The Renaissance is a period in mankind’s history that spans approximately from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. The Renaissance period is interesting as it is a period of rebirth – a period of renewed interest towards classical learning and worldviews, as well as a resurgence of art and pedagogy. In this era, artworks proliferated as artists gained more recognition as people of great talent and skills. Scholars also experienced a major change in the era as the passion to learn from the past spread amongst them in the Renaissance period. As a whole, there had been a greater emphasis on the world they were living as compared to the studies derived from presence of heavenly being. Their literature was less bound by pedantic theological sources and more on the observation of their surroundings such as people and the nature of human. This focus on the worldly knowledge and observation that characterizes the Renaissance period is in line with the humanistic philosophy that focuses more on human values, and thus, signifies that the Renaissance paradigm is marked by a maturing humanistic take on arts, literature and learning.
Humanism is a philosophy that advocated values deemed important by humans. It places importance on the nature of human and careful observation of the world around them. While the term humanism itself was only used from 1808 onwards after being introduced by a German historian George Voigt, the Renaissance era did have something that they call humanistic studies. According to Charles G. Nauert, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri and author of the book Humanism and the culture of Renaissance Europe, the term ‘humanistic studies’ (studia hu...
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...of a series of essays called The Essay. It was the first form of essays and the essays touched on a very wide variety of topics: philosophy, ideals, and values. Montaigne’s essays were also mainly discussing the humanistic value and the importance of it. While he did not dismiss religious belief, his essays focused on the acts of man and not based on religious derivation.
The Renaissance is an era of wonders and renewed fervour in arts and humanities. It was a golden age flourishing with great painters, sculptors, authors, and thinkers. These artists and scholars relied on a humanistic approach at their respective works. The learned from and appreciated classicism and perceived the nature of their environments in order to gain better understanding on them. Hence, it can be concluded that the Renaissance era has the characteristic of a growing humanistic paradigm.
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