Humanism : Renaissance And Renaissance Thought

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HU 141

Humanism in Renaissance Thought

The word ‘Renaissance’ is French for ‘Rebirth’. The Renaissance is a period in European history which signifies the rebirth of classical learning and rediscovery. The best possible way to get a grasp about what the Renaissance was all about is to compare it to a previous age. The middle ages for example, could be defined as a spiritual age. In contrast, the Renaissance was a secular age which was more man-centered rather than God-centered. The Renaissance is said to have begun in Italy as early as the 14th century immediately after the middle ages. Since the fall of Rome, the religious thought took a downward spiral and there seemed to be a lack of creativity and originality. Renaissance artists and scholars wanted to bring back the classical past by emulating the human form in the most realistic way possible. Their interests in God, the heaven and the Saints began to fade away and they became more self-centered. They began to think about themselves and wanted to explore their surroundings and daily lives and incorporate it into their work. Artists began to sign their paintings and even paint themselves in it. Whereas, authors began to write memoirs –stories about their lives.
Humanism is a key term that best describes the principles and beliefs of the Renaissance era. Humanism can be defined as a belief or philosophy that is centered around man rather than a spiritual being- God. It adds emphasis on the human spirit
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