The Renaissance Humanism ideals and methods contribute to The Enlightenment and Reformation Protestant in different but similar ways. Religion, something hard to break from especially during this time period, was put on a hold and allowed more focus into man/woman versus God.The way money has a lot of power in today’s time, religion was just as important to the people in the 17th century and times before. They didn’t obtain all the technology that we do now, so science played a role but not as big as the bible or any other spiritual documentations. However, people begin to question and science begin to have bigger influence than usual. The Reformation was an extra push on the break from ceremonies and rituals. Numerous philosophers that made some historical impacts during these time periods. There is a lot to discuss on these topics since they caused each other to occur.
Renaissance Humanism and Protestant Reformation
Renaissance in French means “rebirth” and it was the period in which was the recovery period from the ,”Middle Ages”, where there was a lack of classical culture. Therefore it begun to affect culture and society. Before mid-16th century, humanism had a lot of power and authority. Francesco Petrarch (1304–1374), often known as the ‘father of Renaissance humanism,’ believed that the recovery of classical texts would bring about a new golden age of intellectual achievement which didn’t include religion. His beliefs and actions are what sparked the renaissance but also brought forward how the Protestant Reformation played out. Humanism ideas like secularism, individualism, and scholasticism greatly impacted the Protestant Reformation. Petrarch’s primary contribution to Renaissance philosophy is his Stoicism. Ancient Stoics held that we should avoid desiring the many things that we might ordinarily cherish, such as wealth, a good job, or a loving family, since obtaining them is so unpredictable. Instead, we should simply resign ourselves to what fate has in store for us. By desiring these things and fearing their loss, Petrarch argues, we risk being emotionally tossed around and beaten down like fragile weeds. Protestant Reformation, a major 16th century European movement, aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Its religious views were supplemented by political rulers who wanted to extend their power and control at the expense of the Church. The Reformation ended the unity imposed by medieval Christianity. Martin Luther (1483 – 1546), German theologian and religious reformer who was the catalyst of the Protestant Reformation, was also the first leader to openly depart from the Roman Catholic church. Fed up with corruption in the Roman Church, he posted a document containing 95 Theses. In which he was attacking abuses in the Church. Luther later said “I would never have thought that such a storm would rise from Rome over one simple little scrap of paper.” That little scrap of paper provoked a revolt in Germany, which spread throughout Europe and then the world. Culturally, the importance of the Protestant Reformation was that it loosened the grip that the Medieval Church had on European intellectual thought. The two theologians discussed both used their talent of writing to get their point across and caused a power movement. Both, Protestant Reformation and Renaissance Humanism were reactions against traditional values that were established by the church. Skepticism caused the traditions to be against but it also allowed room for change. They also both swept through Europe, creating new ideas that dramatically affected the world.
The Enlightenment and Renaissance Humanism
The enlightenment was a European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition. This was the break from religion.It was heavily influenced by 17th-century philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, and Newton, and its prominent exponents include Kant, Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Adam Smith. There was less focus on God and more on the scientific explanation of life. The participants were skeptical of religion and its practices as in the Renaissance. But this skepticism led to more questioning. Humanism was about learning and discovering the natural world leading to the Enlightenment with the flourishment of scholars, historians, teachers and artisans.Many of the eighteenth-century philosophers saw themselves as the followers of the philosophers of antiquity and the humanists of the Renaissance. To them, the Middle Ages were also a period of intellectual darkness where the society was dominated by the dogmatic Catholic Church, allowed faith to obscure and diminished human reason. Both, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment were primarily the preserve of the wealthy upper classes who instituted a small percentage of the population. Achievements of both, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment were the product of the elite, rather than a mass movement. During the Enlightenment, influenced by the Renaissance, private secondary schools were most of the times dominated by religious orders, especially by the Jesuits. The Enlightenment philosophers such as Voltaire (1694-1778) or Derider (1713-1784) went beyond Renaissance philosophers, although they used them as a step stool to discover more. Derider, who advocated similar ideas, made a great contribution to the Enlightenment with creation of the famous Encyclopedia, which included works and ideas of many philosophers. Thanks to the Renaissance printing the reductions in the Encyclopedia price, Enlightenment ideas became available to general literate public of the century. One of the innovations in history during the Renaissance was in the way history was recorded. In writing of history, humanists divided the past into ancient world, dark ages and their own age, providing a new sense of chronology. In the Enlightenment art, the similarity with the Renaissance was that the Baroque style largely used in Renaissance continued into the eighteenth century.
The Renaissance Humanism was a pathway made that the Protestant Reformation walked on continued to pave and joining this path was the Enlightenment that made it even better. If it was not for the humanist the philosophers in the Reformation and Enlightenment wouldn’t have anything to go based off. It set doors for them open and explore. Not all philosophers agreed with those of the Renaissance but that wasn’t an issue because it helped led to more questioning and more actions being made. That is why many of the Renaissance values continued into the Enlightenment and Protestant Reformation. Each period in history marks human society in some way and even in our days we still hear the echo of previous centuries and still find some similarities between our time and those far-away centuries .The Renaissance was just a starting point.