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Title: The Plea by the Humanist Petrus Mosellanus for a Knowledge of the Three Biblical Languages. A Louvain Perspective
Authors: François, Wim # ×
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: Université Catholique de Louvain
Series Title: Revue d'Histoire Ecclésiastique vol:98 issue:3-4 pages:438-481
Abstract: In the autumn of 1518 the Louvain theologians came into contact with Petrus Mosellanus' work "De variarum linguarum cognitione paranda oratio". In line with his great role model Erasmus, the German humanist pleaded for a sound knowledge of Greek and Hebrew next to classical Latin, in order to facilitate the study of the Bible. In his view Holy Scripture had to form the foundation for all higher theological investigation. As biblical humanists usually did, Mosellanus referred also to the Church Fathers and particularly to Origen, Jerome and even Augustine's "De doctrina Christiana". The Fathers all thought it necessary to devote themselves to the study of the biblical languages in order to access the "original" inspired Word. Mosellanus criticized scholastic theology that made use of late-medieval Latin, that relied too heavily on dialectics and, in its doctrinal syntheses, elevated Aristotelian philosophy above the Bible. Mosellanus expounded also the semantic and epistemological backgrounds of his emphasis on word and languages. He was in fact convinced that concrete words and texts, by expressing concepts, offered unmediated access to the knowledge of the real. He was not inclined to let an abstract concept, disconnected from a concrete spoken language, function as an essential intermediary between word and reality. The Louvain theologian Jacobus Latomus published an answer to counteract not only Mosellanus' (and Erasmus') plea for a biblical theology based on a sound knowledge of languages but also its semantic and epistemological backgrounds.
ISSN: 0035-2381
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Research Unit of History of Church and Theology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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