Professor W***** B******
The World of Humanism and Reform
15 February 2013
Humanism: The Egalitarian Movement
The Humanist philosophy has egalitarian roots because of its ideal confidence in humans to decipher truth from falsehood without any need for external intervention. This assurance that people have no need for others but only themselves proves that each relies on his own understanding, therefore each man may reach his own conclusions instead of relying on the more privileged to decide for himself. Humanism, although, can be interpreted as an elitist movement because philosophers or scholars will always offer what they believe to be the most accurate truth, but the very core of the movement is within each individual.
Kempis’s Imitation of Christ offers a view of the Humanist movement through the eyes of a religious monk who emphasizes that truth comes from the individual’s reliance on God to reveal it to him. He denounces the popular belief that man must be educated and studious in order to be understanding when he states, “I would rather experience repentance in my soul than know how to define it”. This sentence denotes what the rest of the book would be mainly about as well as Kempis’s take on the Humanist movement because he stresses that the focus must be on the nourishment of the soul rather than the mind. Kempis states, “Many things there are to know which profiteth little or nothing to the soul;” the soul is eternal, hence it is more important to pursue the truth that will foster its growth than study what others believe to be the truth to cultivate the mind. This is particularly emphasized when he says, “A lowly knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God than the deep searching of a man’s learnings. Not that learning is to be blamed, nor the taking account of anything that is good; but a good conscience and a holy life is better than all.” He also highlights that man must first kindle a relationship with God and then he will...