The Erasmus Peace Projects Diplomatic World declares the New Renaissance for Europe and the whole World

The Erasmus Peace Projects

Diplomatic World declares the New Renaissance for Europe and the Whole World

Diplomatic World declares the New Renaissance for Europe and the Wider World officially and practically started, with concrete advocacy for and execution of following Projects, contently linked to a New Humanism for our Era bringing a Renaissance or Contemporary Actualization of the historical and cultural values of Desiderius Erasmus and his heritage humanism.

Erasmus is nowadays broadly recognized as the Cultural figurehead of Europe. In his and later times he was widely respected as the ‘Prince of Humanists’: the leading intellectual of the Northern Renaissance based on a cultural synthesis of the Greek-Roman and Jewish-Christian traditions with significant influence from Celtic-Germanic and Arabic cultures, as these traditions merged into such a higher synthesis, practically and most strongly in the Burgundian Low Countries where all these traditions came together. Erasmus would remain the leading intellectual of Europe in the entire Sixteenth Century with also a strong, continuing impact in the following centuries – up to present day.


Erasmus Peace Project for Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations 

Diplomatic World promotes actively and practically the emergence of a multipolar, non-imperialistic international constellation of peacefully coexisting states and unions of states, supported by vital international organizations in both the sphere of the European Union and the sphere of the United Nations, supported by a vibrant diplomatic network and a for Peace very fertile common moral ground.

Indeed, Erasmus dreamt of a Europe without an empire and without imperialistic aspirations as a whole. He was a fervent Anti-Caesar as Julius Caesar opened the door to the Roman Empire: Brutus or one of Caesar’s key murderers was not for nothing Erasmus’ favorite Roman. For his tireless defense of peace amongst European states, Erasmus gained a still living reputation. One of his most influential works was Querela Pacis: the ‘Complaint of Peace’ in which a female personification of Peace complaints about her endless woes, sorrow and pain. And Erasmus’ Republic of Letters can even be considered as the first supranational, extra-ecclesiastical, political entity on a European scale: the first of its kind in Europe with respect for equal rank amongst the European states.


Erasmus Peace Project for a Common Moral Ground, Social Cohesion and Religious Tolerance

Diplomatic World promotes actively and practically the emergence of a common moral ground and crucial social cohesion amongst believers of all religions and non-believers (who are also believers) showing respect towards those who are also respecting this common moral ground of which such religious tolerance and freedom forms a crucial part. Such Common Moral Ground is also directly linked to the Erasmian Human Image as valuable but not perfect on its own: only with bringing together and combining the different values and contributions of different people (and also states), one can come closer to the never completely reachable perfection.

The Erasmian or Christian humanist ideals are the defining ideals of the only philosopher deeply respected in an ideologically equally strong way by both Christians (and here again as well by Protestants as by Catholics because Erasmus kept pleading and fighting till his final breath for a common moral and religious ground, directly linked to the Christian humanist values, for all Christians in Europe, both Catholics and Protestants) and agnostics/atheists (who name themselves ‘humanists’ in Belgium and in the Netherlands while Erasmus was/is a key – probably the strongest – inspiring figure for the Illuminati: for this reason i.a. is Erasmus increasingly strongly recognized as the true father and starter of the ‘Aufklärung’) defending in practice all together Erasmian ideals as the core values of European Culture and identity, bright highlights of European History and safe keepers of our European Future.

Throughout his research, Maarten Vermeir constantly and systematically demonstrates the crucial importance of Jewish culture and tradition for the concepts, ideals and practical mindset of the Christian humanists: the letter ‘U’ in the title of Thomas More’s book of Utopiahe revealed in such a way as the Hebrew letter ‘vav’. Muslims who found in the last five or six decades a home in the EU, can find in the ideals of Christian humanism finally greater clearness about the true heart of European Culture to which they are entitled to attach as citizens of their new home countries in the EU. Because they can find there a closer cultural connection (with a stronger ideological cohesion and with Christ also a prophet for Muslims), it will only be increasingly easy for them to further integrate into a European society with such a sound cultural binding.

Through these and more updating efforts from the Erasmus Project, intending since the first outline of the ‘Erasmus Project: a Framework for Europe’ in Diplomatic World 54 (October 2017) to update the Erasmian ideals and to offer and defend these as binding story or narrative framework of the EU with also relevance for the wider international community, making a bridge between 16thCentury Europe – in which Europe defined itself as Christian with sister religious Muslim states at the Southern and Eastern borders of this Christian Europe and with the practical non-existence of atheism in Europe of that time – and contemporary Europe and the wider World, the few philosophical contemporary barriers are being and will be further removed, making it possible for all EU citizens to attach to this Soul of Europe – the ideals of Desiderius Erasmus – and to feel entirely at home in this Republic of Erasmus, in the European or Erasmian Union as a true EU-topia in the Classical Greek meaning of the word: definitely a ‘Good Place’.


