Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 11, 2022, 12:49

Learning about and understanding the Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment is essential to understanding the evolution of modern thought. The period of Renaissance occurred between the 14th and 17th centuries. The Age of Enlightenment was right after that.

Both Renaissance and Enlightenment periods originated in Europe. Renaissance was the transitionary period between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age. Enlightenment occurred because of the continued mistreatment of the masses by the clergy and the royal elite.

The Worldview of Renaissance and Enlightenment

What marks the Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment is their main worldview and contribution to the Modern Era. The Renaissance period was the time of awakening and radical changes in the fields of art and philosophy. The Age of Enlightenment focused on scientific thought and reasoning.

The Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment is that the Enlightenment period questioned religious beliefs and focused on scientific thought. This shift from faith to reasoning contributed to progressive thinking.

The most notable change influenced by the Renaissance period was the Protestant Reformation which changed people's attitude towards religion. The outcome of the Enlightenment age is the legitimacy it got to scientific thought as the source of knowledge.

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Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment Periods

Renaissance

Enlightenment

Renaissance lasted for a longer period than the Age of Enlightenment – from the 14th century to the 17th century.

The Age of Enlightenment immediately followed the Renaissance period and lasted between the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Renaissance period saw people move away from religion in favour of free thought and religious freedom.

The Enlightenment era was closer to the Modern Age and took the free thought of the Renaissance a step further. Scientific thought and rational thinking took centre stage during this period.

Renaissance saw art, architecture, and literature flourish.

The Age of Enlightenment saw Science and Mathematics flourish.

Renaissance gave birth to the Protestant Reformation, which questioned the very fundamentals of religion.

Enlightenment-inspired the French Revolution, which formed the basis of democracy in the modern world.

The most notable personalities of the Renaissance period were Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Copernicus.

The most notable personalities of the Enlightenment era were Rousseau, Voltaire, and John Locke.

Renaissance got the popularity it enjoyed through technological innovations like the printing press. These inventions spread radical thoughts to the masses.

During the Enlightenment era, great minds created academies and published books. Intellectual chatter was at a crescendo, and every possible communication channel was used to exchange ideas.

Influence of the Renaissance on Enlightenment

The Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment is that the Renaissance period saw the decline of the power of the Church. This essentially ended the Middle Ages. Questioning the influence of the Church allowed for critical thinking and reasoning about the existence and power of the human mind.

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FAQs on the Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment

Q1: What is the Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment in terms of their periods?

The Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment in terms of their periods is that the Renaissance happened between the 14th and 17th centuries, while the Age of Enlightenment was during the 17th century.

Q2: What is the Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment in terms of dominant topics propagated?

The Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment in terms of dominant topics propagated is that Art and humanism dominated Renaissance thought, while science and reason dominated the Age of Enlightenment.

Q3: What is the Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment in terms of significant events?

The Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment in terms of significant events is that the Protestant Reformation happened during Renaissance, while the French revolution took its roots during the Age of Enlightenment.

Q4: What is the Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment in terms of contribution by significant personalities?

The Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment in terms of contribution by significant personalities is that Art, architecture, and literature flourished during the Renaissance. Science and mathematics flourished during the Age of Enlightenment.