What Humanism Is and How It Has Influenced Religion and Society

Humanism is considered to be one of the defining characteristics of western society. Humanism has shaped politics, art, religion, and philosophy throughout ancient times and now. But in order to discuss Humanism and its influence, we must first understand what it is. To begin, there are several types of humanisms based on different time periods. There is humanism during the time of the Renaissance and later Christian Humanism. One of the biggest changes during the time of the renaissance was how individuals that about things. This new way of think is called Humanism.

Humanism is a program of study to replace scholastic emphasis on logic and theology (Cole 294). The Humanism idea studies ancient literature, rhetoric, history, and ethics (Cole 294). The goal of Humanism is to get an understanding of human experience (Cole 294). The goal can be reached by looking at the classical past in the service of man’s individual potential in the present (Cole 294). Also, those who practiced the Human beliefs were called Humanists. Later, another form of Humanism can about and was called Christian Humanism. Christian Humanism was a movement taking place northern Europe but still shared the Italian Humanists dislike for scholasticisms limitations (Cole 325). Northern Humanists were just more committed to seeking ethical guidance from biblical, religious ideas, and from Cicero or Virgil (Cole 326).

During the Renaissance Humanist time period women were not included. Humanism was an educational program designed to create able public men (Cole 294). Humanist believed the study of Humanities was the best way to produce individuals that can lead (Cole 294). The woman were just placed as being inferior to men and given the roles to just bear children, child rearing, and to be of service to men (Cole 294). Humanism of the Renaissance era was characterized by the mistreatments of women due the fact they were to just serve a man (Cole 295.

Humanism also has had a huge impact in religion. Scholastic education filtered the human experience through the teachings of the scripture and the church fathers with the salvation of humankind as the ultimate goal (Cole 294). Petrarch was a scholar and poet of Renaissance Italy. He is considered to be one of the earliest Humanists. According to primary document, “Renaissance Ideals and Realities, C. 1350-1550, he is conceded to be the father of Humanism and was highly influenced by the works of Cicero and Virgil. Also during the time of the Renaissance period, art played a huge role. Humanism was centered theme for painters, artists, and sculptors during that time. Humanism can also be seen incorporated in religious artworks.

In conclusion, Humanism has had a huge impact on society. Humanism also was also able to evolve over time into different forms. For example, you have Renaissance and Christian Humanism. The two types have the same ideas with different concepts and ideas involved in them. Humanists can still be seen in today’s society as well. The humanistic ideals have had a major role in shaping politics, art, religion, and philosophy from ancient to modern times.

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What Humanism Is and How It Has Influenced Religion and Society. (2021, May 31). Retrieved June 13, 2024 , from

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