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Northern Humanism.docx

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Anthony Cantor

Northern Humanism Desiderius Erasmus 1466? – 1536 Thomas More 1478 – 1535  Humanism was guide for those who made their own way in the world  Developed in North after Italy b/c there were ppl everywhere who wanted to live like this  Diff. form of Humanism b/c of diff. culture  Ppl who needed education were those of the Church (Christianity is religion of the book, must be literate – foundation of education) education was almost monopoly of clerical st class (1 estate) attitude towards education was very religious education was sustained in monasteries, directed to those trained to be secular priests  Role of learning began to expand (trade expanded, law expansion followed contract were needed) secular education began to grow (universities began to expand to take secular students to learn new social model & economic & political structure, ex. law & medical schools) still didn’t alter clerical perspective in Europe  Renaissance was imported to North as consequence of cultural contact (trade & merchants, pilgrims bringing ideas of Italy) needed major points of contact: Fr. invasions of Italy in 1494 largest army crossed Alps to claim Naples, Charles VIII of France stayed for ~2 yrs, saw learning & splendor of Italian cities & wanted to bring ideas back (writers & thinkers were attracted to Fr. court) Fr. came in conflict w/ other countries who were interested in Italy (became battlefield of Europe to determine who would be in charge, ex. Hapsburgs, etc.) 1494-1559: fighting lasted, Northern countries absorbed some Humanist ideas & needed individuals to sustain this thinking (corresponded w/ explosion of long-distance trade, wanted to compete w/ Italy economically) growth in towns & cities & ppl who were secularly educated (new concern for new ideas – but clerical models were still dominating) for Northern Europe, they looked at Jerome & St. Augusta (fathers of church) as heroes (part of frame of reference) N. humanists spent more time talking about ppl like St. Augusta w/ development of humanist change (Italy wanted to recover classics, North wanted to recover commitment to religion) ideas of questioning world began to blend w/ religious education  Change was looked at as part of [original] divine plan (interpret books correctly) only vocab of change that was available was religion  Generations of people had been serfs for generations, were looking for new communities (found in religious settings)  Northern Humanism had religious tinge to it  N. Humanists began to question society through religious prism Famour N. Humanists: 1. Erasmus – illegitimate son of priest; parents both died of plague; guardians didn’t want him, sent him to boarding school run by “Brothren of a Common Life” looking for relationship between God & Man, spirit & commerce, grown as heretical sect (realized learning was instrument where answers would be providedstarted schools, lived like early communists) brilliant student & became part of culture based on understanding texts to make yourself a better person (it was decided he should be sent to monastery, eventually recognized for intelligence & was appointed secretery of a bishop – gave him access to his library, Erasmus began reading & writing & became famous, was then allowed to leave monastery, had right to “live in t
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