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Welcome to our channel where we delve into the world of history and take a closer look at the Renaissance and Reformation in English. 

In this article, we will explore how these two significant periods of European history impacted art, science, literature, and religion. 

We will take you on a journey through time and provide a detailed understanding of how these movements shaped the world we live in today.

The Renaissance & The Reformation

The Renaissance was a time of great artistic, cultural, and intellectual growth that took place in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. It was marked by an intense interest in classical art, literature, and philosophy. 

During this period, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo created some of the most stunning masterpieces in the history of art, and writers like Shakespeare produced timeless works that continue to captivate audiences to this day.

The Reformation, on the other hand, was a religious movement that emerged in the 16th century. 

It was led by figures such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, who sought to reform the Catholic Church, which they believed had become corrupt and lost touch with its spiritual roots. 

This led to the establishment of Protestantism, which became a significant force in Europe and beyond.

Renaissance humanism is recognized to be of even greater historical importance than the humanistic trends of later eras, not because it raises a particular philosophical proposition, but because it provides a framework that criticizes and synthesizes all the traditional ideas.

Renaissance humanism is not about knowledge and creed itself, but about studying epistemology and methodology to obtain it.

Humanists have acquired various disciplines of the Renaissance as well as the Bible, so they have been able to study the Bible using new attitudes and methods.

The utility of Renaissance humanism has also been demonstrated through John Calvin. He was a law student who did not major in theology, but his knowledge of humanities was the nourishment that allowed him to write a book that was the cornerstone of religious reform theology called 『Institutes of the Christian Religion』.

As shown in his book, Christian humanity is a study that pursues knowledge of human beings and knowledge of God based on the Christian faith.

If you read Professor Allister McGrath’s 『Christianity’s Dangerous Idea』, you can see that the Reformation was the request of the era and that God had prepared the whole process.

People’s faith grows day by day, and churches and priests at that time did not meet their needs enough. Above all, the qualities of priests were so insufficient.

Even with the development of printing, the value of a book was incomparably higher than it is today, but it was easy to find and read for the economically powerful middle class.

They had a large collection of books for spiritual needs. They were good enough to know even the Latin errors of the priest.

It was influenced by humanists like Erasmus. Erasmus’s study developed from humanities to theology.

Language was a force for humanists at the time. Erasmus also worked hard on language research. He believed in the effect of correct language on faith.

Erasmus’ rhetorical theology reflected the essence of the Renaissance rhetoric spirit and was also related to his plans for the reformation of religion at the time. Erasmus argued in the book that the future of the church depends on laymen who know the Bible.

Humanism is the worldview that forms the basis of the Renaissance. Humanism is best understood as the pursuit of elegant and excellent culture.

This pursuit comes from the belief that the greatest examples of such refinement are in the classical civilizations of Rome and Athens. The basic method of humanism is well illustrated in the Latin ad fontes, which means ‘to go back to the source’.

One of the common misconceptions is that we think of humanism as a force against the Reformation, and in fact, humanism, as a new academic trend of the time, was not a movement to deny medieval religion, but a movement to overcome the paradigm of Scolaism, a study of the Middle Ages.

What humanists wanted to overcome was low-level annotation theology, which was consistent with formal logic and abstract thought, which was the main content of Scola’s education at the time.

The content focuses on language and rhetoric. While the purpose of Scolaism was to organize a system of thinking that could understand the truth rationally based on logic, humanists were interested in rhetoric and the art of persuasion and sought inspiration from orators, poets, and historians rather than from ancient philosophers.

Liberalists put more emphasis on persuasion that moves emotion and will than logical conviction by reason.

  Humanists were interested in language. Their language research shone with the study of the original Bible, and their original language Bible was the basis for Luther’s Bible translation.

We hope you enjoyed this brief overview of the Renaissance and Reformation in English. These two periods of history had a profound impact on the world, and their influence can still be seen in many aspects of our daily lives.

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