Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Conversation about Erasmus on BBC 4

How much do I love the BBC? Quite a lot, actually. Where else would you find a radio program taking three-quarters of an hour to devote to a discussion of Erasmus of Rotterdam? On NPR, maybe, but even there you would have lots of interruptions and station breaks and such.

Not so, here. In the past couple weeks, BBC 4 has been re-broadcasting a wonderful conversation about Erasmus conducted by Melvyn Bragg on his show, In Our Time. The show, which can be heard in its entirely here, features the following esteemed scholars:

Diarmaid MacCulloch
Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford

Eamon Duffy
Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Cambridge

Jill Kraye
Professor of the History of Renaissance Philosophy and Librarian at the Warburg Institute, University of London.

In the course of the program, they discuss the history of Catholic-Protestant relations, the influence of Erasmus on Luther (and vice versa), and the role of Erasmus in the development of the 1611 King James Bible.

From the show's website:

In his lifetime Erasmus was almost universally recognised as the greatest classical scholar of his age, the translator and editor of numerous Latin and Greek texts. But above all he was a religious scholar who published important editions of the Bible which expunged many corruptions to the texts of the Scriptures.

Take a few minutes and give a listen. Well worth your time.

(My thanks to Professor Michael Leslie, of Rhodes College, for the link)

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