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Major thinkers in welfareContemporary issues in historical perspective$
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Vic George

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427069

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427069.001.0001

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The Renaissance Desiderius Erasmus (1467–1536) and Thomas More (1478–1535)

The Renaissance Desiderius Erasmus (1467–1536) and Thomas More (1478–1535)

The Reformation Martin Luther (1483–1545) and Jean Calvin (1509–64)

(p.61) Four The Renaissance Desiderius Erasmus (1467–1536) and Thomas More (1478–1535)
Major thinkers in welfare

Vic George

Policy Press

This chapter examines the ideas of two Renaissance humanist writers and two main leaders of the Protestant Reformation. Desiderius Erasmus and Thomas More argued for open-mindedness, moderation and tolerance, as well as the enhancement of public welfare. On the other hand, Martin Luther and Jean Calvin wanted to replace one religious orthodoxy with another, which was probably less worldly and more concerned with public welfare. The discussion also carefully examines and assesses More's most famous work, Utopia, which criticizes the bad effects of unregulated early capitalism on the social conditions of the general public. It is determined that both the Renaissance and the Reformation marked the start of the long process that witnessed the decline of the Church in various affairs.

Keywords:   humanist writers, Protestant Reformation leaders, Renaissance, Reformation, Desiderius Erasmus, Thomas More, Martin Luther, Jean Calvin, Utopia

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