Difference between revisions of "Religion in the Renaissance"

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'''Religion in the Renaissance''' can be best summed up by saying that the [[Renaissance]] was a period of huge [[religious]] turmoil.  The debates between the [[Humanists]] and [[Scholastics]] eventually lead to the debates that began the [[Reformation]], and many of the religious debates can be broadly (and as inaccurately as broad generalisations usually are) categorised as a battle between the [[Reformers]] and the [[Catholic Church]].  See [[Humanists and the Reformation]].
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== Before the fifteenth century ==
  
The battle between the [[Reformers]] and the [[Catholic Church]] more properly belongs to the [[Reformation]] than the [[Renaissance]] however.
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With the establishment of the [[Benedictine Rule]] in 480 it seems fairly safe to state that the [[Christian]] [[religion|faith]], particularly as taught by the [[Catholic]] church, was becoming the most widely-held belief across [[Europe]]. The Catholic church would maintain its supremacy as the spiritual authority until the [[monk]], [[Martin Luther]], rebelled against practices and teachings which he believed were not in agreement with [[Bible|biblical]] doctrine.
  
Having said that, the man in the street took a much greater interest in religion during the [[Renaissance]] than during the [[Middle Ages]] -- if only because the religious discourses of the time affected his or her life to a much greater extent than previously. Joe Average of 1540 would be much more likely to hold a strong [[religious opinion]] than Joe Average of 1340 -- who would most likely have simply believed whatever he heard at the [[pulpit]].
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The church masses were conducted in [[latin]], a [[language]] not known to the common people, who relied on the [[priests]] to provide spiritual counsel. The majority of [[peasant]] folk and less well-[[education|educated]] people probably believed a mixture of Christian doctrine and older pre-Christian ideas.
  
== Important [[Popes]] and other [[Church]] notables ==
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== New beginnings ==
  
* [http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Nicholas_V Pope Nicholas V] (1447 - 1455)
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During the [[12th century|twelfth century]] thinking men began exploring the written knowledge that had been preserved in [[monastic]] [[library|libraries]], but which had not been actively disseminated. One of the goals of these intellectual explorers seems to have been to rediscover the culture of the classical, pre-Christian period, perhaps in search of something that they believed had been lost or suppressed by the church.  
* [http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Pius_II Pope Pius II] (1458 - 1464)
 
* [http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Sixtus_IV Pope Sixtus IV] (1471 - 1484)
 
* [http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Alexander_VI Pope Alexander VI] (1492 - 1503)
 
* [http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Julius_II Pope Julius II] (1503 - 1513)
 
* [http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Leo_X Pope Leo X] (1513 - 1523) -- [[Pope]] at the time of [[Martin Luther]]'s protest in Wittenburg.
 
* [http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girolamo_Savonarola Girolamo Savonarola] (1452 - 1498), a noted anti-[[Renaissance]] preacher, [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominican Dominican] priest, and book-burner.
 
  
== Important figures of the [[Reformation]] ==
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In the visual [[arts]], the [[painter]] [http://www.wga.hu/html/g/giotto/index.html Giotto Bondone] worked to develop a more natural style of visual representation than the stylised images which had become the norm.
  
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wyclif John Wyclif] (1320 - 1384), English professor of Oxford university, whose teachings influenced
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As the intellectual climate of Europe changed, fuelled by the development of [[printing]] with movable type and a printing press, Martin Luther worked to make available translations in the language of his own people, the [[Germany|German]]s, of the [[Bible]], the mass and other texts for doctrinal instruction.
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Hus Jan Hus] (1369 - 1415, [[burned at the stake]]), an early reformer in southern [[Bohemia]] and founder of the [[Hussite]]s.
 
* [[Martin Luther]] (1483 - 1546), the founder of [[Lutheranism]].
 
* [http://en2.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huldreich_Zwingli Huldreich Zwingli] (1484 - 1531), mad as a cut snake and the founder of the [[Reformation]] in [[Switzerland]], especially [[Zurich]].
 
* [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calvin John Calvin] (1509 - 1564), the founder of [[Calvinism]], which was the religious basis of the [http://en2.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenot Huguenots] in [[France]] and the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyterian Presbyterians] of [[Scotland]] and elsewhere.
 
  
== [[Religion]] and [[Free Thought]] ==
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With the spread of the [[reformation|reformatory]] ideas promoted by Luther, a new movement of protestation against the Catholic church became established. Fundamental principles of the [[protestant]] movement included rejection of [[Pope|papal]] authority, that all Christian believers have direct communion with [[God]] obviating the need for an intermediate [[priest]]hood, and that a Christian believer is absolved from sin by belief without the need for ''post-mortem'' purification in purgatory.
  
Note that the reformation didn't always promote religious free thought.  Neither Luther nor Calvin were great advocates of free thought -- but perhaps [[Michael Servetus]] was.  Of course he got [[burned at the stake]] for [[Heresy]], in [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Calvin John Calvin]'s Geneva -- where the [[Program of Reform]] in 1523 actually banned all Catholic forms of worship.
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[[category:religion]]
 
 
While the [[Hussite]]s were very much in opposition to some of the [[Catholic church]] [[dogma]], their insistence that all forms of worship should be strictly in accordance with the [[Bible]] was very my-way-or-the-highway.
 

Latest revision as of 08:27, 13 November 2007

Before the fifteenth century

With the establishment of the Benedictine Rule in 480 it seems fairly safe to state that the Christian faith, particularly as taught by the Catholic church, was becoming the most widely-held belief across Europe. The Catholic church would maintain its supremacy as the spiritual authority until the monk, Martin Luther, rebelled against practices and teachings which he believed were not in agreement with biblical doctrine.

The church masses were conducted in latin, a language not known to the common people, who relied on the priests to provide spiritual counsel. The majority of peasant folk and less well-educated people probably believed a mixture of Christian doctrine and older pre-Christian ideas.

New beginnings

During the twelfth century thinking men began exploring the written knowledge that had been preserved in monastic libraries, but which had not been actively disseminated. One of the goals of these intellectual explorers seems to have been to rediscover the culture of the classical, pre-Christian period, perhaps in search of something that they believed had been lost or suppressed by the church.

In the visual arts, the painter Giotto Bondone worked to develop a more natural style of visual representation than the stylised images which had become the norm.

As the intellectual climate of Europe changed, fuelled by the development of printing with movable type and a printing press, Martin Luther worked to make available translations in the language of his own people, the Germans, of the Bible, the mass and other texts for doctrinal instruction.

With the spread of the reformatory ideas promoted by Luther, a new movement of protestation against the Catholic church became established. Fundamental principles of the protestant movement included rejection of papal authority, that all Christian believers have direct communion with God obviating the need for an intermediate priesthood, and that a Christian believer is absolved from sin by belief without the need for post-mortem purification in purgatory.