i. In Italy: 1420-1600.
ii. In England it arrived later:
1. Either 1485-1660 (Henry VII-the accession of Charles II)
2. Or 1509-1660 (Henry VIII-Charles II)
ii. The Church
1. Medieval view: Life should be lived for the future.
2. Renaissance view: emphasis on the here and now + openness to classical antiquity.
And new philosophy calls all in doubt
The element of fire is quite put out;
The sun is lost, and th'earth, and no man's wit
Can well direct him where to look for it.
And freely men confess that this world's spent,
When in the planets, and the firmament
They seek so many new; then see that this
Is crumbled out again to his atomies*. * Tiny particles
'Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone;
All just supply, and all relation:
Prince, subject, father, son, are things forgot,
For every man alone thinks he hath got
To be a phoenix, and that then can be
None of that kind, of which he is, but he.
i. Marian Persecution and John Foxe's Acts and Monuments.
ii. 1588: Spanish Armada.
iii. Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene, Book I.
i. Not the "secular humanists" whom we talk about today; humanists were Christians.
ii. Believed in optimism and anthropocentrism:
1. Rejected the doctrine of original sin, stressed man's innate ethical sense and ability to improve himself.
2. Means of doing this: education, reason, free inquiry.
iii. Greatest English humanist: Thomas More (cf. Utopia).