It is impossible in reading Erasmus not to be reminded of the rationalist of the 18th century.
Messina was the birthplace of Dicaearchus, the historian (c. 322 B.C.); Aristocles, the Peripatetic; Euhemerus, the rationalist (c. 316 B.C.); Stefano Protonotario, Mazzeo di Ricco and Tommaso di Sasso, poets of the court of Frederick II.
These two great rationalist movements, the critical and the philosophical, ultimately led to, or were accompanied by, the gradual reduction of religion to a system of morals based at the most on two or three fundamental religious principles.
Hase's Hutterus Redivivus, an exposition of orthodoxy in the light of modern development, called forth a final exposition of the rationalist position by Rohr.
The rationalist wing resolve Incarnation and still more Atonement into symbols of philosophical truth.
In philosophy Buridan was a rationalist, and followed Occam in denying all objective reality to universals, which he regarded as mere words.
Blanco White, " the rationalist A'Kempis," who had dared to appear as " a religious sceptic in God's presence," had found a biographer and interpreter in Martineau's friend and colleague, John Hamilton Thom.
Its first note is struck by Ennius in his translation of the Sceptl- Sicilian rationalist Euhemerus, who explained the genesis m, of the gods as apotheosized mortals.
But if Erasmus was unlike the 18th century rationalist in that he did not declare war against the church, but remained a Catholic and mourned the disruption, he was yet a true rationalist in principle.
A liberal and a corrservative theology (rationalist and orthodox) exist side by side within the churches, and while the latter clings to the theology of the 16th century, the former ventures to raise doubts about the truth of such a common and simple standard as the Apostles' Creed.
Pusey indeed studied under Eichhorn, and in his Historical Enquiry into the probable causes of the Rationalist Character lately predominant in German Theology (1828-1830) speaks sympathetically of the attitude of the Reformers on the question of Scripture and in condemnation of the later Protestant scholastic doctrine; but even in this book he shows no receptivity for any of the actual critical conclusions of Eichhorn and his successors, and subsequently threw the weight of his learning against critical conclusions - notably in his Commentary on Daniel (1864).
Lessing's publication also helped to demonstrate the weakness of the older rationalist position, a position which really belongs to the 18th century, though its best-remembered exponent, Dr H.
The rationalist spirit is, of course, coeval with human evolution; religion itself began with a rational attempt to maintain amicable relations with unknown powers, and each one of the dead religions succumbed before the development of rationalist inquiry into its premises.
The Bible, especially the Old Testament, is thus regarded even by orthodox Christians from a rationalist standpoint, very different from that of the early and medieval Church.
Such philosophies are called rationalist or sensationalist according as they lay emphasis specially on the function of reason or that of the senses.
The first great rationalist leader was J.
The general attitude of German theology, however, became gradually more and more hostile, and the works of Schleiermacher, though in a sense themselves rationalist, renewed the general desire for a positive Christianity.
It would be difficult even to prove any ground of affinity among them beyond a desposition to take sense as a prime factor in the account of subjective experience: their common interest in physical science was shared equally by rationalist thinkers of the Cartesian school, and was indeed begotten of the time.
It deserves to be noted here that the former, the theology of the Aufklarung, was, like that of the deists, destined to a short-lived notoriety; whereas the solid, accurate and scholarly researches of the rationalist critics of Germany, undertaken with no merely polemical spirit, not only form an epoch in the history of theology, but have taken a permanent place in the body of theological science.
Always himself on the unpopular side and an able but thoroughly fair critic of the majority, he habitually under-estimated his own worth; he was not only an anti-slavery leader when abolition was not popular even in New England, and a radical and rationalist when it was impossible for him to stay conveniently in the Unitarian Church, but he was the first president of the National Free Religious Association (1867) and an early and ardent disciple of Darwin and Spencer.
His first work, published in 1828, as an answer to Hugh James Rose's Cambridge lectures on rationalist tendencies in German theology, showed a good deal of sympathy with the German "pietists," who had striven to deliver Protestantism from its decadence; this sympathy was misunderstood, and Pusey was himself accused of holding rationalist views.
" Freethinker " and " rationalist " have been terms of opprobrium whether used by Protestants or Catholics.
Hugh James Rose had published in England (1825) a volume of sermons on the rationalist movement (The State of the Protestant Religion in Germany), in which he classed Bretschneider with the rationalists; and Bretschneider contended that he himself was not a rationalist in the ordinary sense of the term, but a "rational supernaturalist."