Middle Ages vs. the Renaissance Essay

736 WordsSep 28, 19993 Pages
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 looked upon as a journey. The focus of life was on the afterlife…show more content…
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. Education was approached differently as well. During the Middle Ages, the focus of education was on studying the Bible and debating spiritual questions. Since the common people were not allowed to read the Bible, they were told what to think. The purpose of education in the Middle Ages was to pass the Moral Test and be rewarded with eternal joy in the afterlife. However, during the Renaissance, the focus of education was on learning from past history and experience and observations of the present world. There was a scientific and rationalistic attitude toward viewing
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