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The World View of Society - From the Renaissance to Modern Day
Transcript of The World View of Society - From the Renaissance to Modern Day
The values and ideals defined in Middle Ages changed dramatically at the turn of the 14th century- the coming of the Renaissance Era. The world view of both periods were influenced by many subjects, including art, science and religion.
The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages –or Dark Ages- was a long period of time from the 3rd to the 13th century, where scholars spent their time researching the church and religion. They valued God’s works more than their own, and studied the more basic areas of study; including medicine and law. All works of art and writing were based on religion- essentially Christianity - and the Catholic Church.
The Coming of the Renaissance Era
At the start of the 14th century, the world view changed dramatically as people began questioning the church. Many new values and ways of thinking were introduced including;
the desire to focus on worldly desires rather than spiritual needs.
the study of human nature and the impact humans have on the world.
The one main value, secular humanism, was what the Renaissance became based upon. The research of human achievements, knowledge and discoveries was places higher in importance to God in many cases. This is not to say that no one went to church or continued in their faith, just that all the aspects that were once so important and valued highly, were not. This value change was only one of the outcomes from the Renaissance, as this period was “a time of growth and change in Europe.”
Values Shown Through Medieval Art
In the Medieval Era, art was used for biblical purposes to represent Jesus’ coming and life on earth. The paintings were painted using the hieratic scale, which means that the saints or member of the family of God were larger than everyday people. Also the backdrop of medieval art was often gold when saints were displayed against it, showing the value of heaven and a symbol of beauty. The people of the Middle Ages, although often deemed more barbaric, seemed to have a greater respect for Christianity and religion in general; which most definitely was expressed in their art.
When the Renaissance Era came around, the values of artists came through in their work, especially artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, the latter deemed ‘The Renaissance Man’ because of the way he used humans as the basis of his pieces rather than religion. It was Da Vinci who helped to introduce portraits during this time period, a form of patronage. Art was used as a form of entertainment, and as knowledge increased, the introduction of mathematical perspective in art and even new forms of oil paints were created, art became a worthy and respectable profession.
Values Shown Through Renaissance Art
God bigger than usual
Use of mathematical perspective
Use of patronage
The Changes in World View from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance Era
The World View of Society
From the Renaissance Era to Modern Day
Although there can be no definite date when the Renaissance came into existence, the evolution of values and ideals continue to progress even in this day and age. “The truth is that in many senses we are still in mid-Renaissance. The evolution has not been completed. The new life is our own and is progressive.”
We're Still Evolving
How did the Value Change affect the Church?
Because of the change in values, people during the Renaissance began to speak against the Church and what it stood for. Using now personal experiences from the Bubonic plague and Civil war, they challenged what had once been the basis of everyday life. Life was now based on money and human achievements, rather than God. Priests -who had once been religious teachers of the people- didn’t know how to connect nor treat the people anymore.
Changes in Values
After a French king changed the system, demoting priests and parishes, the highest leaders of the church were now considered lowly. Now, instead of providing religious advice and leadership to the people, the rapidly changing classes controlled teaching; religious and not.
One individual who greatly affected the Church and its importance during the Renaissance was Martin Luther King.
Martin Luther King
He wrote down a long list of things he didn’t agree with about the Catholic Church and nailed them to the door of his local church. Within the week, the list had been mass produced around Germany and then to Italy. This led to the Protestant Reformation, a massive change to a continent that had been strictly Catholic.
What Martin Luther King Did
The Protestant Reformation was a Renaissance in itself, a “rebirth” of religion. Italy and all of Europe had been governed by the Catholic Church without rebuttal until in 1517, Martin Luther King introduced the belief that you could only receive salvation by your faith and not your deeds, and the Bible is the source of authority on religious advice. The Catholic priests didn’t want to let go of their dominance and tried hard to keep a hold onto the power. Martin Luther King was even called to an assembly of people in Italy to defend his theories and beliefs. All over Italy and Europe, bloody conflict came up over religious differences.
A Religious "Rebirth."
Renaissance values- humanism and individualism among others – produced Protestantism. The introduction and development of individualism of religion was just what people needed in that day and age; a way to have an intimate relationship with God without the rules and constrictions of the Catholic faith.
How does the Renaissance and it's World View Differ from Ours Today?
As I’ve spoken about, the Renaissance was a time of change, learning and development. Much like today, in fact. They proved a more realistic look on life, and often focused on the human achievements and progressions. Do we do that today? Are values like secularism still evident today?
Secularism is just as apparent today as it was centuries ago; if not more.
You must wonder, even though some principles that were introduced during the Renaissance brought forth things like the Protestant faith; allowing them to have a truly intimate relationship with God like never before with the restraints and rules of the Catholics. Yet distancing ourselves from rules put there to help, we find ourselves in a place where freedom rules. “And where freedom is, most people find sin.” (John Green, ‘The Fault in Our Stars”)
Nowadays, of our world’s population is Christian, have another religion and chose ‘none’. of the world today chooses to rely on themselves instead of the Creator.
I think that secular humanism is extremely evident in the modern world. But as Martin Luther King did, we can use this open-minded attitude to our benefit. He took the individualism, the humanism, the secularism of the current society, and introduced to us a faith that grants us the freedom of a personal relationship with God. I think that, given the opportunity, we can do the same.