Society During the Early Renaissance and Contemporary Europe


The advancement of advertising after some time has prompted the way that the thoughts pertinent in the Middle Ages have changed to a limited degree, and their appearance is exceptionally shallow in present-day society. Changes occurred in social, yet in addition in public activity, and the affirmation is the arrangement of directing political and ideological courses in present-day European nations. Those standards of ethical quality and social qualities that were celebrated in the time of all-inclusive illumination have changed by today; presently exchange and market relations have gone to the spot of the thoughts of Humanism, and the status of an individual as a preeminent being has changed to the point of being indistinguishable.

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Forms of Worldview: Then and Now

The direction toward the man essentially describes the Renaissance. The philosophical thinking about this period is human-centric. The focal figure here isn’t God however the individual. As indicated by Houston (2014), the possibility that an individual knows more when he addresses God blurs away from plain sight. A commonplace element of the world views of individuals of the Renaissance is its communicated Humanistic character. The man shows up as a free being, the maker of himself and his general surroundings. The scholars of this time, in any case, couldn’t be agnostics or realists. They had faith in God, they remembered him as the pioneer of the world and the man. As per their perspectives, God, having made the world and individuals, gave everyone opportunity, and now they needed to decide their fate.

The perspective of current Europe contrasts fundamentally from the thoughts of the Renaissance. A balanced idea takes the primary spot today, and the past image of the world does not fit at all. The difference in specialized assets and innovative advancement have on the whole evacuated the possibility of Humanism, and the confidence in science and the quest for regard for human rights possess a prevailing position. The majority rule solidness of present Europe is probably not going to be like the one that was a few centuries back. As Seigel (2015) notes, society never again accepts that demise is salvation, not the demolition of an individual.

Subsequently, the standards of the perspective have changed in all respects altogether for a few centuries, and a conceivable reason lies in the move of interests as well as in a quick advancement of the logical idea. It is very hard to go to early thoughts for assistance when practically boundless open doors open up for an individual and give the privilege to decide his or her lifestyle autonomously. Regardless of the way that the general population of current Europe still recollects and welcomes the accomplishments of the Renaissance, the way of contemporary advancement of the present shares basically nothing for all intents and purpose with the previous.

The notion of Humanism, which was planted into the core of philosophic theories during the Renaissance, was later on developed fully to be explored during the 20th and 21st centuries. Allowing for the development of modern values such as the priority of human life and global public well-being, the concept of Humanism as it was created during the Renaissance era made it possible for the contemporary interpretation of Humanist ideas to emerge. Therefore, modern society owes a substantial number of its values and ethical standards to the ideas that were born during the Renaissance era.

One could argue that the concept of Humanism at its core was suggested far before the Renaissance occurred. Indeed, by scrutinizing the phenomenon of Humanism as a philosophical concept, one will realize that its origins can be tracked down in the philosophies of Ancient Greece and Ancient China (Houston, 2014). However, while the principles of the Humanistic perspectives were present in the described philosophies, they were still in their embryo at the time and could not serve as the platform for developing a full-fledged Humanistic approach. The Renaissance, in turn, produced the foundation for contemporary Humanistic thinking, with its numerous philosophers speculating on the idea of Humanistic relationships.

Moreover, the attempt to connect Humanistic principles to the core values of Christianity was also an important characteristic of the Renaissance philosophical culture, the traces of which can be found in contemporary culture. While the modern global perspective is geared toward diversity and appreciation for all religions and philosophies, the focus on enhancing the role of Humanism in Christianity can be seen as one of the foundational trends in modern society. With the promotion of the necessity to address the needs of socially and culturally vulnerable groups through the prism of traditional Christian values such as kindness, humility, and unity, the current trend toward incorporating Humanistic ideas into the Christian philosophy is evident. Therefore, the tendency for continuity and succession of philosophic ideas of the Renaissance era in today’s society is apparent.

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Comparison of Creative Activity

Innovative action gained a sort of sacral character in the age of the Renaissance. Over the span of it, the man fulfilled his normal needs as well as made another world and chipped away at himself. The craftsmanship in the Renaissance achieved exceptional prime, which is because of the monetary upsurge, with a monstrous move that happened in the brains of individuals who went to the clique of natural life and magnificence. As Goodey (2016) claims, the craft of the Renaissance from numerous points of view speaks to complexity to the medieval, and a portion of its thoughts are significant today. It denotes the rise of authenticity that for quite a while decided the advancement of European aesthetic culture.

Maybe, the most striking part of contemporary European workmanship is its indeterminacy. Similarly, as in a normal world, the impact of globalization is progressively seen in the realm of craftsmanship. Numerous limits and contrasts are lost. As Houston (2014) takes note of, “every craftsmanship has been concocted as a result of its specific handiness” (p. 64). Those circles that are well known today some way or another reflect both political and financial subtleties, and the impact of the new thinking about the individual here is by all accounts self-evident. Present-day styles of painting, music, design progressively pass on the temperaments of masses and don’t call to reverence for the magnificence however to considerations and certain ends, look to impact individuals’ reasoning, effect and support specific activities.

In any case, it is inappropriate to accept that there is no exception and one-of-a-kind craftsmanship in Europe; it is just conceivable to state that during the procedure of its development the way of life of the Renaissance did not reflect too profoundly. An individual likely still realizes how to respect the magnificence, yet something today is insignificant, and something is losing prevalence, offering an approach to squeezing issues and passing on the mindsets of present-day individuals.

Summing up, it is fairly obvious that those standards of profound quality and social qualities that were celebrated in the period of all-inclusive illumination have changed by today. Praising the spirit of an individual is never again significant, substantially more squeezing issues have supplanted it, and this can barely be known as a relapse of society. The point, maybe, is that the interests, perspectives, and objects of society’s esteem are simply changing, and this procedure demonstrates to be inescapable.

