The Humanism of the Renaissance



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The Humanism of the Renaissance

Humanism (the philosophy that people are rational beings) became quite popular during the Renaissance. The dignity and worth of the individual was emphasized. This movement originated with the study of classical culture and a group of subjects known collectively as the “studia humanitatis”, or the humanities. This new humanism also placed importance in the individual’s responsibilities of citizenship and leadership, including the participation in the political process in the community.

 

The First Great Humanist



Francesco Petrarca (commonly known now as Petrarch) was born in 1304 near Florence and is known as the first great humanist. He was raised in Italy but traveled widely collecting ancient texts. One can see the urban emphasis in his teachings and his emphasis in the experiences of daily life like climbing mountains or traveling.

Petrarch was pulled between two worlds, the ideal world of antiquity in Rome and Greece and his desire to improve the current world. He believed he could learn to make the world a better place by studying classical literature. He, along with other humanists, admired the formal beauty of classical writing. He attempted to share the teachings of classical texts by studying them, and then, imitating them in Latin writings of his own.

 


  1. What was emphasized in humanism?



  1. Why would believers of humanism believe it was important to contribute to the political process and be a good citizen/leader? (note: there is a backside to this reading)

The Humanism of the Renaissance

Humanism (the philosophy that people are rational beings) became quite popular during the Renaissance. The dignity and worth of the individual was emphasized. This movement originated with the study of classical culture and a group of subjects known collectively as the “studia humanitatis”, or the humanities. This new humanism also placed importance in the individual’s responsibilities of citizenship and leadership, including the participation in the political process in the community.

 

The First Great Humanist



Francesco Petrarca (commonly known now as Petrarch) was born in 1304 near Florence and is known as the first great humanist. He was raised in Italy but traveled widely collecting ancient texts. One can see the urban emphasis in his teachings and his emphasis in the experiences of daily life like climbing mountains or traveling.

Petrarch was pulled between two worlds, the ideal world of antiquity in Rome and Greece and his desire to improve the current world. He believed he could learn to make the world a better place by studying classical literature. He, along with other humanists, admired the formal beauty of classical writing. He attempted to share the teachings of classical texts by studying them, and then, imitating them in Latin writings of his own.




  1. What was emphasized in humanism?



  1. Why would believers of humanism believe it was important to contribute to the political process and be a good citizen/leader? (note: there is a backside to this reading)

 
Humanism and Christianity

Some humanists retained strong ties to Christianity. Christian humanism attempted to use the scholarly techniques of humanism and apply them to the study of the Bible while ignoring prior medieval interpretations.

Humanists also read biblical texts in their original Greek and Hebrew and discovered discrepancies among the sources. These discrepancies led to more questions about the Catholic Church’s policies and practices.

The Christian humanists, like many in the early Renaissance, generally considered themselves good Catholics. The best known Christian humanist was Desiderius Erasmus. He had numerous works, including a Latin translation of the New Testament as well as a Greek edition. Erasmus favored flexibility and tolerance and condemned overly rigid belief systems.



  1. What did Petrarch belief about Classical texts?



  1. Based on the context of the reading, what does the word “discrepancies” mean?



  1. What did these discrepancies between bible translations lead to?


  1. Predict: how do you think the Catholic Church and humanism will interact as more people develop humanist ideas? Explain.

Humanism and Christianity

Some humanists retained strong ties to Christianity. Christian humanism attempted to use the scholarly techniques of humanism and apply them to the study of the Bible while ignoring prior medieval interpretations.

Humanists also read biblical texts in their original Greek and Hebrew and discovered discrepancies among the sources. These discrepancies led to more questions about the Catholic Church’s policies and practices.



The Christian humanists, like many in the early Renaissance, generally considered themselves good Catholics. The best known Christian humanist was Desiderius Erasmus. He had numerous works, including a Latin translation of the New Testament as well as a Greek edition. Erasmus favored flexibility and tolerance and condemned overly rigid belief systems.



  1. What did Petrarch belief about Classical texts?



  1. Based on the context of the reading, what does the word “discrepancies” mean?



  1. What did these discrepancies between bible translations lead to?


  1. Predict: how do you think the Catholic Church and humanism will interact as more people develop humanist ideas? Explain.


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