Erasmus Peace Project for Art and Cultural Diplomacy

 Diplomatic World promotes actively and practically the creation of actualized, contemporary pictorial, sculptural, architectural, literary, theatrical/cinematic and musical interpretations of Northern Renaissance Masterpieces, Erasmian values and/or related key figures and events, for which Diplomatic World will personally invite leading contemporary artists in the framework of ‘New Renaissance Art Exhibition(s)/Festival(s)’, organized and curated by Lady Barbara Dietrich.

Erasmus was largely depicted by Hans Holbein (who also painted Thomas More), Albrecht Dürer, Quentin Metsys (who also painted Pieter Gillis) in monumental paintings: it was truly revolutionary to depict a man with such a humble origin (Erasmus started his career as an orphaned bastard son of a priest, put by his guardian in a monastery) in such a princely, honoring way. Erasmus and Erasmian values and idea(l)s, and towards the end of Bruegel’s life the clear sense of an approaching doom for the Burgundian Low Countries in a coming, forcefully unequal and murderous conflict between the Low Countries as bearer of these Erasmian values and at that time the bearer of a completely opposite set of political and religious views, are also strongly present and represented in the paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder: the celebrated Brabantine Master.


Erasmus Peace Project for Economics, Diplomatic Economy and Economic Education

 Diplomatic World promotes actively and practically the rise of renewed Economics and a sustainable Economy: practiced, disseminated and taught by an international network of economists showing a strong (gender, international, etc.) diversity; serving well the diplomatic/strategic goals of the Erasmus Peace Projects; respecting the natural capacities of our world and of human kind; combining the best elements of a vital free market and strong social care; and rooted in a renewed economic education with a stronger emphasis on critical thinking, human sciences and interdisciplinarity.

Erasmus, Thomas More and Erasmians like Juan Luis Vives were the first to defend on a European scale the Rhineland model combining the benefits of free market and social care. Critical thinking was as well a typical trait of Erasmus and he worked and wrote always in a strongly interdisciplinary way, interlinking constantly fields of study that are nowadays labeled as human sciences. And the spirituality of Erasmus and his ideas on religious freedom and tolerance can be directly linked to the Brabantine mysticism of Jan van Ruusbroec who left as a priest the city of Brussels in order to found a new community in Groenendaal, in the midst of the green Sonian Forest near Brussels, where Ruusbroec lived and wrote for the rest of his life.


Erasmus Peace Project for Global Women’s Community 

Diplomatic World promotes actively and practically the leadership shown by a Community of Global Women, as Erasmus and Thomas More prepared and supported the presence of women in responsible and leading positions, in an unprecedented way. Thomas More learned his daughters to read, write and speak Latin (with great admiration for their capacities from Erasmus), giving them a better education then most men at that time received. In the book of Utopia, it becomes clear what in their view a deliberately intended purpose of such education was and still is: in the State of Utopia women participate in the election processes as voters and as elected holders of public office, and act even as priests and high priests of the Church of Utopia.

As a youngster, the later Queen Elizabeth I received a profound Christian humanistic education, learning to read, write and speak Latin – in which language also the works of Erasmus and Thomas More were written – and to wield the powers of strong rhetoric. Her mother and Thomas More were both beheaded by decision of the same Henry VIII (who pursued for personal reasons a hard no-deal Brexit avant la lettre), creating a profound emotional link between Elizabeth I’s love for her mother Anna Boleyn and her deep respect for Thomas More, for the Prince of Humanists Erasmus and for their common values and ideas. Anna Boleyn was beheaded a year after Thomas More and she died in the same year as Erasmus, who stated that he had felt his inner light going out when he learned about Thomas More’s tragic end. 400 years after the death of More, now Saint Thomas More was canonized by the Catholic Church and since then He is recognized as the patron saint of politicians and statesmen (and thus also of diplomats).


Erasmus Peace Project for the Mother as Figure of Goodness and Healer of Broken Families

Diplomatic World promotes actively and practically the positive, unifying and pacifying role and influence of Mothers as Figures of Goodness and Healers of Broken Families. The twelve stars on the Flag of the Council of Europe and of the European Union don’t stand for twelve early member states but for the Figure of Mother Mary, as the Jewish holocaust survivor Paul M.G. Lévy and Arsène Heitz chose most probably Her Sign as guiding symbol for Europe after the atrocities of the Second World War. Mother Mary is also the patron of the city of Antwerp and of its magnificent Cathedral which was still the Church of Our Lady in the time Thomas More visited Antwerp during his famous and world changing Utopian Embassy in 1515. Significantly, he let the story in the book of Utopia begin with a Thomas Morus stepping out of this Antwerp Church of Our Lady and meeting directly in front of the Church a Pieter Gillis and the intriguing sailor and traveler Raphael Hythlodaeus, enacting an Erasmus in disguise.

