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Introduction to Renaissance and Humanism (HUMA 1170)

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York University
HUMA 1170
Tanya Taylor- Cherry

Introduction to Renaissance and Humanism: Renaissance: This period was important and significant due to advancements in philosophy, ideologies and was designated as a meaningful time period. The Renaissance began at different places during different times. Covers a large time period. Humanism played a key role during the Renaissance. There are different technical definitions of Humanism but they all relate to one concept. When we talk about the root meaning of Humanism, it involves an opposition. Civilized and Uncivilized. Human and Divine. Real and Unreal. All of these declarations of the importance of humanity and the potential of humanity reveal an alternative. Choices have consequences. In relation to modernity, this tells us that an individual has a choice of where he stands or wants to stands. The creation of the human as an individual being is important as it was a major change during the Renaissance. In the Great Chain of Being you are a subject (Medieval period). The change from being a subject to the individual being is important. As human beings we have endless opportunities. Change occurred in small steps and not overnight. How important is it that a human is regarded as a rational soul with an intellect? In each of us we do have the capacities to be more ethical and reasonable. We’re at the centre of the universe with many options and it is up to us that decide what makes us more like angels and divine instead of animals like cats and dogs. Humans have the potential to make decisions and humans are worthy of study. The condition of being human needs to be revisited. All of these statements desire to illicit some kind of change. To produce change or are in support in some kind of change. There are different branches of humanism. Humanism was something that was articulated obliquely at first and moves westward to Europe and took a different form depending on what country you were in. Humanism influenced literature, art, scholarship, medicine, law, theology and morals. Key Humanists: Petrarch
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