The word Renaissance in French implies the notion of “rebirth” or “reformation “ This period within the context of history was characterized as the period of European Civilization immediately following the era of the middle ages (Burke 18). This period mostly relates to a large extent, the growth and propagative phenomena of artistic and intellectual erudition, presently used by artistic scholars and philosophers decipher and recover ancient learning as well as standards of Greece and Rome. The Renaissance era to many transcended beyond a period of simply intellectual movement, it was to them equally a period of cultural rediscovery which imparted some sort of deeper understanding making it one of the most significant eras in universal history. Believed to have been restricted to Italy, the Renaissance era occurred during the late 15th century, this great movement made an advanced and significant difference in the world we have come to know today as well as the world of the past. The Renaissance era is significant not just simply because it is one of the world’s most known events, but because it is a movement that has benefited and contributed intellectual developments to today’s notion of western civilization.
A common perception with the history of the Renaissance movement is the perception that the underlying reason for the emergence of the movement was due to the fact that theology had been rejected by the middle Ages and had been overtaken by science. This outlook and the institutions of the middle ages era had disintegrated and conspicuous modern forms, such as had begun to emerge. Due to the different hierarchical frameworks predominant within the society at that point in time of this intellectual movement, varying notions and views could be witnessed in the European civilization, thus the initialization of different forms of religious, political economic, social and cultural
The Renaissance era, within the context of economics, brought about the expansion of commerce and industry. For some nations, the medieval forms of their economic organization
Another element that contributed to heavily to the economic development in Italy during the Renaissance era was secularism. During the period, society was had embraced a more secular approach towards its outlook. Having been so intrigued by the active like of the city, the wealthy, mainly the merchants and bankers would move away from the medieval preoccupation with salvation and enjoy the worldly pleasures that they could obtain with their money. Although for them, religion increasingly had to compete with the worldly concerns as in a major way these people were still believers, but not firm in their belief. Most of the members of the urban upper class paid religion with no interest to even the extent of not allowing it to interfere with their quest for a full life. To them, the challenge and pleasure of living well in this world seemed more excited than the promise of heaven; they focused so much on the secular things and did not bother about religion at all. This viewpoint found expression in Renaissance art and literature.
Another trademark that was also a major influence in Europe of the Renaissance society was individualism. Individualism during the Renaissance can mean the basic moral foundation that only individuals can benefit, act and suffer, and it also is a belief system that places great importance on the ability of people to act as individuals. The old constraints of manor and church would be where people of wealth and talent are released by the urban life. Due to the fact that the urban elite
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As for the political level, at the expenditure of feudalism, the central government grew much stronger. An example of feudalism would be the expense of having poor people who are paying to stay on rich people’s land. Humanism became quite popular during the Renaissance. Therefore, the political view during the Renaissance era also changed when humanism, the most characteristic intellectual movement, was put into the picture. It affected and changed the way people perceived art, religion, education, and government, all in a positive manner. Humanism is an educational and cultural program based on the study of ancient Greek and Roman literature that became a major influence in today’s world. The humanist attitude toward the ancient times changed from the attitude of the Middle Age scholars, into a Christian worldview from the fit classical learning. For the humanists, to achieve self-cultivation, to write well, to speak well, and to live well was necessary for a guide to the good life. Unlike the Italian humanists, who use classical learning to nourish their new interest in a worldly life, the scholastic philosophers used Greek philosophy to prove the truth of Christian doctrines.
The first great humanists, Francesco Petrarca, most commonly known as Petrarch, is known to be the first great humanist. The ideal world of antiquity and the desire to improve the current world had Petrarch torn between two worlds, not knowing which one to follow. He believed that by studying classical literature, it would help make the world a better place. He,
- Burke, Peter. A Social History of Knowledge: From Gutenberg to Diderot Polity Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2000.
- Har, Michael H. History of Libraries in the Western World, Scarecrow Press Incorporate, 1999, ISBN 0-8108-3724-2.
- Panofsky, Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art 1969:38; Panofsky's chapter "'Renaissance— self-definition or self-deception?" succinctly introduces the historiographical debate, with copious footnotes to the literature.
- Hunt, Shelby D. (2003). Controversy in marketing theory: for reason, realism, truth, and objectivity. M.E. Sharpe. p. 18. ISBN 0-7656-0932-0
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