Humanism and the Reformation

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Humanism and the Reformation

By | Jan. 2011
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Humanism and the Reformation

The Reformation which was started by Martin Luther came after the humanism movement had spread across Northern Europe. It is ironic that Martin Luther had no previous connection with humanism yet there are parts of humanism that are similar to the reformation. Both humanists and the reformers have religious oppositions in the functioning of the church. Both found fault with all of the bribery and corruption that was within the higher clergy that was governed by the pope. Humanists and the reformers also found fault in the way that the religious people would draw themselves away from society for what they would consider a way to pursuit spiritual salvation or what is called monasticism.

Both humanism and the reformation were at the start of a move to better understand the Bible based on the text mainly in the original language. This possibly stemmed from the fact that the humanists and reformers felt that the religious studies of the universities were not up to par, they were considered “quibbling arguments, meaningless arguments and dry academic exercises.” Another area to see the similarities of Humanism and the reformation is to look at the translation of the text in the Bible that was completed by Martin Luther. Although Martin Luther is credited for the work, it was the pre-work of the humanists that made Martin Luther’s translations possible.

There were several differences between the humanist and the reformers; however, there are two main differences that lie between them. The reformers believed that if not for the grace of God, humanity was hopeless and lost in sin and that humanity was in need of redemption. The reformers believed that this redemption would come from God and not from education. The humanists believe that “learning improves and ennobles” and that education is what creates a moral person this is due to the humanist education having a strong ethical base.

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