Renaissance and the Reformation Essay example

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The term “Renaissance” literally translates to “rebirth” as the Renaissance was a cultural and academic movement emphasizing the rediscovery and application of texts and philosophy from the Greco-Roman and classical eras. The Renaissance lasted approximately three centuries, beginning in the 1400’s and ending roughly in the 1700’s. Although no definite date can be accredited for the beginning or end of the Renaissance, it is believed to have been birthed by a gradual influx of ideas that was ultimately aided by Johannes Guttenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1436. The beginning of the 1400’s is characterized by a resurgence of knowledge based on classical Latin literature, which can be attributed to Francesco Petrarch and the …show more content…
In the Middle Ages the main school of thought was Scholasticism, which emphasized logic and rational theology. Scholastics were taught with strict practice; humanists despised this form of education, instead opting for an education based on symposium which would allow them to create a tight knit community. Many people associate Humanism with a disregarding of God; however Petrarch, the most notable Renaissance humanist, respected the teachings and philosophical foundations of the Church and admired prominent Church figures such as St. Augustine. Humanists, such as Petrarch, focused on personal expression, independence and appreciation of worldly pleasures. Petrarch outlines his humanistic view in a variety of letters, one example of which is A Self-Portrait and another The Ascent of Mount Ventoux. Petrarch’s letter to Francesco Bruni, a papal secretary, was posthumously published as A Self-Portrait, which shows the humility, also attributed to many humanists, of Petrarch:
“You make an orator of me, a historian, philosopher, and poet, and finally even a theologian,” Petrarch begins, “I do not deserve to have them heaped on me. But let me tell you, my friend, how far I fall short of your estimation. It is not my opinion only; it is fact. What am I then? I am a fellow who never quits school” (Cassirer 34).
Here Petrarch admits that he is humbled by the various titles bestowed on him, but he does not deserve them because he has not lived up to these