© 2019

Erasmus and the “Other”

On Turks, Jews, and Indigenous Peoples

  • Defines and classifies Erasmus' attitudes toward non-Christian peoples and groups.

  • Explores Erasmus’ attitudes toward Turks and Jews synthetically and comparatively.

  • Analyzes Erasmus' attitude toward Amerindians and Black Africans.


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
  3. Turks

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 27-27
    2. Nathan Ron
      Pages 29-35
    3. Nathan Ron
      Pages 37-45
    4. Nathan Ron
      Pages 47-60
    5. Nathan Ron
      Pages 61-76
    6. Nathan Ron
      Pages 97-117
  4. Jews

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Nathan Ron
      Pages 121-126
    3. Nathan Ron
      Pages 127-140
    4. Nathan Ron
      Pages 141-145
    5. Nathan Ron
      Pages 147-154
    6. Nathan Ron
      Pages 155-160
    7. Nathan Ron
      Pages 161-164
  5. Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Nathan Ron
      Pages 167-171
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 173-196

About this book


This book investigates how Erasmus viewed non-Christians and different races, including Muslims, Jews, the indigenous people of the Americas, and Africans. Nathan Ron argues that Erasmus was devoted to Christian Eurocentrism and not as tolerant as he is often portrayed. Erasmus’ thought is situated vis-à-vis the thought of contemporaries such as the cosmographer and humanist Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini who became Pope Pius II; the philosopher, scholar, and Cardinal, Nicholas of Cusa; and the Dominican missionary and famous defender of the Native Americans, Bartolomé Las Casas. Additionally, the relatively moderate attitude toward Islam which was demonstrated by Michael Servetus, Sebastian Franck, and Sebastian Castellio is analyzed in comparison with Erasmus’ harsh attitude toward Islam/Turks.


Erasmus Renaissance Dutch Reformation polyglot bible Counter-Reformation

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of HistoryUniversity of HaifaMount Carmel, HaifaIsrael

About the authors

Nathan Ron is Research Fellow at the School of History, The University of Haifa, Israel.

Bibliographic information


“Nathan Ron’s book helps us to gain some insight not only into Erasmus but also into our own process of understanding the past and our present condition, as scholars and intellectuals.” (William Barker, Renaissance and Reformation, Vol. 43 (1), 2020)