Humanism

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The Rebirth As the Middle Ages ended a new era began. The Middle Ages left behind a feudal society with a church dominated culture. This new era, the Renaissance, had an urban economy, with secular control of thought and culture, even religion (Kagan pg. 334). The Renaissance started in Italy and quickly spread throughout Europe forever changing the attitudes towards faith and spirituality. In Italy as city-states gained power, the strong banking city of Florence was at the heart of the Renaissance cultural transformation. The competitiveness of the new and old rich led to despotism. Lorenzo de Medici ruled Florence as a totalitarian (Kagan pg. 336). The significance of his rule was patronage. Medici was a man of great wealth, which he used geneoursly for the arts. The rebirth of classical arts flourished under his leadership as great writers, artists and architects flooded to Florence and paved the way to one of the most important movements ot the Renaissance humanism. Humanism was the rebirth of classical studies. Focus was put on the individual. The well-rounded scholar should engage in the joyous study of liberal arts for the preparation of a virtuous life (Kagan pg. 337). What set this movement apart from previous ones was the usage of sources, mainly classical and biblical, not just views of an authority (Kagan pg. 337-38). The humanist believed that if you wrote like a classical author then you could be as great as he was. This led to humanists collecting classical works that were relatively unused in the Middle Ages (Weber Renaissance). Many great writers came out of this period, the most renowned being Francesco Petrarch. Petrarch was considered the father of humanism (Kagan pg. 338). He had vast collections of Greek and Roman classics, which influenced many of his great works. Lorenzo Vallo in one of his critical works pointed out the errors in the then authorized version of the bible. The ever-growing popular ideals of the humanists spread quickly throughout Europe. The Northern Renaissance was more devoted to religious reforms (Kagan pg. 353) than it s Italian counterpart. A powerful tool successfully used for religious propaganda and the spread of hThe Rebirth As the Middle Ages ended a new era began. The Middle Ages left behind a feudal society with a church dominated culture. This new era, the Renaissance, had an urban economy, with secular control of thought and culture, even religion (Kagan pg. 334). The Renaissance started in Italy and quickly spread throughout Europe forever changing the attitudes towards faith and spirituality. In Italy as city-states gained power, the strong banking city of Florence was at the heart of the Renaissance cultural transformation. The competitiveness of the new and old rich led to despotism. Lorenzo de Medici ruled Florence as a totalitarian (Kagan pg. 336). The significance of his rule was patronage. Medici was a man of great wealth, which he used geneoursly for the arts. The rebirth of classical arts flourished under his leadership as great writers, artists and architects flooded to Florence and paved the way to one of the most important movements ot the Renaissance humanism. Humanism was the rebirth of classical studies. Focus was put on the individual. The well-rounded scholar should engage in the joyous study of liberal arts for the preparation of a virtuous life (Kagan pg. 337). What set this movement apart from previous ones was the usage of sources, mainly classical and biblical, not just views of an authority (Kagan pg. 337-38). The humanist believed that if you wrote like a classical author then you could be as great as he was. This led to humanists collecting classical works that were relatively unused in the Middle Ages (Weber Renaissance). Many great writers came out of this period, the most renowned being Francesco Petrarch. Petrarch was considered the father of humanism (Kagan pg. 338). He had vast collections of Greek and Roman classics, which influenced many of his great works. Lorenzo Vallo in one of his critical works pointed out the errors in the then authorized version of the bible. The ever-growing popular ideals of the humanists spread quickly throughout Europe. The Northern Renaissance was more devoted to religious reforms (Kagan pg. 353) than it s Italian counterpart. A powerful tool successfully used for religious propaganda and the spread of humanism was the invention of the printing press. Gutenberg s Bible was one of the first publications printed. Early texts were written mostly for scholars in Latin, but as literacy spread so did the demand for books for simpler people (Weber - Renaissance). Desiderius Erasmus gained much of his fame as a result of the printing press. Erasmus wrote many critical works that invited the reader to judge for himself (Weber - Renaissance). He was also dedicated to teaching moral and Christian virtues. Erasmus believed that reformation was best achieved through disciplined study of classics and the Bible. This led to his production of the Greek New Testament a resource provided for the layman. His work was eventually banned by the church and later used as a tool in the English Reformation (Kagan pg. 355). As the Renaissance spread throughout Europe the focus shifted from the spiritual to the individual. Humanism gained popularity mostly because of the availability of texts provided by the invention of the printing press. This new form of thinking initiated much discussion and debate. The spread of knowledge brought about demands for changes in the church. This religious crisis was ignited during the Renaissance as peopled learned a more critical approach to thinking. People weren t necessarily turning their backs on the church. They were actually looking for the church to keep pace with the ever-changing mood of the Renaissance. This brought about the right environment for the English Reformation. umanism was the invention of

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