Lefèvre Dètaples, Jacques

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lefèvre D’ètaples, Jacques


Born circa 1450, in Étaples, France; died 1530, in Nérac, France. French humanist, philologist, theologian, and church figure.

Lefèvre published in France almost all of the works of Aristotle in the Latin translations of the Italian humanists, supplemented with his own commentaries. This publication contributed to the new, Renaissance interpretation of Aristotelianism. The students of Lefèvre d’Étaples created their own school of logic. Under the influence of R. Llull, M. Ficino, G. Pico della Mirandola, and Nicolas of Cusa in particular, a collection of whose works he had published in 1514, Lefèvre became absorbed in the study of Eastern patristics, Neoplatonism, and medieval mysticism. He sought to synthesize philosophical and scientific knowledge with religion. He translated the Bible into French and wrote commentaries to it.

Lefèvre was well known in Europe; personally or through his students he was associated with Erasmus, Melanchthon, Zwingli, and Calvin. Although Lefèvre d’Étaples did not by any means break with Catholicism, the originality of his approach to certain theological problems and his participation in attempts to renew church life marked him as a precursor and advocate of the Reformation. Due to this, he was repeatedly subjected to church persecution, from which the patronage of secular authority rescued him.


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Renaudet, A. Préreforme et humanisme à Paris pendant les premières guerres d’Italie (1494–1517), 2nd ed. Paris, 1953.
Dagens, J. “Humanisme et évangélisme chez Lefèvre d’Estaples.” In Courants religieux et humanisme. Paris, 1959.
Cioranesco, A. Bibliographie de la littérature française du seizième siècle. Paris, 1959. Pages 422–24.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.