Quick Overview of Humanism

Topics: Humanism, Renaissance, Education Pages: 2 (403 words) Published: February 20, 2006
The renaissance is generally characterized as a time period where the arts flourished. This is true, but with also came ideas of Humanity. The dominant intellectual movement of the Renaissance was humanism. This educational system emphasized the dignity and worth of the individual. Humanism originated from the study of roman and Greek classical culture, and it got its name from one of the era's earliest and most crucial concerns: the support of a new educational curriculum that put emphasis on a group of subjects known collectively as the studia humanitatis, or the humanities. humanists' were convinced that society had outgrown older ways of thought. The purpose of a humanist education was to prepare people to lead others and participate in public life for the common good of others. The subjects of the studia humanitatis were grammar, rhetoric, history, literary studies, and moral philosophy. Many of the humanists were townspeople and no the educators. One of the first and best-known humanists was Petrach. These urban residents tended to object to an educational system that was largely monopolized by the clergy and oriented to the clerical needs. Humanists were accustomed to the ever-changing, concrete activities of city life and found the rigid and closed systems of abstract thought to be both useless and irrelevant. Humanism reflected the new environment of the Renaissance. Its essential contribution to the modern world was not its concern with antiquity, but its flexibility and openness to all the possibilities of life. The humanists also stressed the general responsibilities of citizenship and social leadership. Humanists felt that they had an obligation to participate in the political life of the community. Renaissance humanism was complex, it did not many things in common besides a common belief that humanity and society could be improved through a new kind of education based on a study of the classics. Humanists varied widely in the ways they...
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