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Erasmus, Desiderius

(ca. 1469–1536). “Prince of the humanists.” B. probably Rotterdam; educ. Deventer and 's Hertogenbosch; spent several yrs. in the Augustinian monastery at Steyn (or Emmaus; near Gouda); ordained priest 1492; entered the service of the bp. of Cambrai; studied philos. and theol. in Paris 1495–96; acquired a distaste for scholasticism*; returned to Holland because of illness; in Paris with interruptions 1496–99; on the 1st of 3 visits to Eng. (1499–1500) he met J. Colet,* who influenced him in the direction of Christian humanism; in Fr. and Holland 1500–05, Eng. 1505–06, It. 1506–09, Eng. 1509–14, Basel 1514–16, Neth. 1516–21, Basel 1521–29, Freiburg 1529–35, Basel 1535–36.

Relationship of Erasmus to the Reformation was ambivalent. He approved of Luther's* assault on abuses; opposed innovations in doctrine and ch. life; avoided siding openly with Luther in hope of maintaining a more influential role as a neutral. Many of Erasmus' friends joined the Reformation; hist. moved beyond him, leaving this moderate idealist an isolated and tragic figure during his last years.

Works include Adagia (ancient Lat. sayings elucidated); Moriae Encomium (“Praise of Folly”); De Libero Arbitrio; Colloquies; Enchiridion; editions of the NT and of ch. fathers.

See also Synergistic Controversy.

P. S. Allen, The Age of Erasmus (Oxford, 1914); J. Huizinga, Erasmus and the Age of Reformation, tr. F. Hopman, with a selection from the letters of Erasmus, tr. B. Flowers (London, 1952); P. Smith, Erasmus: A Study of His Life, Ideals, and Place in History (New York, 1923); A. Renaudet, Études érasmiennes, 1521–1529 (Paris, 1939); R. E. Reynolds, Thomas More and Erasmus (London, 1965); M. M. Phillips, Erasmus and the Northern Renaissance (New York, 1965); L. Bouyer, Erasmus and the Humanist Experiment, tr. F. X. Murphy (London, 1959). LWSj


View according to which the state is supreme in ecclesiastical affairs. Term derived from name of T. Erastus,* who held that Christian rulers are responsible for external govt. of the ch. and hence could judge men's conduct, settle disputes, and work with pastors in reproving those living immoral lives, but could not debar from the Sacrament. Erastianism has aspects beyond the principles of Erastus, who did not make the ch. subservient to the state but tried to curtail the former's legal and pol. functions. See also Church and State, 12.

Erastus, Thomas

(original name Lieber, Liebier, or Lüber; ca. 1524–83). Ger.-Swiss Zwinglian physician and theol.; prof. Heidelberg and Basel; as Zwinglian opposed both Calvinists and Luths.; present at theol. confs. bet. Luths. and Ref. at Heidelberg 1560, Maulbronn* 1564; helped introd. Heidelberg Catechism (see Reformed Confessions, D 2); Explicatio gravissimae quaestionis (written 1568; pub. 1589) places external affairs of ch., but not its spiritual functions (ministry of Word and Sacraments), under Christian ruler. See also Church and State, 12; Erastianism.

Erb, Matthias

(1494–1571). B. Ettlingen, Ger.; humanist; joined Reformation 1520; chaplain of the troops of Bern in war against RC cantons; pastor Baden; friend of M. Bucer*; supt. and reformer of Alsace; deposed 1560 for opposing Luth. ch. order of Duke Christopher.

Erbermann, Veit

(Vitus Ebermannus; 1597–1675). Originally Luth.; Jesuit 1620; taught theol. in ##irzburg and Mainz; head of RC sem. at ##lca; opposed G. Calixtus,* J. Gerhard,* J. Musäus.*

Erdmann, Christian Friedrich David

(1821–1905). B. Güstebiese, Ger.; educ. Berlin; ev. theol.; prof. Königsberg 1856; gen. supt. of ch. in Silesia 1864.

Erdös, Joseph

(1856–1946). Hung. Ref. theol.; prof. NT Debrecen 1888–1928; espoused orthodox confessional theol., but advocated freedom in NT research.

Erich I

(1470–1540). Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg; fought against Turks 1493: regarded Reformation as disobedience of estates to empire, rather than reform endeavor or matter of conscience; admired M. Luther* for his stand at the Diet of Worms.*

Erigena, Johannes Scotus

(Ierugena; Eriugena; ca. 815–ca.877). B. and educ. probably in Ireland; probably principal of court school of Emp. Charles* II 847; his doctrine is an early attempt at occidental speculative dogmatics; he is a connecting link bet. Gk. and occidental philos.; influenced Scholasticism* and mysticism.* Tr. some of the writings of Gk. ch. fathers into Lat. Works include De divisione naturae.

Erikssön, Jörgen

(1535–1604). “Norway's Luther”; 3d Luth. bp. Stavanger 1571–1604; b. Haderslev. Den.; educ. Copenhagen and Wittenberg; firmly est. Lutheranism in his territory. See also Norway, Lutheranism in, 2.

