(Latin: re-, again; nasci, to be born)

A comprehensive term used to designate a movement to revive the art and learning of classical antiquity, which became identified with the period of transition from the Middle Ages to modern times. This transition was effected in particular by Humanism, the appreciative study of the classics, was the literary manifestation of the movement, which may be said to have begun definitely with the writings of Petrarch and Boccaccio. Humanism divided into two phases: The outstanding representatives of the latter are: Among the pagan humanists may be mentioned: Against the array of pagan thinkers and writers of the Renaissance, the Church offers more than 88 Saints and Blesseds in the years from 1400 to 1520, and the offenders themselves, in the majority of cases, sought the consolation of the Sacraments before their death. Among the famous architects and sculptors of the period were: The Mother of God became the particular source of inspiration for painters, among whom may be mentioned: The Renaissance as it manifested itself in the other countries was not a rediscovery of their past, as in Italy. In Germany and the Low Countries the return was made to the study of primitive Christianity, e.g., to the writings of Saint Paul, and Saint Augustine and other Fathers, and resulted in a rationalistic and free interpretation of the Bible. The leaders of the movement were In France it took the form of a reaction against Scholasticism, headed by In England the humanists inaugurated a movement which resulted in what is known as the Elizabethan period in English literature. Among the various scholars and religious leaders of the Renaissance outside of Italy may be mentioned: The Church did not oppose the return to classical literature, for she herself preserved the classics, nor did she oppose the return to the cult of form and beauty. Her opposition was directed against the return to the pagan spirit with its rationalism, scepticism, and contempt for revealed religion.

New Catholic Dictionary

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