Theorists who look to Erasmus for his alleged (and allegedly secular) pacifism misunderstand his political theology of peace. This paper reconsiders the roles of Christianity and the Turk in Erasmus’ calls for peace. His political theology privileges speech, as humanity’s distinguishing faculty and as Christianity’s enactment of the Word. Like Carl Schmitt’s political theology, Erasmus’ turns on an ‘exception.’ This exception shifts moral responsibility onto the enemy while recasting the enemy’s actions as part of a providential plan of Christian reform and Turkish conversion. I analyze this constellation to rethink the ideas of political theology, necessary war, and peaceful speech.

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