The Similarity of Material Cultures

Since the Renaissance society was rather secular and placed a human in the center of its worldview instead of God, it was concerned about personal comfort. According to Burke (2014), the Renaissance people paid much attention to their private and family lives, which was demonstrated by their tendency to decorate their interiors with different forms of art. The nobility was especially apt to accumulating various attributes of their wealth, such as paintings, or portraits of their family members. In the Renaissance, it was also widespread for the notables to turn their houses into palaces that served as a subject of pride for their owners rather than a comfortable lodging (Burke, 2014). Thus, the society of this epoch is characterized by a partiality for the arts and a tendency to accumulate luxury articles.

Contemporary Europeans are also inclined to acquire material possessions. Although the things desired by people for their homes have changed due to the technical progress, the motives for their obtaining have remained the same. The members of modern society are still making efforts to stand out and distinguish themselves from others, as well as show their prosperity level. However, these goals are characteristic of wealthy men, which is similar to Renaissance society.

Arguably, there are certain similarities between the current perspective on the value of material possessions and the one of the Renaissance society. Similarly to the latter, the modern public appreciates art as a form of expression and interpretation of physical reality. While materialism also persists in modern culture, the promotion of artistic expression has been one of the strongest tendencies over the past few decades (Seigel, 2015). Nonetheless, the direction thereof has changed significantly since the Renaissance. The differences between the two eras become distinctly visible when comparing the Renaissance concept of art with the modern notion of art as a means of transgressing social standards and boundaries. The transgressive nature of art could not be deemed as a characteristic element of the Renaissance era, which allows delineating a very distinct line between the two societies. Despite the persistent nature of the phenomenon of consumerism in the modern culture, the transfer from passive to active consumption of art in its different forms is what characterizes the modern civilization and sets it apart from one of the Renaissance eras.

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Thus, the material culture of the Renaissance and that of modern Europe are different in their forms since the technical advance has changed the set of items that are required by contemporary society. The demand for paintings and other art objects has been replaced by the request for gadgets and technologies. However, people nowadays preserve the desire for individual comfort, which emerged in the Renaissance.

The Differences in Gender Roles

As nowadays, the issue of women’s role in society is rather crucial, it is interesting to compare the current situation with that in the Renaissance. There is an opinion that women skipped this epoch since there are no famous female artists and only several writers creating their works at that time (Burke, 2014). Perhaps, it is because women were considered inferior to men, which happened for two reasons. The first one is religious and connected to the story of Eve and Adam. A female was considered more sinful because she was the first to violate God’s prescription (Lindsey, 2015). The second reason for a woman’s inferiority was her duty to bear and raise children, which did not allow her to engage in creative work. However, according to Lindsey (2015), noble females who received a good education had a chance to participate in science, arts, and literature. Ordinary women also obtained an opportunity to improve their social standing by applying for specific jobs. Thus, the female position seems to get better in the Renaissance due to the possibility to get an education and work.

Compared to the epoch under consideration, women in contemporary society have attained much more rights and acknowledgment within the community. Modern females received the right to vote, get a higher education, and apply for a wide range of jobs. Besides, they are less pressured to perform their indigenous gender roles. Thus, there is an apparent difference between the position of a Renaissance woman and a contemporary one.

Moreover, the perception of a woman has been altered significantly since the Renaissance era. While at the specified point in time, the social roles that women played were very restricting and implied that a woman could only function as a mother and a wife, the current trend toward enhancing the social agency of women in a range of countries is clearly visible. Arguably, the described trend is not ubiquitous since the problem of gender inequality remains a poignant social issue that requires addressing. For example, there is the threat of gender-based discrimination in the workplace, academic institutions, and other areas despite the vast changes that have been made in modern Europe (). Nevertheless, the fact that women are currently seen as a vulnerable and, therefore, protected class deserves a mentioning as a major breakthrough in the fight for equal rights and opportunities.

Shifting from the perspective in which a woman could only be seen as a mother and a wife, European society made a giant leap toward progressive thinking. Even though it took a substantial amount of time for Europe to recognize the necessity for social change and acknowledge women’s rights, the premises for the emergence of modern feminist ideas were created together with the shift from the Renaissance concept of a woman to a more advanced interpretation of the multifaceted nature of gender roles. Therefore, the shift in the social interactions and relationships has occurred, allowing one to draw a thick line between the perception of women as an inferior social group that was common during the Renaissance to the modern perception of a woman as a human being entitled to the same set of rights as men. Although the fight for gender equality continues in Europe, the advances in the perception thereof are evident and worth acknowledgment.


In conclusion, it should be said that there are several significant distinctions between the societies of the Early Renaissance and modern Europe. The core difference is in the worldview and the place of a human in it. In the Renaissance, people concentrated their minds on the significance and power of man, which gave rise to Humanism. In modern society, the role of a single person is less evident, and the worship of a human is out of date. Overall, the changes in social interactions, philosophies, and values are quite evident, with the promotion of global welfare and the needs of vulnerable social groups being the main distinction. Although the Humanistic principles of the Renaissance era laid the foundation for the modern philosophy of social interactions, the differences in the worldview and the progress made since the Renaissance are apparent.


Burke, P. (2014). The Italian Renaissance: Culture and society in Italy (3rd ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Goodey, C. F. (2016). A history of intelligence and “intellectual disability”: The shaping of psychology in early modern Europe. Abingdon, England: Routledge.

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Houston, C. (2014). The Renaissance utopia: Dialogue, travel and the ideal society. Farnham, England: Ashgate.

Lindsey, L. L. (2015). Gender roles: A sociological perspective. London, England: Routledge.

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

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