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Renaissance Humanism The term "Renaissance" means "re-birth" and refers to Europe's "cultural rebirth" in approximately 1350-1550. Cultural and artistic.

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Presentation on theme: "Renaissance Humanism The term "Renaissance" means "re-birth" and refers to Europe's "cultural rebirth" in approximately 1350-1550. Cultural and artistic."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Renaissance Humanism The term "Renaissance" means "re-birth" and refers to Europe's "cultural rebirth" in approximately Cultural and artistic developments that began in Italy in the late 1300s, and then spread to Northern Europe in the late 1400s and early 1500s.

3 Renaissance Humanism Renaissance world view—the set of beliefs and attitudes about the structure of the universe and humans’ place within it that was shared by most educated people. Appreciation of worldly pleasures. Personal independence and individual expression. Break from religious orthodoxy.

4 Renaissance Humanism Inspire free inquiry and criticism. Inspire confidence in the possibilities of human thought. Human affairs are rationally comprehensible rather than manipulated by supernatural means Faith in the benefits in science and technology. Interest in art as a means of human creativity.

5 Renaissance Humanism The main centers of humanism were Florence and Naples in Italy. The overwhelming concern of the Middle Ages was God. Restricted individual expression. The overwhelming concern of the Renaissance is Man. Rebirth of individualism. Renaissance Humanists regarded the Middle Ages as a 'barbaric' time and tended to idealize the classical period – Rome and Greece. Secular and human interests became more popular.

6 Renaissance Humanism Humanism is a contrast to the medieval Christian view of humans as sinful and depraved. The focus on the individual and the natural world would result in persons questioning their personal destinies and roles in the world. Reliance upon faith and God weakened. Focus on individual experience in the here and now. Unconcerned about the supernatural world and the eternal destiny of the soul.

7 Renaissance Humanism The philosophy that people are rational beings became popular during the Renaissance. The dignity and worth of the individual was emphasized. Humanists had great confidence in the potential of humankind to better itself through knowledge The movement originated with the study of classical culture and a group of subjects known collectively as the “studia humanitatis”, or the humanities.

8 Renaissance Humanism Humanities disciplines included studies in speaking, grammar, poetry, ethics and history. Preference was to study them as much as possible in their original classical texts (mostly Latin). Humanism placed importance in the individual’s responsibilities of citizenship and leadership, including the participation in the political process in the community. Emphasized the virtues of intellectual freedom and individual expression.

9 Renaissance Humanism Francesco Petrarch, born in 1304 near Florence, is known as the first great humanist. Traveled widely collecting ancient texts. Emphasized the experiences of daily life like climbing mountains or traveling. Believed he could learn to make the world a better place by studying classical literature. Imitated classical texts in Latin writings of his own.

10 Renaissance Humanism Humanism philosophy spread first through into other parts of Europe. City of Florence became a center of humanistic learning. The study of texts was expanded to include Greek. This lead to a more precise understanding of Greek philosophy.

11 Renaissance Humanism Humanism in Northern Europe coincided with the Reformation. Northern humanism is identified with Christian humanism. Christian humanism attempted to use the scholarly techniques of humanism and apply them to the study of the Bible while ignoring prior medieval interpretations. Spirit of individualism incited the Protestant revolt. Individualism in religion.

12 Renaissance Humanism Humanists read biblical texts in their original Greek and Hebrew. Questioned the Catholic Church’s policies and practices. Questioned several doctrines of the church based on their study of the Greek New Testament. These questions evoked more support for the reform movement. The best known Christian humanist was Desiderius Erasmus.

13 Renaissance Humanism Erasmus favored flexibility and tolerance and condemned overly rigid belief systems. Credited with making Renaissance humanism an international movement. Attacked clerical abuses Argued that true religion does not depend on dogma, ritual, or clerical power

14 Renaissance Humanism The effect of Humanism was to help men break free from religious orthodoxy, inspire free inquiry and criticism, inspire a new confidence in the possibilities of human thought Humanism emphasizes human freedom and responsibility. Humanism did not have an antireligious or anti- Christian character.

15 Renaissance Humanism Humanists did not doubt the existence of God, but emphasized human capabilities and celebrated individual achievement and genius. In Shakespeare's Hamlet (written just after the Renaissance), Hamlet describes mankind in terms that steeped in humanism: "What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! In form, in moving, how express and admirable! In action how like an angel!“


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