The Reformation Was the Rejection of the Secular Spirit of the

811 WordsJan 15, 20084 Pages
Contrary to the Middle Ages, when the afterlife and glorifying God was the primary focus, the Renaissance concentrated increasingly on the present day, demonstrating a more secular philosophy. Humanism developed, making human beings, and not God, the center of attention. People not longer considered their lives solely as a preparation for the afterlife, but instead gave them actual value. The church's authority fused with that of the state, resulting in a monopolized power greatly influenced by religion. The rejection of the secular spirit of the Italian Renaissance can be seen in the varying art themes of the Reformation. The Reformation rejected the secular spirit that had developed during the Italian Renaissance and replaced it with a…show more content…
Since Protestantism was not only a religion but a way of life, and since priests and other clergy members were no longer as necessary in religion, in many countries the state and the church began to fuse, and formed a single, all powerful rule. As a result, many Protestant countries' sole authority was at once the state and religion. Although during the Renaissance state rulers were religious, there had always remained two separate powers. By unifying the two, there was no longer a relatively secular authority. The state monopolized the power and made it a religious one. Differences between the Italian Renaissance and the Reformation can be seen in art. Renaissance art exhibited a secular spirit. Artists, for the first time since the antiquity, painted secular themes. The human body was portrayed as being beautiful in its nature and glorified humans, rather then God. Art was dynamic and vivacious, often seeming as though it was in movement. This portrayal both was a reaction to the iconographic God worshipping art of the Middle Ages, and caused a reaction in Protestants, resulting in their more conservative style. Nude bodies, often seen in Italian Renaissance paintings and sculptures, are never seen in those of the Protestants. Their religious beliefs and way of life, in many ways countering that of the

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