Renaissance Concepts Of Man And Other Essays

It was, however, the teachings of the Latin Fathers which, through the depth of their influence within the Western theological tradition and through the constant availability of texts, contributed in the most formative way to the development of the Renaissance idea of the dignity of man.The great and dominating figure was, of course, Augustine of Hippo.Latin patristic thought placed greater stress on creatio ex nihilo, where even the unformed matter of corporeality and earth had a value in a divine order, and the justification of man through the atonement meant a reormatio in meliore.In place of a cyclical “renewal” ideology, the germs of a notion of eschatological and even historical progress were present.Man excels in the intricacy and functional aptness of his organs and physiology, in his erect posture from which he contemplates the heavens, in the acuteness of his senses, in his mind and intellect, in his gift of speech, in the pliancy and ingenuity of his hands with which he creates the works of civili- zation, has dominion over the earth, and sets about “the fashioning of another world, as it were, within the bounds and precincts of the one we have.” And all of this is the outcome of a general providence with which divinity looks after the human race and of a special concern for individuals who are even assigned particular gods as their guardians.

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supplemented by , “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”The critical exegesis was that of Philo Judaeus.Whether it is a direct trans- position of the ideas of Posidonius or a Ciceronian synthesis of other sources, it was to have a direct and powerful influence on Renaissance humanist treatises on the dignity of man.But long before this happened, in antiquity, this cluster of ideas was blended with biblical conceptions of the nature and role of man in the universe within the history of the Judeo-Christian tradition.But prior to Saint Augustine significant differences from the strongly established Greek theological tradition became appar- ent in the works of Tertullian, Arnobius, Lactantius, and Ambrose.Greek patristic thought in its depend- ence on Platonism tended to regard the creation in emanationist terms, so that in a sense the presence of the divine image in man was an estrangement of the divine nature; the reformation of man toward his divine origins, after the Fall, through incarnational grace, was a return to an original perfection.The principal contributions of the Greek Fathers to the development of this theme were made by Clement of Alexandria and Origen in proximate dependence on Philo, and by Basil and Gregory of Nyssa in less direct dependence on him.Although important variations were present among them, all four were heavily influ- enced by Platonism.of man attained its greatest prominence and was given its characteristic meaning in the Italian Renaissance.As an idea it is usually ill-defined and tends to express a complex of notions, classical and Christian, which writers of the period desired to assert.In his commentary on Genesis, The Mosaic Creation Story (De opificio mundi), Philo stresses that the divine image in man is the mind.Molded after the archetype of the Mind of the universe, the human mind is like a god in man.

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  1. Because there are so many possible types, this site will not describe exactly how to format your references section. In addition, many styles differ in type of indentation (not shown) and whether or not the word “and,” the symbol “&,” or only a space is used to separate the last author’s name from the previous authors’.