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Humanism, Sixteenth-Century German.

16th-c. Ger. humanism tried to correct decay of Lt. and Gk. style that resulted from scholasticism*; it was related in some ways to the humanism of D. Erasmus,* J. Colet,* and T. Moore.* The movement coincided with a revival of interest in classical literature, Scripture in the original languages, and ancient MSS Initiator of the movement was R. Agricola.* Many humanists despised scholastic, studies and degrees, some courted the favor of Ger. princes through their verses. Significant in the movement was a dispute regarding validity of Heb. studies; the dispute resulted in Letters* of Obscure Men. In the Luth. Reformation,* humanism was assoc. esp. with P. Melanchthon,* who founded the system of humanistic intermediate schools and classical coll. studies that became traditional in Ger. Lutheranism for higher educ. in gen. and ministerial training in particular. Humanism emphasized graceful and apt style patterned after classical models, and ethics reflecting natural* law. It provided linguistic tools for Scriptural studies and additional philos, methods for organizing thought. Humanists were interested in sources, literature, philos., and aesthetics. Humanism as such was neutral, without theol. or religious implications. RRC

F. Paulsen, Geschichte des gelehrten Unterrichts, 3d ed., 2 vols. (Leipzig, 1919–21); P. Petersen, Geschichte der aristotelischen Philosophie im protestantischen Deutschland (Leipzig, 1921); H. A. E. v. Gelder, The Two Reformations in the 16th Century: A Study of the Religious Aspects and Consequences of Renaissance and Humanism (The Hague, 1961); L. W. Spitz, The Religious Renaissance of the German Humanists (Cambridge, Mass., 1963); J. E. Seigel, Rhetoric and Philosophy in Renaissance Humanism (Princeton, 1968).


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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