Humanism and the Renaissance + Protestant Reformation = Scientific Revolution

Powerful Essays
Humanism and the Renaissance + Protestant Reformation = Scientific Revolution

Kelly McCabe

CCM Summer Session III

Professor Pilant

Term Paper

CCM Summer Session III 2012

Early Modern European History

Term Paper

The later Middle Ages is characterized as a time of great transition and advancement, especially pertaining to areas of politics, economics, art and intellect. A new trend towards the pursuit of new knowledge and ideas first emerged in fifteenth century Renaissance Italy. This new area of intellect marks the emergence of humanism, which essentially came to be the defining characteristic leading up to the Scientific Revolution in the eighteenth century. The Protestant Reformation can be seen as the second catalyst to the Scientific Revolution, which occurred around the turn of the fifteenth century. It was the combination of the expansion of humanism first witnessed during the Renaissance creating the desire for knowledge, greater meaning and ultimate truths, with the power gained on part of the individual during the Protestant Reformation allowing for the pursuit of these new questions and ideas which, at the time, opposed existing knowledge that was universally accepted to be true; this combination ultimately culminated in the methods, principles, knowledge and foundations realized during the Scientific Revolution.

The Renaissance is a seen a distinct period of time emerging in the beginning of the fifteenth century, immediately following what is now termed the Middle Ages. First manifesting itself in Italy, it is considered “a period which witnessed transition from the medieval to the modern age, that is to say, the latter part of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century” (Bishop, 130).[i] Renaissance literally means “rebirth,” referring to the rebirth of antiquity, or Greco-Roman civilization. Prior to this, “the advanced



Cited: Bellah, R. N. B. (1964). American sociological review.Religious Evolution, 29(3), 358-374. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2091480 This source provided great insight into particularly the evolving religion movement Bishop, W. S. B. (1906). The Sewanee review. Erasmus,14(2), 129-148. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27530759 This source was taken from somewhat of a pamphlet/magazine dating back to 1906 Grant, E. G. (2004). Scientific Imagination in the Middle Ages.

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