Humanism Essay Example & Outline

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Humanism is a look at life with more preference to human life rather than divine or supernatural matters. The value of human life should not only be based on individuals but also collectively. Renaissance humanism, on the other hand, is a collection of Roman and Greek teachings which took place in Italy and then spread to the rest of Europe. The teachings were undertaken by scholars, and it developed during the fourteenth and fifteenth century. The main reason for the beginning of the movement was to overpower the utilitarian approach. The utilitarian approach involved training men to be lawyers, doctors or theological professors. The humanist, however, had other thoughts that they wanted to put to action.

This led to the creation of a citizenry, which mostly involved women, who had the ability to speak and write. The women would then be used to raise awareness and sought reinforcement in the communities (Nauert, 2006). However, for these to be accomplished the citizenry were supposed to study the studia humanities: history, grammar, poetry, rhetoric and moral philosophy. The studia humanities are referred to as humanities in the present. Most of the humanists were also staunch Christians which happened to be an added advantage.

In the present day, humanism means emphasizing on the value of human life in an ethical and philosophical way. The meaning of this term has changed over the years due to the different associations that have claimed identification with the name. In the present, humanist movements are associated with secularism and religions which happen to be non-theistic. This happens to be very different from what was happening in the past. In conclusion, the definition of humanism has been completely corrupted by the modern world.


Nauert, C. G. (2006). Humanism and the culture of Renaissance Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.