Ramus and Reform

University and Church at the End of the Renaissance

By (author) James Veazie Skalnik

Hardback - £31.95

Publication date:

01 March 2002

Length of book:

184 pages


Truman State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780943549934

Educator and reformer Peter Ramus (1515-72) was known for his rash assaults on the most esteemed and cherished foundations of religion and learning in France. As a leading figure in both the French Reform and the University of Paris, and author of the pedagogical system known as "Ramism," he consistently promoted an ideology which would make status, influence, and authority dependent on talent and achievement, instead of on birth or wealth. His social ideal attracted a sizeable following and achieved some practical results during his lifetime, but after his death his reforms collapsed. In their place arose the hierarchical, oligarchic, and authoritarian society of Old Regime France. Skalnik presents fresh and solid research in this well-written volume.

“Among the many merits of this fine book is the author’s success in rescuing Peter Ramus from his past interpreters who have tended to see in him only a Protestant martyr and the inventor of an all-purpose pedagogical method.… Skalnik draws attention both to the variety of Ramus’s interests and to the common denominator at the core of his thought: he was a passionate reformer and an outspoken rebel.”

Sixteenth Century Journal