Renaissance and Reformation
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Renaissance and Reformation

Course Number: HIST 101, Spring 2008

College/University: Marist

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Greg Whipple E. Aronstein Section 121 The Fall of Priests, The Rise of the Individuals From the mid 14th century to the late 16th century, people of the western hemisphere found resurgence in the Roman and Greek classic arts, the human body and soul, and a break from their religious standing. This period was known as the Renaissance, a time of rebirth and rejuvenation of the individual. Martin Luther and others...

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Greg Whipple E. Aronstein Section 121 The Fall of Priests, The Rise of the Individuals From the mid 14th century to the late 16th century, people of the western hemisphere found resurgence in the Roman and Greek classic arts, the human body and soul, and a break from their religious standing. This period was known as the Renaissance, a time of rebirth and rejuvenation of the individual. Martin Luther and others would extend the beliefs of this time period into their own religious movements known as the Reformation. In essence, the Renaissance laid the foundation for the Reformation. The prelude to the Renaissance was a series of religious wars known as the Crusades from the late 1000s to the end of the 13 th century. Despite several efforts to take the holy land back from Muslim rule, the Christians of European states could not secure Jerusalem. However, many positive effects came from the Crusades such as: the rise of trade between eastern and western civilizations, prospering merchant towns, travel and exploration, as well as an intellectual look at eastern culture (http://www.middle-ages.org.uk). These are some of effects that will spark the minds of the western people as the Crusades introduced an entirely new world. Following the Crusades, Europeans began to separate themselves from the <a href="/keyword/roman-catholic-church/" >roman catholic church</a> . Their focus became drawn to the former Greco-Roman lifestyle. Arts by Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo Da Vinci, exemplified the human body in paintings and sculptures. The thought of displaying the nude human body was considered sinful; however since the rise of individualism, people took pride in the human body and soul. William Shakespeare wrote plays during the Renaissance and displayed powerful characters who determined their own outcomes. This was the core of Renaissance individualism (Perry, Marvin, Western Civilization, 180, 2006). Financially, well-off patrons would please themselves with the world's greatest material gifts. As people's views of the Church began to change a sense of individuality grew. Not only did the arts challenge the Roman Catholic views, so did the growth of scientific study. Galileo Galilei was a dedicated Christian, however in his study of astronomy he determined that the Earth was not the center of the universe but several planets orbited the sun. This belief went completely against the Church; this caused the Congregation of the Index, a censorship organization for the Church, to intervene. Galileo was put on trial where he recanted his theory and admitted that the Church was right. He believed strongly that the Church and science should be completely separated and the only way to determine why things happen in nature is through science and scientific methods (Perry, Marvin, Western Civilization, 226, 2006). Galileo was not the only scientist of the Renaissance to challenge the <a href="/keyword/roman-catholic-church/" >roman catholic church</a> . Others included: Sir Isaac Newton and Johannes Kepler. A common theme seen throughout the Renaissance was the interpretation of humanism or the intellectual and cultural study of ancient Greco-Roman literature. Followers of the humanist movement used the classics of Greek and Roman culture to understand human nature as well as the particular style in which many pieces were written. The study of these pieces led people to achieve a sense of satisfaction that could not be provided by the Church. The literature taught many to read, to speak and how to garner a greater life. This in turn led Europeans to interpret the Bible on their own, rather than having priests determine &quot;The Good Book&quot; for them. The Bible became widespread after Johann Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. Humanists continued to separate themselves from the Church by believing in the importance of human actions and their role in determining the outcome of worldly events (Perry, Marvin, Western Civilization, 178, 2006). A German monk by the name of Martin Luther would interpret humanism and lead his own religious revolution. The compilation of all the events that took place during the Renaissance will finally culminate into Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation and the dissolving of a unified Christian religion, in the 16th century. Luther believed the <a href="/keyword/roman-catholic-church/" >roman catholic church</a> was corrupt as the clergy members abused their power. To say priest and monks were God's interpreters was completely against Luther's belief. One could only achieve salvation by interpreting God's word on one's own. In 1517, Luther frowned upon the Church when clergy members began selling indulgences. These were used for sinners to buy their way back into Heaven. In Luther's mind, this was completely unholy and went against everything that God and Christianity stood for (Perry, Marvin, Western Civilization, 185, 2006). Lutheranism spread throughout the European states and caused Catholicism to split into independent religious groups. By the end of the 16th century, Europe had undergone an extensive transformation. The events of the Renaissance had paved the way for the period of Reformation. These events included: a reinvention of Greco-Roman culture, expanding individualism, humanism becoming the intellectual basis of many societies and religious beliefs changing comprehensively. No longer were people psychologically imprisoned by their religious standing but were allowed to interpret God's word on their own and live the life they intended.

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