Comparing Beliefs and Vaules of the Renaissance and Middle Ages

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Comparing Beliefs and Vaules of the Renaissance and Middle Ages

There are many contrasts in the beliefs and values of the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages was a time of great suffering, including famine and widespread disease. The Renaissance, however, was a revival of art, learning, and literature. Their views of the purpose of life in the present world and man's place in the world was, perhaps, the greatest contrast. However, their views on politics, religion, and education were very different as well.

The purpose of life and man's place in the world was viewed differently during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. During the Middle Ages, also known as "The Age of Faith," man's purpose was to serve God. Life was
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The greatest virtu of the Renaissance was action. There was a zest for living, and man began to love the rich, ornate, and lavish lifestyle. The concept of hard work to obtain secular goals was conceived during the Renaissance. Man strongly agreed with the Greek view, "Man is the measure of all things," and was viewed as the center of the world.

Another contrasting view was that of politics. During the Middle Ages, the political structure consisted of a monarchy, where one person ruled over the people. Feudalism was the law of the land. Therefore, the common man was a serf and would die poor just as he was born poor. On the other hand, Republicanism was considered to be the best form of government during the Renaissance because the individual could realize his fullest potential by serving the state. According to Leonardo Bruni, the rule of one person was harmful to the common good. Thus, the republican government was considered to be stronger than the monarchy.

Religion was also viewed differently. The Catholic Church was the one universal church during the Middle Ages. People believed that only church officials could interpret the scriptures. People also believed in the absolute authority of the church. During the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation led to the development of many churches. People believed that each individual could interpret the Bible for himself. The church no longer had absolute authority as it did during the Middle Ages.

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