You may wonder about, "The Renaissance" and its relationship to another term, "humanism" which fits into the same time period. If you check the dictionary, you will find that both terms can be used in a broad sense or more specifically. Humanism refers generally to a "devotion to the humanities: literary culture." (My definitions come from Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary). According to that definition we should all be humanists.
The other general meaning is the one that disturbs the fundamentalists who attack secular humanism: "a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values; especially a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason."
This definition places human beings at the center of the universe, capable of finding their way by human reason without the help of a supernatural God. It comes under attack from two sides--on one hand by those who defend religious values, on the other by some members of the scientific community who see humans as a kind of accident in a world without purpose.
Humanism can also refer to a specific happening in history: "the revival of classical letters, individualistic and critical spirit, and emphasis on secular concerns characteristic of the Renaissance." The phrase "characteristic of the Renaissance" shows how ambivalent is the relationship between the two terms, humanism and Renaissance. In other words, which term is the broader, encompassing the other? We associate both with the revival or rebirth of Greco-Roman civilization. Both have been broadened to include more than that. The more specific meaning of the Renaissa...
... middle of paper ...
...oser to Erasmus' position. Perhaps Mennonites have tended to teach grace and live by works. Grierson suggests that Spenser's Fairie Queene comes closest to the spirit of Luther because of its emphasis on grace whereas Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained reminds us of Erasmas--of the responsibility of humankind to make "a new earth" (26).
In conclusion, I believe that each generation must examine the conflict (real or imagined) between the "desire for amusement" and religion, for the answers are neither simple nor abstract. Each "renaissance" period requires a reworking of our responses.
Abrams, M. H., ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol I. 5th Ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 1986.
Grierson, Herbert. Cross-Currents in 17th Century English Literature: The World, he Flesh, and the Spirit. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- During the 15th century, Northern Europe as well as Italy witnessed a serious revival of drawing accompanied by sculpture, painting and architecture. This revival was termed as the Renaissance. The revival effected major changes onto the representation of pictorial space on these two regions. These changes on that occurred on pictorial space representation were mostly driven by new idea of “Humanism”. Humanism philosophy practically outwitted religious and secular belief. As a result, the philosophy shifted a lot f importance to the dignity and value of the individual (Prescott, 2005; Fuga, 2006).... [tags: The Renaissance]
939 words (2.7 pages)
- Renaissance period was characterized as the “rebirth period” in Europe with a rise in Classical learning and values. The scholars and thinkers consider it to be a resurgence of Classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural unproductivity. At the beginning of the Renaissance, ideas were expressed by the logical movement called humanism. These included the rising disasters of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire to provide a stable and uniting structure for the society of spiritual and material life, the rise in reputation of city-states and national monarchies, the improvement of national languages, and the division of the ancient feudal structures.... [tags: Leonardo da Vinci, Florence, Michelangelo, Italy]
1412 words (4 pages)
- Humanism during the Renaissance era proved to be a very important aspect that helped mold the society into one that exhibited the combination of classical teachings and a more materialistic outlook on the world . Humanism during this era was a very important theme. Humanism, in the classic sense, is the formation of ideals that are focused more on real world aspects that stray from traditional church teachings and ideals. The Renaissance period, during the 15th century, experienced a paradigm shift in the classic sense where society began to focus more so on improving the societal experience, rather than focusing on church centered ideas.... [tags: Renaissance, Florence, Filippo Brunelleschi]
720 words (2.1 pages)
- The Oration of the Renaissance When Russell Kirk stated: "man was only a little lower than the angels, a being capable of descending to unclean depths, indeed, but also having it within this power to become godlike" (xii), he identified the key argument of the Renaissance, which would be encompassed in Giovanni Pico 's Oration on the Dignity of Man. The new, or rediscovered, ideas of the Renaissance are exhibited throughout Pico 's oration, and include: humanism, neoplatonism, and hereticism, which all struggle to blend with the traditional Christian thought at the time.... [tags: Renaissance, Humanism, Renaissance humanism]
1827 words (5.2 pages)
- Humanism and Renaissance Humanism brought MAN to the forefront causing a veritable cultural revolution. Reason and the will to better understand the world fomented progress in the scientific fields. Intellectuals throughout Europe came under the influence of humanism which was disseminated with the invention of the printing press and the guidance of princes. Finally, humanism had a religious impact as well with the protestant reformation and bringing religious pluralism to the west.--- Humanism and the Renaissance ============================ Crises at the the end of the middle ages, i.e.... [tags: Papers]
2018 words (5.8 pages)
- During the sixteenth century, Europe was undergoing changes and developing two artistic styles, as well as a religious situation. These styles were known as the Northern Renaissance and late mannerism, also encountered by Reformation, which separated religious unity. During the Reformation, hostile groups known as Protestants were formed against the church because they wanted a complete renovation of the church and Roman Catholics. Late mannerism emerged at the end of the century and had little influence on Spanish literature, but overruled Spanish painting.... [tags: Architecture]
1954 words (5.6 pages)
- Beginning roughly around the year 1400 an era in Europe began; one that would shape the ideas and the lives of men. This era of rebirth or renaissance came within the fifteenth century through the revival of classical texts. One central effect of the Renaissance was the production of a new intellectual idea: humanism. Humanism being defined as a, “[t]erm invented in the 19th century. . . [regarding] developments relating to the revival of Classical literature and learning in European culture from roughly 1300 to 1600” left its mark on all of Europe leaving nothing untouched not even the artist.... [tags: European Renaissance Essays]
1048 words (3 pages)
- ﻿Humanism The introduction of the concept of humanism greatly affected the Renaissance. The Humanistic influence shaped Renaissance art, writing, education and thinkers, its ideas were spread among all aspects of life. Machiavelli’s writings during the Renaissance were also affected by the ideas of humanism. His ideas reflect the thoughts of humanism in the way he thought governments and societies should be organized. Humanism’s influence on art was very obvious, it could be seen slowly infiltrating all art throughout the Renaissance.... [tags: essays research papers]
530 words (1.5 pages)
- The Renaissance and Humanism You may wonder about, "The Renaissance" and its relationship to another term, "humanism" which fits into the same time period. If you check the dictionary, you will find that both terms can be used in a broad sense or more specifically. Humanism refers generally to a "devotion to the humanities: literary culture." (My definitions come from Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary). According to that definition we should all be humanists. The other general meaning is the one that disturbs the fundamentalists who attack secular humanism: "a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values; especially a philosophy that usually rejects supe... [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]
1790 words (5.1 pages)
- Many diverse ideas flourished during the European Renaissance which had a lasting impact on the world. Humanism is a worldview and a moral philosophy that considers humans to be of primary importance. The aspect of humanism first thrived in 14th century Italy, and later spread north in the 15th century. Initially humanistic ideas about education were quickly adopted by the Italian upper class. The Italian ideas and attitudes towards life and learning impacted nobility in other parts of Europe. They were able to accept and adapt to this new lifestyle.... [tags: Moral Philosophy, Human Nature]
820 words (2.3 pages)
- The Automatic Transmission and Decline of Western Morals
- Straight-shooting Christianity
- Three Approaches to Coping with School Violence
- Eating Disorders, Anorexia and Martha Stewart - The Seduction of Control, Perfection, and Fantasy
- Gay and Lesbian Issues - Gender Identity in Gumby's Adventures
- Postmodern Aerobics