The Influence Of The Renaissance And Reformation

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One of the main points of debate during the Renaissance and Reformation was the issue of who held the ultimate authority in the church. The intellectual leaders, called Humanists, of the Renaissance, the reformers of the Reformation, and the Roman Catholic Church each had their view, and each believed they stood on the word of God in defense of said view of that authority. Much debate occurred, friendships were lost, lives were lost, popes asserted their power, kings pushed back, the world was changing, Protestantism was growing, and people were looking for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Humanists of the Renaissance did not challenge the truth of Christianity, but instead focused on man’s ability to achieve excellence through his own effort, like the Greek word arete, meaning human excellence. In northern Europe, humanism was very religious and remained deeply attached to the Holy Bible and the church.1 The Renaissance brought about a spiritual revival to northern Europe. The Italian humanists already knew Greek and Latin, while the northern humanists wanted to learn these languages to further their study of the bible in its original text. As the humanists’ appetite for knowledge and growth in Christianity continued to expand, their criticism of the Roman Catholic Church increased. This prompted the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church to flex their religious might to establish their authority over spiritual matters. This will be discussed later. John
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