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Re-Envisioning Christian HumanismEducation and the Restoration of Humanity$
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Jens Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778783

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198778783.001.0001

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Marsilio Ficino and Christian Humanism

Marsilio Ficino and Christian Humanism

Chapter:
(p.55) 3 Marsilio Ficino and Christian Humanism
Source:
Re-Envisioning Christian Humanism
Author(s):

James Hankins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198778783.003.0004

Focussing on the work of the Italian humanist Marsilio Ficino, this chapter provides crucial historical and cultural context for understanding the character of Renaissance humanism. Reacting to the fourteenth-century crisis of faith in institutions and human virtue, Renaissance humanism was a secular movement within Christianity, committed to improving humanity and culture through a revival of classic virtue education. Renaissance humanists defined a cultural space between theology, oriented to salvation and the next life, on the one hand, and the professions such as law and medicine, practical studies whose task was to remedy the physical and civil ills of mankind, on the other hand. It then shows how Ficino creates this space by means of his Neoplatonic, Augustinian theology. Ficino’s theology has ample room for truth from philosophies and other religious traditions, resulting in a generous, tolerant, and humanized Christianity.

Keywords:   Christian humanism, Renaissance, philosophy, Renaissance humanism, Christian anthropology, Marsilio Ficino, Renaissance Platonism

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