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Humanism and Christian Belief: Change in the 15th Century Essay

Considering that humanism is a movement wherein a focus upon the capabilities of humanity has fueled a myriad of changes in society, it would be rather expectable for one to assume that such a movement was in direct conflict with Christian belief. Interestingly though, Christianity and Humanism did not necessarily lead into philosophical conflicts wherein one would remain while the other weakened or abolished. Instead, humanism brought forth beneficial if not entirely positive changes to the manner in which Christian faith is both interpreted and expressed.

In this sense, throughout the following discussion, the impacts of humanism upon Christian belief during the 15th century would be delineated and thoroughly explained. Humanism is associated with a significant shift in the manner through which the world is understood. For example, instead of merely relying upon the interconnections of Greek philosophical texts with Christian concepts, those who embodied humanism instead engaged in a re-evaluation of such accounts without consideration of any external criteria (Blei 63).

In addition, the Christian Bible also underwent a similar process of analysis. Scholars during the 15th century realized the need to gain a better comprehension of the Bible through an assessment of Biblical accounts in its original form; superior translations of Hebrew and Greek Bibles were accomplished through such a pursuit (Blei 65). As a result, of such scholarly and faith driven endeavors, the Church eventually came under scrutiny. Desiderius Erasmus, a notable figure in 15th century humanism, enabled the society to realize the errors of Church.

In particular, his published books challenged the appropriateness of abuses and the ineptness of some Church authorities in accomplishing the responsibilities of their positions (Blei 65). Through such means, as well as through the presence of unaltered versions of the Bible made accessible to the public, a notable change in the perception of Christians manifested. In particular, instead of merely relying upon the preaching of priests and considering the ways of the Church as undoubtedly faithful to the Bible, people began to question the Church even further.

The wealth and power of the Church during such times became a common cause of challenges and questions from the public (Blei 66). Challenging the ways of the Church is not indicative of a waning focus upon Christian beliefs but rather highlights the desire to be truly faithful and worthy in the eyes of God. From being driven by the Church and its authorities, Christian belief and faith once again became rooted entirely from the most sacred text in such a religion, the Bible.

As a matter of fact, such a change became the reason for the emergence of the Reformation in the 16th century (Blei 69). Therefore, while it would be impossible to identify all the specific changes brought forth by humanism to Christian belief throughout the 15th century, it is evident that the movement reoriented Christian belief from one that is manipulated by the leaders of the Church to one that is reflected and supported entirely by the Bible.


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