Italian Renissance and the Reformation

Better Essays
Could you imagine living in a time where you had to adhere to everything the church said? For the men and women of the fourteenth century, this was their life; marriages were arranged, men worked while the women would stay home and raise the children. You rested your faith solely in the hands of uneducated “spiritual” leaders.

As Italy’s city-states grew through trade and commerce, they flourished economically and intellectually. This led to a peak in the interest of Classical literature, art, social, and political ideas of Greece/Rome. Humanism was a literary movement that occurred during the Renaissance. During this movement, authors began to deal with general questions of the soul. Dante wrote about the soul’s journey to salvation. Petrarch, another renowned author from Italy, began to write epics and sonnets; he later became known as the “Father of The Italian Renaissance”. Aside from the Italian peak of literature, there was also a sudden interest in classical art. Previously, all artwork was pertaining to religion. However there were some creators who dared to oppose the status quo. Michelangelo, a famous sculptor, painter and architect, had a strong passion for creating; he was the mastermind behind many marble statuettes in Italy. Jan Van Eyek became one of the first to use oil paintings. As time progressed, art began to shift from a religious focus to a more secular focus.

The Catholic Church was heading down the road of destruction. The popes of the Papal States acted as politicians, rather than religious leaders. They became power hungry and started using the church offices to make money; indulgences were sold to buy your soul’s salvation, heavy tithes/offerings were requested. Many people opposed these p...

... middle of paper ...

...ligious orders such as the Jesuits, Capuchins, Ursulines, Theatines, and many others; the Jesuits were the most effective. An heir to the devotional, observation, and legalist traditions, the Jesuits organized their order among military lines; they strongly represented the tyrannical radicalism of the period. The Jesuits ensured that the worldliness of the Renaissance Church never disrupted their order.

The Renaissance brought in new conceptions of life and the world; many of these ideas are either still used or have been refined and applied to society today. Both the Renaissance and Reformation have helped shape our world; they reformed education, restored the broken unity of history, aided the development of literature, backed the scientific revolution, as well as giving an impulse to much needed religious reforms. You could say it started a new era for humans.
Get Access