know they didnt Cailleach
[13:26] Osrum Sands: and is the new master the state rather then the church ?
[13:26] Herman Bergson: But maybe it was because he always stayed loyal to the catholic faith at least
[13:26] Cailleach Shan: And yet he was stiking at their very heart at the same time.
[13:27] Herman Bergson: Osrum...I think that brings us back to Machiavelli
[13:27] Osrum Sands: ok
[13:27] Herman Bergson: the relation between power and ethics
[13:27] Osrum Sands: cool
[13:27] Ludwig John: did he write his texts in Latin or in the language the common people understood?
[13:27] Herman Bergson: He was a master in Latin Ludwig
[13:28] Herman Bergson: He wrote in Latin
[13:28] Maphisto Mapholisto: i think that was important difference beyween him and Luther
[13:28] Herman Bergson: Yes indeed Maff
[13:29] Ludwig John: I think this was one of the reasons because he was not so dangerous for the church as for example Luther
[13:29] Herman Bergson: But Luther used his Greek edition of the new testament for his german translation
[13:29] Herman Bergson: that made some say that Erasmus was the father of the reformation...
[13:30] Herman Bergson: But I want to go back to that historical moment and Osrum's remark
[13:30] Maphisto Mapholisto: it is one thing to liberate oneself, but another to liberate one's fellow man and woman
[13:30] AristotleVon Doobie: Yes Yes but didnt he really only open the doors for more churches thus more profit centers?
[13:31] Cailleach Shan: Is it ever possible to 'liberate' someone else...
[13:31] Herman Bergson: We should have a close look at the historical situation...
[13:32] Herman Bergson: Machiavelli starts the debate about power....which is different from ethics
[13:32] Osrum Sands: But it is possible to set conditions so they can survive long enough to seek that
[13:32] Herman Bergson: I am sorry..I was talking about something else..:-)
[13:33] Cailleach Shan: :O
[13:33] Maphisto Mapholisto: sorry
[13:33] Osrum Sands: ohhp
[13:33] Herman Bergson: I want you to realize the historical moment from around 1500...some 500 years ago
[13:34] Herman Bergson: and understand that it shaped our world
[13:34] Herman Bergson: States were forming in Europe...
[13:34] Herman Bergson: the idea of a state as we know it didnt exist before 1500
[13:35] Osrum Sands: As I said the beginning of Modernity.
[13:35] AristotleVon Doobie: I can see the great branch that was formed then but only see more of the same since only colored differently.
[13:35] Herman Bergson: man was put in the center of its universe and the earth was removed from that place
[13:36] Osrum Sands: humaninism is begun
[13:36] Herman Bergson: When you think of the gigantic changes in the mind it thinking about our existence
[13:36] Herman Bergson: yes..Humanism
[13:36] hope63 Shepherd: i don't agree about what you said about the states forming herman.. i think of major importance was the growth of the towns. bourgoisie.. and getting richer and richer.. and more indepenmdent..
[13:36] Herman Bergson: or in other words..all of a sudden we were on our own
[13:37] Herman Bergson: Yes Hope...the towns were dominating...I refered to our concept of a state nowadays
[13:38] Herman Bergson: We slowely walked into this situation from the ancient Greeks on.....
[13:38] AristotleVon Doobie: How did the availablity of books affect this reformation?
[13:38] Herman Bergson: this is a turning point...
[13:38] Herman Bergson: tremendously Aristotle..
[13:39] AristotleVon Doobie: I think maybe the advent of be able to educate your self played a large part.
[13:39] Herman Bergson: Erasmus went to Basel and was befriended with a bookmaker..Froben..whenI am right.
[13:39] Maphisto Mapholisto: changing technology made this possible - the printing press, and the leather chainsaw
[13:39] hope63 Shepherd: leather chainsaw?
[13:39] Cailleach Shan: Education of the masses begins.... the voice of the people can be heard..
[13:39] Herman Bergson: Yes..books...a gigantic change in the way knowledge was spread
[13:40] AristotleVon Doobie: So we must incude the scientists in the movement too.
[13:40] Herman Bergson: This, Aristotle is THE aera of the scientists
[13:40] Laila Schuman: and artists
[13:40] AristotleVon Doobie: And about time.
[13:40] Osrum Sands: a time when academic freedom was not controlled by the dogma of the church
[13:40] Cailleach Shan: This would lessen the power of the priests significantly..
[13:41] Maphisto Mapholisto: the spread of Luthers bible in the common tongue impelled the world towards mass literacy
[13:41] hope63 Shepherd: being able to read what others wrote.. independent of some monks who wrote the stuff before..-
[13:41] Herman Bergson: Sure Laila....and also in art something new had developed...
