Northern Humanism Research Paper

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The influence of Italian humanism was principally felt in Europe in the fifteenth century although there were differences in expression. The countries of Europe, such as England, Germany and France, incorporated the tenets of Italian humanism into their own unique experiences and histories. Notwithstanding the differences among the various European countries, Northern Humanism shared some commonalities. Northern humanism was very closely connected to Christianity and the connection was evident in their approach to education (Wilcox, 1975). Like their Italian humanist counterparts, Northern humanists embraced the study of the classics and were critical of scholasticism. They believed that instead of philosophy and deductive reasoning, education…show more content…
The Church and the education it supported had become too wrapped up in pomp and ceremony, neglecting the actual teachings of Christ, and no longer concerning itself with shepherding its flock. Erasmus in particular disapproved of the superstitions and beliefs of the everyday faithful who believed in such things as relics, beliefs he blamed on the Church’s departure from the basic teachings Christ. Erasmus advocated for reform in the Church and a return to the simple piety he termed the “philosophy of Christ” (Parrish, 2010). The preoccupation with ceremony and rites in the Church, along with the interests of politics and greed, did not in any way impart useful wisdom to the people. In such works as Raelias Gargantua and Pantagruel, Erasmus’s In Praise of Folly, and even More’s Utopia, Northern humanists used humor to expose the faults of education and the Church. In his The Praise of Folly, Erasmus uses the personification of Folly to attack what he sees as the hypocrisy of the clergy. In one part of this work, Folly describes the lack of true education among the religious who are meant to serve the people and teach the gospel as well as the preoccupation of the Church with ceremony and rites, neglecting the simple piety of the earlier church. Northern humanists felt that education could bring about a change

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