Outside of Italy, Renaissance focused on religious matters through the study of writings of the early Christian church, rather than through those of secular authors of Rome and Greece. Centered in the North Christian Humanism impacted the Low Countries, Germany and England. Concerned more with providing guidance on personal behavior rather than liberating the individual. Emphasis on education and need for church reform. Many Christian humanists were not clergymen but--> Most early reformers of the church had been trained as Christian Humanists. Christian Humanism, with its emphasis on toleration and education, faded due to increasing passions of the Reformation after 1530. (Examples of Christian Humanists were Erasmus and Thomas More.)
or Johann Muller (his non-Latin name), Germany, 1436-1476 - set foundations for mathematical conception of the universe. Probably most influential scientific worker of the 15th. C.
Germany, d. 1327. One of series of mystics in Germany in 14th C - Expressed the belief that the individual could, in perfect solitude, commune with God. No need to be part of flock/congregation or under shepherd/priest. Mysticism was a movement found in parts of the north even before the spread of Renaissance Christian Humanism.
Thomas a Kempis
Germany, d. 1471. Another mystic. Wrote Imitation of Christ. Not openly rebelling against Church but in reality the mystics offered deeper religious experience and therefore might be considered a threat to the established Church.
1466-1536 b. Rotterdam, Holland. Prince of Humanism. Educated in School of Brethren of Common Life - studied Greek and Latin Classics. Ordained in priesthood but devoted life to study of classics. Two most famous works were Praise of Folly & Handbook of the Christian Knight. Satire on church & how to lead a moral but active life. Studied classical language to get deeper understanding of Bible. Published annotated edition of New Testament in Greek which revealed errors in R.C. Ch's accepted version of Bible. Saw religion and learning as bound together. While a critic of abuses by church - was NOT a Protestant. Thought institution could reform itself from within. Opposed Luther's reformation & thought him even more doctrinaire and intolerant than R.C. Church. Was deeply disturbed by the religious upheavals unleashed in the 1520s and 1530s before his death.
Sir Thomas More
1478-1535, English lawyer, statesman and humanist writer. Author of Utopia published in Latin, 1516. Describes perfect society on imaginary island. By lifting up general principles of morality as the bedrock of this "utopian" civilization, More was condemning the intolerance, brutality, poverty and corruption of his times. More was a great friend of Erasmus and a dedicated Christian. His refusal to pledge allegiance to Henry VIII as head of the newly formed Church of England during the English Reformation led to More's execution. Quote: "I die the King's good servant, but God's first."
Nicholas of Cusa
1401-1464, Rhinelander, churchman whose mystical philosophy entered into the later development of mathematics and science.
1473-1543, from mixed German/Polish portion of E. Prussia. First propounded heliocentric theory. Worked on theory for 25 years and published during year of his death- On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres. Theory denounced by church as illogical, unbiblical, and un-Christian but his theory would later be supported by Galileo in Italy. Yet another example of a Northern scholar who focused on a more scientific inquiry of the natural world.
(Latin for Hohenheim), revolutionized medicine at Univ. of Basel. Wild prophecies - mixt.
of Scientist and Charlatan but science still mixed up with occult at this time.
Scholarly German of early 16th century. Rumoured to have sold his soul in return for knowledge and power. Story dramatized by Christopher Marlowe (Engl. 16th century) and later by Goethe in poetry and by Gounod in opera. Later generations see Faust as symbol of inordinate striving of modern man (Oswald Spengler - Decline of the West 1918 - saw Euro society in early 20th century as Faustian.)
Lay preacher in Netherlands in late 1300s. Emphasis on spiritual regeneration. Founded Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life. - got papal approval. Lived communally, but not as monks and nuns. Active in relieving poor and teaching. Established schools, tracking. Taught basics and Christian ideals of character - humility, tolerance, reverence, love of neighbour, conscientiousness. Developed the Modern Devotional - spread throughout Netherlands and Germany. Note: Erasmus raised in this sort of environment.
Hans Holbein the Younger
German Painter noted for his portraits and religious paintings, and painted for Erasmus, More, and King Henry VIII.
Famous work = "The Ambassadors" (1533), which portrayed the major themes of the era, including exploration, religious discord, preoccupation with death, and the rising tide of international relations in an age of expansion.
Painter and printmaker from Nurnberg, Germany. He lived from 1471 to 1528. He lived in Germany for his whole life. Well known for his works such as Knight, Saint Jerome in his Study, and his self-portraits. He is widely considered the greatest German artist of the Renaissance.
Jan Van Eyck
Flemish painter who was a founder of the Flemish school of painting and who pioneered modern techniques of oil painting. He also used unusually realistic details and revealed the personality of his subjects (1390-1441)
A Flemish painter that lived from 1525-1569. Considered the greatest Flemish painter of the 16th century. He was a master of the Antwerp painters' guild, an artists, sculptor, architect, tapestry designer, and stained glass smith. Traveled to Italy and painted mostly landscapes. His paintings are highly detailed but stress the absurd and vulgar and expose human weakness and follies. His unique style of storytelling and narrative painting made is work popular then and still today.