The society described in More’s Utopia by this sailor, has women in a crucial role for holding morally together its families and society and upholding its good life and practices (although More and Erasmus didn’t mean to promote its economic system, next to a few other minor items), together with men on an equal footing in matters of standing and responsibility. Women act in Utopia for sure as figures of goodness and healers of broken families, can elect and be elected in all of the public offices, even in the position of priest and/or high priest also. In all this, the figures of independent, devout and mystical women and beguines, so strongly present, active and respected in the Late Medieval and Renaissance Burgundian Low Countries, resound clearly. In this book of Utopia, also the political system and culture of the Duchy of Brabant have been colorfully copied and pasted into the political system of the State of Utopia. Antwerp and Brussels were two of the four Capitals of the Duchy of Brabant that held decisive veto rights in the Estates of Brabant or its Representative Assembly (next to the cities of Leuven and ‘s-Hertogenbosch) with the rights of a for Europe pioneering constitution: named the Joyous Entry of Brabant and allowing these Estates to depose an in their view bad Duke/Duchess of Brabant and assign a new ruler. Based on this constitution of the Duchy of Brabant in combination with the ‘Pragmatieke Sanctie’ (binding all the Burgundian Low Countries legally together in future dynastic heritages), the General Estates with representatives of the most significant Low Countries (including the Duchy of Brabant, the County of Flanders, the County of Holland and the County of Zeeland, Utrecht, etc.) legally deposed Philip II as ruler of the Burgundian Low Countries with the Act of Abjuration in 1581 under the lead of the first William of Orange who was a true Erasmian in heart and who grew up in Brussels and Brabant, in the midst of its political culture.

As a token of the unbreakable bond between the cities of Antwerp and Brussels as two of the four Capitals of the Duchy of Brabant, the city of Antwerp allowed the city of Brussels to keep a statue of Mother Mary that was brought from the Mary city of Antwerp to its Brabantine brother city of Brussels according to the legend by the devout woman Beatrijs Soetkens in a boat propelled by divine force, and received by the Brabantine Duke Jan III under whose reign the first Joyous Entry was composed and sealed. Since the Late Middle Ages, a presented Antwerp statue of Mary is indeed kept and guarded by the Brussels Guild of the Crossbowmen in the therefore built Church of Our Lady at Petit Sablon in Brussels, as a precious symbol of the political and cultural bond and friendship between these two constitutionally connected Capitals of Brabant.


Erasmus Peace Project for Academia, Research and Innovation

Diplomatic World promotes actively and practically the Research Project, managed by Mr Maarten Vermeir, visualizing and investigating the attached and supporting diplomatic/political networks of Desiderius Erasmus and Thomas More (who was Erasmus’ best advocate and strongest defender) in the respective European states of their known world, following for the study of these respective networks in these respective states the same research plan and methodology as outlined in the Research Plan ‘Erasmus Politicus’ (accepted as Mr Vermeir’s PhD study at University College London in February 2015 with Professor Lisa Jardine as his supervisor) and puzzling these networks together into the Republic of Letters that respected Erasmus as its Prince. Next to this, Mr Vermeir continues to coordinate further the philosophical/literary development, formulation and dissemination of the Erasmus Project/Erasmus Peace Projects. This Repulic of Letters had an internal form of parliamentary democracy and can even be considered as the first supranational, extra-ecclesiastical, political entity on a European scale: the first of its kind in Europe with respect for equal rank amongst the European states.

This Research Project managed by Maarten Vermeir, intends to visualize and investigate Desiderius Erasmus’ Republic of Letters: a supranational network of political actors and humanists, recognizing Erasmus as their Prince of Humanists through a process of internal parliamentary democracy, acting in a European context and defending practically and jointly their shared Erasmian or Christian humanist ideals of parliamentary democracy, religious tolerance/spiritual freedom, female emancipation, interculturalism, a market economy reconciled with social care for all the needed, the peaceful coexistence and collective defense amongst neighboring states and dual citizenship in a dually layered state. They presented the first broad defense of these consistent ideals on a European scale.

