Renaissance: Humanism

Humanism gained ground in the Renaissance in part as a revival of classical learning, and such a revival included new study of classical humanism from the Greek and Roman world.Classical humanism placed an emphasis on philosophy and codes of ethics, notably embodied in the writings of Plato and Aristotle and many of their contemporaries.Artists in the Renaissance period followed the emphasis of the humanists on the human being as the center of existence, a shift from the Medieval emphasis on God as central, with humans far less important in the scheme of things.The way the ideas of the Renaissance were applied can be seen in certain building, in works by Michelangelo, and in paintings from the time.
The Fifteenth Century was a period of import in art, philosophy, political thought, and literature as the Renaissance developed power and altered the way man was viewed against the backdrop of the universe.The century was a time of contrasts between the richest and the poorest.Humanism and the Renaissance involved similar revivals of classical learning, an elevation of the individual, and a belief in the worth of human thought over authority, whether the latter be the authority of a political body or a church.There was a new focus on the individual, seen in political terms with a growing sense that individuality and government authority were at odds:”The quest for glory was a central component of Renaissance individualism” (McKay, Hill, and Buckler 470).
Humanism was a secular movement, and as such it inherently questioned the authority of religious doctrine in social, literary, and political thought.Classical scholarship was a mark of the Humanist, with the revival of learning of the Renaissance period, which included as well a sense of mysticism in the imaginings of men of wide interests bent on bringing the Divine Spirit into every sphere of human thought.The Renaissance was thus an end to the prevailing doctrine…