Bruni: “Theologians Today Are Illiterate Blockheads”

Leonardo Bruni de studiis et litteris II

“By ‘erudition,’ I do not mean that common, confused sort of learning, which theologians now profess, but a real and liberal understanding, which joins experience in literature with knowledge of the world. This is the sort of learning which we find in Lactantius, Augustine, and Jerome – to be sure, the best theologians, and the men of the highest literary attainment. But now, we should be ashamed at how little the theologians of today know of literature.”

“Angel Appearing to St. Jerome” by Guido Reni

Eruditionem autem intelligo non vulgarem istam et perturbatam, quali utuntur ii qui nunc theologiam profitentur, sed legitimam illam et ingenuam, quae litterarum peritiam cum rerum scientia coniungit; qualis in Lactantio Firmiano, qualis in Aurelio Augustino, qualis in Hieronymo fuit, summis profecto theologis ac perfectis in litteris viris. Nunc vero, qui eam scientiam profitentur, pudendum est quam parum persciant litterarum.

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