Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Reformation. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 1. New York: HarperCollins, 2010a. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Ch. 35, “Renaissance and Humanism” Loc. 7584-7862.
Toward the end of the Middle Ages Gonzalez identifies “a bifurcation of thought and philosophy” (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7584). Some factions held to the development of Scholasticism while others looked to classical antiquity and birthed the Renaissance.
Scholasticism continued after Aquinas by searching for subtle distinctions, by dividing philosophy from theology, and seeking salvation by human action as the primary goal (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7590). The Reformation therefore served in part as a reaction against scholasticism. Gonzalez discusses in brief the Scholasticism of John Duns Scotus and William of Occam. The Scholastics progressed to the point of finding local difficulties they could not resolve. They could not identify the infallible authority due to conflicts among Pope, Councils, and one’s own interpretation of Scripture (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7648).
Classical philosophy was also revived in this time period (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7666). Gonzalez first mentions the negative connotations of the terminology, which indicates nothing of importance was happening prior to this “rebirth” (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7675). Likewise, “humanism” may be related to study of the humanities or to placing humans as the pinnacle of the world. In general in this time period the word was used in the first sense (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7683). The development of movable type printing also allowed scholarly books to circulate more freely (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7708).
At this time there was also a great revival of painting and sculpting in the Classical forms (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7730). Inspired by classical models the great Renaissance painters kept a close eye on humanity rather than focusing solely on deity (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7738).
The Renaissance was also a time of upheaval in the papacy (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7755). Political power and warfare remained important factors, likely leading to the Reformation (Gonzalez 2010a, Loc. 7755). Gonzalez proceeds to give a brief sketch of each of the popes in order.