Impact of Humanism on the Renaissance (Essay Example)

Desiderius Erasmus once said, “A speech comes alive only if it rises from the heart, not if it floats on the lips.” This was the main factor revolving around the Renaissance finding inventions and studies that fitted a person's particular lifestyle. The advantage of Humanism opened a new world of teachings and innovations within the Renaissance that sparked diversity but also clarity into the unknown that impacted the Renaissance in countless ways.

Indeed, Humanism shaped the development of Italy and across Europe.  It was a  movement that focused on what it was to be human. “Unlike later forms of Humanism, the Renaissance humanists did not deny their Christian faith” (“Italian Renaissance Art - Humanism”). Humanism meant that an individual's outcome in life was determined by the way they lived. Renaissance humanists never denied their faith in God but wanted a straight pathway towards him. 

For instance, Christian Humanism was to improve individual responsibility in determining their destiny. “Its influence was to shape the literature, art, thoughts, architecture, and music of every subsequent century until our own ''(Wooding). Humanists wrestled with problems dealing with conflicted culture, the encounter between Christianity and Islam also numerous other things. “Although early humanists were often Christians, the movement's emphasis on critical inquiry did lead to an inevitable clash with Church authorities who depended on mass and uncritical acceptance of secondhand interpretations of doctrine.”(Cartwright). It was a complex movement but at the heart of it was a passion for education.

Of course, education was a subject that humanists focused on. “It was all very well for scholars to debate the ideals of education in theory but more practical offerings were needed to achieve the humanist goal of widening education” (Cartwright). So Desiderius Erasmus wrote textbooks, for example Copia. This text taught students how to break down texts and develop new improved texts. He produced guides and also wrote letters that taught how to become a better writer aiming at audiences .Humanism also had a major impact on the Renaissance as a whole but also major elements like arts, science, and the bible were influenced by this teaching. 

Furthermore, the studies of ancient language allowed Christian humanists to read the bible with a clearer understanding. Also, they had knowledge of the tongue which helped them to understand the bible and early fathers which allowed them to renew Christian Society. Science was powered by the development of math that created major steps forward during the Renaissance. “ Observing, analysing, and categorising the world around us was an important part of humanist thought, just as it had been in antiquity” (Cartwright). Science's thirst for answers and confidence through human endeavor was one of its greatest contributions. Within art, rulers would build impressive libraries. “Humanism pervaded Renaissance architecture where buildings were designed that were elegant, symmetrical, functional, and harmonious with their surroundings, just as they had been in ancient Rome” (Cartwright). Expressions were also found in performances of William Shakespeare. His characters revealed the depth and breadth of human experience.

In the end humanist scholars began to divide into different areas. As science, arts and all other sources started to drift apart Renaissance Humanism came to an end. Humanism transformed education and  many other ideas in the world. It led to many inventions that we use even in today’s time. It was found to help people discover themselves and the origin behind what makes up a human some of the same characteristics we still use today. 

Works Cited

Cartwright, Mark. “Renaissance Humanism.” World History Encyclopedia, World History Encyclopedia, 14 Aug. 2021,

“Christian Humanism: From Renaissance TO REFORMATION.” PDF Free Download,

“ITALIAN RENAISSANCE ART - HUMANISM.” Italian Renaissance Art - Humanism, 



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