[13:41] AristotleVon Doobie: Maybe the seed of liberty?
[13:41] Herman Bergson: it is even significant in relation to philosophy
[13:41] Osrum Sands: bring on Thomas Hobbs
[13:41] Herman Bergson: painters had discovered perspective
[13:41] Laila Schuman: !!!
[13:41] Osrum Sands: im getting a wet toung
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: Send her away.
[13:42] Gemma Cleanslate: ??
[13:42] Cailleach Shan: What!!!! wash your mouth out lol
[13:42] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[13:42] Herman Bergson: after the flat perspectiveless drawings of the Middle Ages...there was perspective....
[13:42] Osrum Sands: stop it loving the direction of the chat get into ti
[13:43] Herman Bergson: Did anyone of you loose perspective here?
[13:43] AristotleVon Doobie: lol
[13:43] Garvie Garzo: lol
[13:43] Cailleach Shan: What difference would that have made Herman...
[13:43] Cailleach Shan: More realism.
[13:43] Maphisto Mapholisto: well, developed a system of notational marks on a 2D surface that referenced the depth perception
[13:43] Anna Adamant is Offline
[13:44] Ludwig John: but inspite of all we must not forget the worst time in europe started some years later: 30Years lasting war, burning of witches
[13:44] AristotleVon Doobie: Perspective, something that should have been obvious.
[13:44] Maphisto Mapholisto: not at all, aristo
[13:44] Laila Schuman: they took the perspective thing further and began modeling the figure or forms... and using atmospheric space as well as other techniques to indicate space like size and overlapping
[13:44] Herman Bergson: Just ask yourself Cailleach why the painter changed his way to look at the world and paint it in perspective
[13:44] Herman Bergson: It is the age of science....
[13:45] Herman Bergson: real obeservation was what counted...
[13:45] Garvie Garzo: (perspective WAS known to the egyptians, but for aesthetic reasons not employed)
[13:45] Garvie Garzo: sorry..
[13:45] Laila Schuman: the greeks had it too
[13:45] Osrum Sands: Ah space the first of Modernities 4 globalizations
[13:45] Maphisto Mapholisto: no, good point garvie
[13:45] Garvie Garzo: yup
[13:45] Herman Bergson: Well Garvie.....that is was for aesthetic reasons is our interpretation
[13:45] Garvie Garzo: ok
[13:46] Maphisto Mapholisto: and underscores herman's point - the use of perspective drawing is a cultural convention that ties in with the rest of a culture
[13:46] Garvie Garzo: perhaps philosophical reasons is more apt
[13:46] Herman Bergson: They just didnt like to depict their world in perspective
[13:46] AristotleVon Doobie: Insight.
[13:46] Garvie Garzo: it does rearise in the rennaissance humanistic, scientific, realistic drive
[13:46] Cailleach Shan wonders about some of the artworks she sees around today.
[13:47] Maphisto Mapholisto: then they are doing their job, Caill
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: true
[13:47] Herman Bergson: Yes..the scientific drive...also visible in art
[13:47] Gemma Cleanslate: fractal art
[13:47] Herman Bergson: but it goes further,,,
[13:48] Cailleach Shan: Yes, I get that.
[13:48] Herman Bergson: art only lives when you have people who love to see your work
[13:48] Cailleach Shan: Mandelbrot.
[13:48] Maphisto Mapholisto: art is a communication
[13:48] Laila Schuman: a language
[13:48] Herman Bergson: and the people of those days loved to see the perspective
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: Art survives when it can stimulate the ancient brain.
[13:49] Maphisto Mapholisto: maybe because they wanted to life in perspective
[13:49] Osrum Sands: wanter or needed ?
[13:49] Laila Schuman: they wanted things to look real... not flat
[13:49] AristotleVon Doobie: It is an emotional communicator.
[13:49] Laila Schuman: they started looking for DETAIL in nature
[13:49] Cailleach Shan: That works for me..'
[13:49] Manoly Demina: i'm sorry but i have to go
[13:50] Manoly Demina: bye herman
[13:50] Maphisto Mapholisto: it was perhaps part of discovering individuality - seeing ones place in the world
[13:50] Gemma Cleanslate: bye Manoly
[13:50] Manoly Demina: bye all
[13:50] Laila Schuman: and it became important to depict things more accurately
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: bye Manoly
[13:50] Cailleach Shan: Bye Manoly
[13:50] Herman Bergson: what we may conclude is that this moment in history shows a change that is widespread and no church could stop it anymore
[13:50] hope63 Shepherd: by manoly..
[13:50] Osrum Sands: and thank God for that !
