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The Praise of Folly Summary
Desiderius Erasmus

Everything you need to understand or teach The Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus.

  • The Praise of Folly Summary & Study Guide
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  • 30 The Praise of Folly Lessons
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The Praise of Folly Summary

Plot Summary

The Praise of Folly was written by Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466 - 1536), a classical scholar and one of the foremost members of the "humanist" movement of the 16th century. Erasmus widely criticized the Roman Catholic Church of his day but remained a member and often debated with early Protestant Reformers. Erasmus wrote The Praise of Folly in 1509 during a trip from Italy to visit his friend Thomas More, a great English humanist who was beheaded by Henry VIII for refusing to recognize the King as the supreme head of the Christian Church in England.

The Praise of Folly lambasts many popular Catholic practices and Catholic theologians, monks, cardinals, bishops, popes and priests and was one of the principle documents leading to the Protestant Reformation, despite the fact that Erasmus remained a Catholic.

The book opens with a brief letter by Erasmus explaining the origins and purpose of The...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

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The Praise of Folly Study Guide

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The Praise of Folly Lesson Plans contain 104 pages of teaching material, including:

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