Abstract and Keywords
The centuries covered in this chapter extend from the end of antiquity to the start of the Renaissance; roughly from the sixth century through the fourteenth century. Humanist ideas and ideals making a difference during medieval times have to be understood on their own terms. Christian humanism and humanitarianism upheld the moral worth and dignity of persons, an ideal that grew in significance from the late Middle Ages through the Renaissance and thereafter. Humanist thought attaining a degree of independence from Christian doctrine can be classed into four main categories: the human ability to reason without following religion; the human competence to understand the world without religion; the human aptitude for virtue and morality without religion; and the human facility for political organization without religion.
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