Erk, Ludwig Christian

(1807–83). B. Wetzlar, Ger.; music teacher in Mörs and at the Royal Seminary, Berlin; dir. liturgical cathedral choir, Berlin; organized the Erk male choral soc. and the Erk mixed chorus esp. to foster folk songs; ed. Vierstimmige Choralsätze der vornehmsten Meister des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts and many other collections.

Ermelo Missionary Society.

Organized at Ermelo, Holland, 1856. Mission fields included Indonesia, South Sea Islands, and Egypt.


(Ernst; 1497–1546). “The Confessor.” B. Uelzen, Prussia; Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg; nephew of Frederick* III the Wise; introd. Lutheranism into duchy 1527; signed AC ;1530.

Ernest I

(Ernst; 1601–75). “Der Fromme” (“the Pious”); “Bet-Ernst” (“Praying Ernest”). B. Altenburg, Ger.; Duke of Saxe-Weimar 1620–40, Saxe-Gotha 1640–75; Luth.; felt responsible for both temporal and eternal welfare of subjects; est. schools and compulsory educ. to achieve piety and practical training. Works pub. under him include a Ger. hymnal; Das Weimarische* Bihelwerk; Cautionale sacrum.

Ernesti, Johann August

(1707–81). B. Tennstedt, Ger.; educ. Schulpforte, Wittenberg, and Leipzig; prof. Leipzig; mediating theol.; tried to hold to inspiration of the Bible and to Luth. Symbolical Books, but made concessions to rationalism. See also Grammaticohistorical Method; Lutheran Theology After 1580, 8; Nösselt, Johann August.

Ernest of Hessen-Rheinfels

(Ernst; 1623–93). B. Kassel, Ger.; educ. as strict Calvinist; after a colloquy bet. RCs and Luths. in 1652 he joined RC Ch.; advocated ch. union, international court for adjustment of differences bet. RC nations, tolerance.


See also Ernest.

Ernst, August Friedrich

(June 25, 1841–August 8, 1924). B. Eddesse, Hannover; educ. Celle and Göttingen; instructor Clausthal Gymnasium; to Am. to serve Luth. Ch.; ordained Pottstown, Pennsylvania, 1864; pastor Brooklyn and Albany, New York; prof. Northwestern U. (later Northwestern Coll.), Watertown, Wisconsin, 1869, pres. 1871; served this school over 50 yrs. and made it an Am. school with Luth. ideals of the best Ger. traditions; 1st pres. Joint Synod of Wisconsin and Other States 1892–1901 (see Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod). Works include Aus der Geschichte der lutherischen Kirche in Nord-Amerika,, bound with T. Schlüter, Luthers Leben (Milwaukee, 1917), pp. 189–250; textbooks for parish schools.

Ernst, Christoph Friedrich Wilhelm

(1765–1855). B. Jesberg, Ger.; court preacher Kassel 1795; gen. supt. 1845; influenced by I. Kant* and F. W. J. v. Schelling*; espoused a form of supernaturalism*; emphasized mystery of God; held Christianity is beyond the realm of reason.

Ernst, Johann Adam

(November 27, 1815–January 20, 1895). “Father of Missouri Lutheranism in Canada.” B. Öttingen, Ger.; cobbler by trade; entered teacher training under J. K. W. Lohe* 1841 as his 1st student; to Am. with J. G. Burger* 1842; mem. Ohio Syn. (see Ohio and Other States, The Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of) 1842–45; suggested organizing new syn. to C. F. W. Walther* 1845; signed “document* of separation” from Ohio Syn. September 18, 1845, at its Cleveland, Ohio, conv.; signed W. Sihler's* original draft of the Missouri* Syn. const. in St. Louis, Missouri, May 20, 1846, and was among the founding fathers of the Mo. Syn. at the meeting at Fort Wayne, Indiana, July 1846 and Chicago, Illinois, April 1847. Pastor Neudettelsau, Union Co., Ohio, 1848; in and near Marion, Marion Co., Ohio, 1848; Town Eden, Erie Co., New York, 1849; Euclid, near Cleveland, Ohio, 1860; Lecon and Elmira, Waterloo Co., Ont. (then called Can. West), Can., 1863; Euclid, Ohio, 1881. See also Canada, B 10.

Erskine, Ebenezer

(1680–1754). B. Berwickshire, Scot.; educ. Edinburgh; ordained by Kirkcaldy presbytery 1703; minister Portmoak 1703–31; refused to take Oath of Abjuration (see Abjuration, 2); minister Sterling and moderator Sterling and Perth 1731; opposed 1732 Patronage Act of Assem. (see Presbyterian Churches, 1), which ignored rights of laity in elections to vacant chs.; suspended from ministry by Gen. Assem. 1733; with William Wilson of Perth, Alexander Moncrieff of Abernethy, and James Fisher of Kinclaven formed an Associate Presbytery 1733; formally deposed from the est. ch. and formed Secession Ch. 1740. See also Associate Reformed Church; Scotland, Reformation in, 1.

Erskine, Thomas

(1788–1870). Scot. theol.; interpreter of the mystical side of Calvinism. Works include Essay on Faith; The Unconditional Freehess of the Gospel.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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