Renaissance Humanism

Topics: Renaissance, Humanism, Printing press Pages: 4 (1083 words) Published: March 2, 2014
David C
Literature 12
November 4th, 2013

Renaissance Humanism

Humanism of the renaissance period was the predominant movement that revolutionized philosophical, intellectual, and literary customs. It first originated in Italy during the fourteenth century and eventually spread to other major areas in Europe such as Greece. One of the most important changes humanism introduced was a secular viewpoint of history; this was done so by endorsing a nonreligious perspective on history. Humanism not only ended the dominance of the church, but it also eventually had a profound impact on everyday life, especially education. Individualism, humanist philosophy, and the printing press were major components of humanism that made it a crucial influence on Europe during the renaissance period. Without the introduction of a revolutionary movement like humanism, Europe may have continued to remain stagnant with its development in terms of philosophy, literature, and the arts (Humanism in the Renaissance). The period from the fourteenth century to the seventeenth advocated the liberation of individuals, which meant that more emphasis was placed on personal beliefs. This led to a more diverse spectrum of ideas in society and increased personal development, hence the term “individualism”. Individualism first began when city-states of northern Italy had come into contact with the diverse customs of the East, which gradually permitted expression “in terms of taste and dress” (Kreis). This eventually resulted in the ascendancy of honest doubt and curiosity over unreasoning faith. However, it is not completely warranted to believe that individualism was wholly beneficial to people. However, the fact remains that individualism went against the “sovereignty of tyrant, feudal lord, class, corporation, and tradition” (Kreis) has had a tremendous influence upon the subsequent history of Europe. Because of individualism, freedom of individual expression and opposition to authority...

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