Growth Of Humanism

Improved Essays
The Growth of the Humanist Movement During the Enlightenment
The term “humanist” emerged during the late 14th, early 15th century in Italy and France. At the time, the term did not promote anti-religious sentiment as it does in contemporary political debate. These “humanists” were usually practicing Catholics that believed the proper worship of God involved admiring his ultimate creation - mankind. Humanists believed that by celebrating the human race and their abilities, they were showing more appropriate adoration and worship than the centuries prior filled with doom and gloom, priests that harped on original sin, and a continuous call for confession. Humanists even believed that because man was created in God’s image, it stood to reason
…show more content…
As this movement grew, many in Europe began to believe that change was good and that by “cleaning and sharpening the tools of antiquity”, they too would leave their mark on history (Brians, 2000).
By the 17th Century, humanists were spreading the term “enlightenment” and promoting that changes in society were only to be made through the ideas of logic and reason combined with common sense and observation. During this time, the fundamental differences between the Catholics and Protestants led to witch-hunts, executions, and even, especially in England, wars. Eventually, by the 18th century, the majority of the population was beginning to resent the grasp the aristocracy had on their lives and the condemning nature of the church.
In the 18th century, the enlightenment began to spread across Europe. While the church and the monarchy tried to retain their strong grasp on the population, philosophers were touting individualism and freedom from oppression. The middle classes, paying more and more taxes, began to get restless. The ideas spoken by such “enlightened” speakers as Voltaire and Rousseau began to be embraced by the population. The evilness of the monarchy and aristocracy, the rejection of orthodox Christianity, and the strength in education and personal growth were becoming more

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    The Role of Humanism Humanism began to appear in Italy during the renaissance. Humanists acknowledged human potential and the idea that humans were capable of genius. This was seen in the arts, from the dramatic change in body positioning and body expressions and in the literature, from how people described themselves, to how others were seen and in a common theme of the world’s potential goal. Unlike in medieval times, the idea of uniqueness and self-empowerment were admired. This was largely…

    • 1125 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    naturally strive toward their potential for growth, fulfillment and creativity. The last view of human nature would be that people have vast inner resources and self-healing capacities. There are many differences between existentialism and humanism. Some of the many differences between the two are that existentialism sees no inherent natural tendency toward growth but rather emphasizes growth as a choice. Meanwhile, humanism sees the desire for human growth and actualization as natural and automatic…

    • 811 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    performed a critical function, proving humanism has failed because it has not resulted in the unification of Italy. During the 14th century, humanism was a social movement that arose from the Renaissance, and changed the way people thought(Fieser). Francesco Petrarc, an important humanist writer, was credited for being the founder of humanism(Fieser). There was a transition from medieval life governed by the Church towards philosophical theories of humanism(Fieser). During the 1300’s in Florence…

    • 493 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays