Between The Middle Ages And The Enlightenment The Rise Of

823 words - 4 pages

Between the Middle Ages and the Enlightenment the rise of a number of related and competing ideologies, each held a powerful influence in their own time. Often extending well into the future, that influence continues to the present day. The first important "ism" of the period was Conservatism, a reactionary philosophy supporting monarchy and the old ways. Championed by Edmund Burke, as a result of the horror of the French Revolution, Conservatism argued for a prudent and gradual change of society. Essentially, Conservatism stated life was outlined according to God's direct design, and thus wanted it to be that way. To question society was to question God, and to question God was to be ...view middle of the document...

Renaissance thinkers decried medieval life as primitive and backwards, looking back in history, to ancient Greeks and Romans, for inspiration. Church doctrine was forgotten for the classical ideals of the ancient. Humanism was the philosophical backbone of the Renaissance, emphasizing the potential of the individual and stipulating that humans were rational beings capable of truth and goodness. This revolutionary new-found freedom allowed for free thought on a huge and drastic level. Events such as the Reformation followed from a similar humanistic concept. Martin Luther's Protestant movement began in northern Europe, and by the mid-15th century had spread across Germany into Scandinavia and England. It back-lashed against the worldliness and corruption of Catholicism during the Renaissance, and also the Catholic tradition in general. Seeking to uncover a "pure" form of Christianity, in keeping with Jesus' original teachings, Protestantism was based on its own humanistic moral values. Through Protestantism, people began to question, doubt, and experiment with the working of society, from science to religion. During the Middle Ages the canon of scientific knowledge experienced little change, and the Catholic Church preserved acceptance of a system of beliefs based on its own teachings. The medieval period had little scientific inquiry and experimentation. Rather, students of the sciences simply read the works of the alleged authorities and accepted their word as truth. However, during the Renaissance this...

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