The phrase “Christian humanism” has been applied to various viewpoints, many more Christian than others. Christian humanism is the view that human liberty, the responsibilities of each member, and free intellectual thought are congruent with or even inherent in the practice of Christianity. It’s a conceptual synthesis of Christian faith and traditional humanism values.
The historical origins of Christian humanism can be observed in Jesus’ preaching of the Good Samaritan story and the focus of Saint Paul on liberty from religious law’s extrinsic restraints and Christian apologetics’ recourse to classical works. Despite its past, Christian humanism emerged more directly from Christian classicism and Renaissance liberalism, both of which arose from uncovering ancient Latin and Greek manuscripts in Europe.
What is Christian Humanism? How did it originate? Let’s find out below.
Origin Of Christian Humanism
Most Christians consider Christian humanism as an essential component of Christian teachings. This notion is demonstrated in the narrative of the Good Samaritan, which emphasizes that even an individual representing a despised socioeconomic stratum may exemplify true Christian more than priests. In other places, Jesus highlighted the importance of charity deeds like feeding the poor and caregiving for the ill over acknowledging him as Lord.
The oldest Christian theologian, Saint Paul, has developed a new theological philosophy by integrating classical Greek concepts into ancient Jewish doctrines. Paul stressed Christians’ independence from Jewish tradition and spoke of the human conscience’s liberation in a direct connection with God. Justin Martyr’s works in the 2nd century demonstrate a more straightforward kind of Christian humanism. In his Plea and other writings, Justin proved the relevance of classical teachings in delivering the Christian messages to a heathen community and implying the worth of classical culture’s accomplishments.
Christian Humanism Background
Greek culture was virtually transferred to western Christianity after the Muslim invasion. Alternative ideas to theology emerged due to the recovery and interpretation of previously lost Greek works in Europe, particularly those of Aristotle.
Early twelfth-century theologian Peter Abelard’s approach, which stressed the use of logical reasoning to identify and resolve conflicts in the works of the Church, met with considerable institutional opposition and ushered in strong new energy in spiritual research. Followed by a period of religious response where some elements of Greek philosophy were forbidden from the theological discussion, many authors found success, though not without complexity, in constructing that Greek concept could be used to demonstrate Christian theology.
Christian Humanism During The Renaissance
A high value on earthly life was placed by Christian humanism while combining it with Christian faith. Christian humanism exploded throughout the Renaissance, owing to a growing belief in humanity’s capacities paired with a deep commitment to the Christian religion. During this time, universities and academics in Italy emphasized ancient mythology and culture as a source of information. In contrast, institutions in the Roman Empire, England, and France focused on the Church and biblical scriptures.
Christian Humanism During The Reformation
Christian humanism sprang from the Renaissance and was introduced to the study of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament origins by devoted Christians. For the first time, educated Christians had access to almost all human knowledge because of the creation of moveable type, paper-making, and new ink, which began with the production of critical versions of the Bible and Church and eventually expanded to include other professions. Erasmus sparked this trend by printing the New Testament in Greek, which sparked a flurry of curiosity in the Bible’s original version.
However, the Catholic tradition continued to support Christian humanism. Erasmus, for instance, stayed a devout Catholic, and many of the Counter-prominent Reformation’s intellectuals were steeped in Christian humanism. Many different theologians and writers started reading original scriptures and translating them into local languages. Christian humanism had become Europe’s dominant intellectual idea during the 18th century. Its concept even came to the court of King Henry, the seventh. Christian humanism played an influential role in building the Church of England.
Types Of Humanism
There are different types of humanism concepts, and these evolved from time to time. It is important to understand the difference between them. Classical humanism laid great emphasis on freedom, art, and humanity. It was closely connected with the Renaissance. Another important type, Secular Humanism, stressed individual development, capabilities, and self-fulfillment to remove all the needs for God. It was considered a natural philosophy based solely on reasons, justifications, and science.
On the other hand, Christian Humanism held the human’s conscience, intellectual independence, and freedom consistent with Christian ideals and teachings. It favored the idea that the Bible itself supports self-fulfillment and liberty based on God’s absolute control over the whole universe.
Christian humanism comprises of intellectual synthesis of Christianity with the concepts of classical humanism. Christian humanists value scholasticism and the advancement and application of research and technology. All developments in learning, technology, and individual liberty, according to Christian humanism, should be used to benefit humanity for God’s grace. Christian humanists, unlike secular humanists, emphasize the need to apply Christian values to all aspects of life, both formal and informal.
Our Final Thoughts
According to Christian humanism, all individual pursuit and success should be based on Christ and its teachings. Everything should be committed for the glory of God, not for the sake of self-promotion or vanity. In all God wants people to be and do, they should give it our all emotionally, intellectually, and morally. According to Christian humanists, this includes intellectual life, literary life, home life, business life, diplomacy, racial relations, and environmental practices.
Much as it adheres to the biblical concept of humanity as a moral agency formed in God’s image but plunged into sins, Christian humanism is religious. The more Christian humanism settles with modern humanism, which elevates humanity to God tier stature, the less Christian it’ll become.