Some Renaissance Christian Humanists and ‘Superstition’
This chapter begins by setting out the responses to ‘superstition’ found in some of the writings of the Christian humanists. Here one should neither expect nor try to construct a systematic or theologically articulated image of what ‘superstition’ was supposed to mean. The whole thrust of humanist thought was rhetorical rather than analytical: terms were thrown around for effect rather than defined precisely. Nevertheless, and allowing for the many differences between the various exponents of Christian humanism, certain themes emerge. ‘Superstition’ for the humanists constituted a materialistic attitude to worship: whether the custom or rite in question was orthodox or not in the eyes of the Church hardly mattered.
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