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Similar and Distinctive Features of Society During the Early Renaissance and Contemporary Europe

The development of public relations over time has led to the fact that the ideas relevant in the Middle Ages have changed to a certain extent, and their reflection is very superficial in modern society. Changes took place not only in cultural, but also in social life, and the confirmation is the system of conducting political and ideological courses in modern European countries. Those norms of morality and cultural values ​​that were glorified in the era of universal enlightenment have changed by today; now trade and market relations have come to the place of the ideas of humanism, and the status of a person as a supreme being has changed beyond recognition.

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Forms of Worldview: Then and Now

The orientation toward the man primarily characterizes the Renaissance. The philosophical thinking of this period is anthropocentric. The central figure here is not God but the human being. According to Houston (2014), the idea that a person knows more when he speaks to God fades into the background. A typical feature of the world outlook of people of the Renaissance is its expressed humanistic character. The man appears as a free being, the creator of himself and the world around him. The thinkers of this era, however, could not be atheists or materialists. They believed in God, they recognized him as the pioneer of the world and the man. According to their views, God, having created the world and people, gave everybody freedom, and now they had to determine their destiny.

The worldview of modern Europe differs significantly from the ideas of the Renaissance. A rational thought takes the first place today, and the previous picture of the world does not fit in any way. The change of technical resources and technological progress have almost entirely removed the idea of ​​humanism, and the belief in science and the pursuit of respect for human rights occupy a dominant position. The democratic stability of today’s Europe is unlikely to be similar to the one that was several centuries ago. As Seigel (2015) notes, society no longer believes that death is salvation, not a destruction of a person.

Thus, the norms of the worldview have changed very significantly for several centuries, and a possible reason lies not only in the shift of interests but also in a rapid development of scientific thought. It is quite difficult to turn to early ideas for help when almost unlimited opportunities open up for a person and give the right to determine his or her way of life independently. Despite the fact that the people of modern Europe still remember and appreciate the achievements of the Renaissance, the path of contemporary development of the present has practically nothing in common with the former.

Comparison of Creative Activity

Creative activity acquired a kind of sacral character in the epoch of the Renaissance. In the course of it the man not only satisfied his natural needs but also created a new world and worked on himself. The art in the Renaissance reached unprecedented heyday, which is due to the economic upsurge, with a massive shift that occurred in the minds of people who turned to the cult of earthly life and beauty. As Goodey (2016) claims, the art of the Renaissance in many ways represents a contrast to the medieval, and some of its ideas are relevant today. It marks the emergence of realism that for a long time determined the development of European artistic culture.

Perhaps, the most vivid aspect of contemporary European art is its indeterminacy. In the same way, as in an ordinary world, the effect of globalization is increasingly observed in the world of art. Many boundaries and differences are lost. As Houston (2014) notes, “each art has been devised because of its certain usefulness” (p. 64). Those spheres that are popular today somehow reflect both political and economic nuances, and the influence of the new thinking of the person here seems to be obvious. Modern styles of painting, music, sculpture increasingly convey the moods of masses and do not call to admiration for the beauty but to thoughts and certain conclusions, seek to influence people’s thinking, affect and encourage particular actions.

Anyhow, it would be wrong to assume that there is no special and unique art in Europe; it is only possible to say that during the process of its formation the culture of the Renaissance did not reflect too deeply. A person probably still knows how to admire the beauty, but something today is irrelevant, and something is losing popularity, giving way to pressing issues and conveying the moods of modern people.

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Summing up, it is rather evident that those norms of morality and cultural values ​​that were glorified in the era of universal enlightenment have changed by today. The idea of praising the soul of a person is no longer important, much more pressing problems have replaced it, and this can hardly be called a regress of society. The point, perhaps, is that the interests, views, and objects of society’s admiration are just changing, and this process proves to be inevitable.

References

Goodey, C. F. (2016). A History of Intelligence and “Intellectual Disability”: The Shaping of Psychology in Early Modern Europe. Abingdon, England: Routledge.

Houston, C. (2014). The Renaissance Utopia: Dialogue, Travel and the Ideal Society. Farnham, England: Ashgate.

Seigel, J. E. (2015). Rhetoric and Philosophy in Renaissance Humanism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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StudyCorgi. "Similar and Distinctive Features of Society During the Early Renaissance and Contemporary Europe." January 2, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/similar-and-distinctive-features-of-society-during-the-early-renaissance-and-contemporary-europe/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Similar and Distinctive Features of Society During the Early Renaissance and Contemporary Europe." January 2, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/similar-and-distinctive-features-of-society-during-the-early-renaissance-and-contemporary-europe/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Similar and Distinctive Features of Society During the Early Renaissance and Contemporary Europe'. 2 January.

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