[13:50] Cailleach Shan: Yay..
[13:50] AristotleVon Doobie: Who?
[13:51] Laila Schuman: the flat style of the middle ages was meant to be self effacing.... they were saying... NO... humans are INDIVIDUALS
[13:51] Gemma Cleanslate: lol
[13:51] Maphisto Mapholisto: ah, but with that comes our essential existential isolation
[13:51] Garvie Garzo: lol
[13:51] Osrum Sands: maff
[13:51] Laila Schuman: too soon maph
[13:51] Cailleach Shan: essential?
[13:51] AristotleVon Doobie: I am wondering if the change was good for all classes.
[13:51] Herman Bergson: Yes..not yet Maff...but we are heading in that direction
[13:52] Herman Bergson: Well..look around Aristotle...and decide for yourself
[13:52] Laila Schuman: savanarola would say NO
[13:53] AristotleVon Doobie: I think that maybe all folks were not treated the same.
[13:53] Garvie Garzo: but someone ever listened to him :)
[13:53] Laila Schuman: ummm even boticelli tossed his pagan paintings on the fire
[13:53] Laila Schuman: they listened to him alright
[13:53] Osrum Sands: the dark satenic mills
[13:54] Osrum Sands: but as a moment in history I know what you mean Herman
[13:54] Osrum Sands: amazing moment
[13:55] Herman Bergson: Yes it is..the more you think about it....this was the moment it all happened for us
[13:56] Osrum Sands: deffinately
[13:56] Laila Schuman: in the West
[13:56] Osrum Sands: Luthers 'Nail' in the church door
[13:56] Osrum Sands: was a major turning point
[13:56] Osrum Sands: I think
[13:56] AristotleVon Doobie: I wonder how 500 years from now if people will be able to differentiate the haves and have nots of today.
[13:56] hope63 Shepherd: the bible in german was os..
[13:56] Osrum Sands: owww Aris
[13:57] Osrum Sands: that hurts
[13:57] Osrum Sands: but definately
[13:57] Garvie Garzo: size of tombstones
[13:57] AristotleVon Doobie: :)
[13:57] Herman Bergson: Just one last remark....
[13:57] Ludwig John: but as I said before the worst times were coming later: the Inquisition
[13:57] Osrum Sands: for many it will be who cares or even knowes the existed
[13:58] Herman Bergson: laiala the West...
[13:58] Herman Bergson: laila
[13:58] AristotleVon Doobie: My point in regard to 500 years ago.
[13:58] Osrum Sands: heard figurers that the global population is set to go from 6 B to 9 Bil in 30 years
[13:58] Maphisto Mapholisto: i think she is Laialala in the dress!
[13:58] Herman Bergson: We are indeed talking about all that happened in Europe only...
[13:58] Osrum Sands: sorry red herring
[13:58] Herman Bergson: Maff...:-) !
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: :-))
[13:59] Herman Bergson: It is a thing that keeps I am wonering about myself
[13:59] Maphisto Mapholisto: she is a red swan, not a red herring, Os
[13:59] Herman Bergson: lol
[13:59] Osrum Sands: no
[13:59] AristotleVon Doobie: Somtimes you have to question just who's history are you reading.
[13:59] Osrum Sands: messed that
[13:59] Herman Bergson: ATTENTION plz..:-)
[13:59] Osrum Sands: was meaning what I said
[13:59] Maphisto Mapholisto: sorry boss
[13:59] Gemma Cleanslate: yes Herman?
[14:00] Osrum Sands: that of powerfull men
[14:00] Herman Bergson: The thing is...what shaped the present day world was mainly the science and kapitalist economy originating from Europe..
[14:01] Cailleach Shan: Sadly a loss of mysticism..
[14:01] Osrum Sands: no it survived
[14:01] Herman Bergson: and here we are following the development to what it has become nowadays
[14:02] Herman Bergson: It just makes me think.........
[14:02] AristotleVon Doobie: But like all knowlege seeking I want to peek around the accepted tale.
[14:02] Herman Bergson: Think about this historical development yourselves, while meeting the next generation of philosophers..
[14:03] Herman Bergson: I thank you all again for your attention..this was a great class agian..:-)
[14:03] Garvie Garzo: thank you
[14:03] AristotleVon Doobie: Thank you very much Herman
[14:03] Gemma Cleanslate: Thank you again Herman
[14:03] Ludwig John: also thank you
[14:03] Cailleach Shan: Good one Herman... thanks
[14:04] Maphisto Mapholisto: tnx herman
[14:04] Garvie Garzo: herman, can i ask you a 'personal' question?
Posted by herman_bergson on 2007-12-13 17:13:03

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