In the Burgundian Low Countries, the Christian humanists around Erasmus found inspiration for all major points of this Erasmian program for Europe, as in these Low Countries the best elements of the Jewish-Christian and the Classical Greek-Roman traditions, with significant influence from Celtic-Germanic and from Arabic Culture, had practically merged into a higher cultural synthesis of which the Erasmians became the first European heralds and advocates. Their ideal constellation of the European states was also a congruent enlargement on a European scale of the political constellation of the Burgundian Low Countries constituted by different principalities with strong and proper identities like the Duchy of Brabant (of which Brussels was one of the four capitals) and the Counties of Flanders, Zeeland and Holland, etc. under the umbrella of a common, supranational political union with a Duke of Burgundy as ruler of these Burgundian Netherlands and common administrative bodies, all checked by an assembly with representatives of the different representative assemblies in the respective principalities.

In this Research Project, the contacts and practical interaction of Desiderius Erasmus and of his closest collaborators, especially Thomas More as Erasmus’ best advocate and strongest defender, with political/diplomatic actors and humanists respectively in the Low Countries (as outlined in the Research Plan ‘Erasmus Politicus’), in France, in the German States, the Swiss States, the Italian and Papal States, the Iberian Kingdoms, in England, Scotland, Austria, Hungary and Poland will be investigated (the research on the networks, actions and interactions with congruent groups in these countries is organized in an identically methodical way as in the ‘Erasmus Politicus’ Research Plan). Puzzling these networks together in one widely European network of Erasmus’ Republic of Letters, the Research Project will then further investigate how they practically acted in defense and promotion of their ideals in Europe and how they were actually organized as a parliamentary democracy and as a supranational, extra-ecclesiastical, political entity on a European scale: the first of its kind in Europe with respect for equal rank amongst the European states. (In his working theory so far, Mr Vermeir sees the Republic of Letters designed by Erasmus and his key partners as an organization showcasing in an almost theatrical way parliamentary democracy and practicing values like freedom of gathering, thought, (written) speech and religious tolerance. For getting allowance to enter this most strongly respected intellectual circle in the Respublica Christiana or Europe, the acceptation and joint defense on a European scale of the common values, were a conditio sine qua nonin the view of Mr Vermeir’s present exploring searches. Through this institution and entering rules of the Republic of Letters as founded by Erasmus and his closest collaborators, the values of the Christian humanists were spread further geographically and temporally in Europe and in the later decades and centuries. Through this very specific, cunny and effective internal organization of the Republic of Letters itself, as conceived by Erasmus and Co. also with the disseminating and enforcing purpose specifically in mind. He designed almost theatrically his Republic of Letters as a parliamentary democracy and let himself assign by the joining members as their Prince of Humanists, as the Prince of Letters, by their vote attached to their application for the desired citizenship of this Erasmian Republic of Letters, only granted and confirmed by Erasmus and his closest partners themselves, using bonae litteraeas code word for the entire Erasmian program.)

In this perspective is Diplomatic World consistently supportive of the proposal, originally made in Diplomatic World 54 (in ‘The Erasmus Project: a Framework for Europe’), to establish an ‘European Renaissance Forum’ in which ‘actors operating in the field of European, Cultural and Renaissance Studies – scholars, academics, high school teachers, students, artists, politicians, diplomats, journalists, librarians, officials of historical sites, museums and cultural houses – ‘ (amongst whom we hopefully expect to find countless capable thinkers and writers) are brought together to increase structurally in an ‘interdisciplinary and multiprofessional’ way the mutual strength and broadening depth of these interlinked European, Cultural and Renaissance Studies: a yearly Forum through which clearly/obviously also the key messages, plans and practices of the Erasmus Peace Projects will be disseminated increasingly widely and strongly. Furthermore presents Diplomatic World its assisting and facilitating services to the European Commission and the European Council who decided jointly in the two subsequent months after the publication in October 2017 of Diplomatic World 54 (with the first article on the Erasmus Project, including the original and initial proposal to contently and practically connect the Erasmus + Program with updated Erasmian values and principles) to attach the Erasmus + Program to the core European values. And with the handover of a related policy paper in March-May 2018, the European Commission and key Members of the European Council consider now seriously to connect these core European values with Erasmian ideals, also in order to create a stronger social cohesion in the European Union. Diplomatic World offers in this perspective its practical and specialized assistance in the creation of related texts on the updated Erasmian values as core European values, in the creation of related workshops/courses and in the design and follow-up of contently and practically linked (mini-)projects as possibly new content parts of a renewed Erasmus + Program, guiding and accompanying the next generations of Erasmus + students and workers as able and widely convincing cultural ambassadors of the EU.


Brussels, 27 January 2019
Barbara Dietrich & Maarten Vermeir
Diplomatic World