Friday, 10 October 2014

Renaissance Humanism

                      Humanism was the term coined in the 16th century to signify those who dealt with subjects like grammar, rhetoric, history, poetry, and moral philosophy which were collectively called as humanities. 
                   
In the 19th century, the word ' humanism' came to be applied to the view of human nature, general values and ideas common to many Renaissance humanists. Renaissance humanism assumed the dignity and central position of human beings in the universe. It was indeed a reaction to the challenges of medieval scholastic education, that focussed on preparing men to be doctors, lawyers or professional theologians. They also reacted against the utilitarian approach and the narrow pedantry associated with scholasticism. They insisted on the primacy in ordering human life, of reason as opposed to the instinctual appetites and the ' animal' passions. They aasigned prime place to reason than on passions and emotions.
Renaissance humanists were pious christians who incorporated the concepts and ideals inherited from Pagan antiquity, into the frame of the christian creed. The works by writers like sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser and John Milton reflected these classical and christian views or christian humanism.
Matthew Arnold, the notable proponent of humanism in the Victorian period strongly defended the central role of humane studies in general education. He regarded ' culture' as a perfection " of our humanity proper, as distinguished from our animality".
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