Gerard of Zutphen
gerard Zerbolt) (1367-1398. Associated with the early history of the Brethren of the Common Life,* he was born in Zutphen, the Netherlands, and as a youth was a pupil of the Brethren's founder, G. Groote (d.1384). An able scholar, he studied at the University of Paris, but then returned to Deventer, the headquarters of the movement. There, though in his twenties, he was highly valued as a spiritual adviser. He wrote several treatises on religion and ethics during the 1390s, stressing the value of love, the spiritual ascent of the soul to God, and the imitation of Christ. Best known are De reformatione virium animae and De spiritualibus ascensionibus. Gerard's writings were doubtless known by and an influence on Thomas à Kempis* and his Imitation of Christ. Gerard died of plague at an early age.