Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment - Renaissance vs Enlightenment

By K Balaji|Updated : February 7th, 2023

The major Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment is that the Renaissance was initiated in the late 1300s and lasted till the onset of the 17th century, while the Age of Enlightenment was between the 17th and 18th Centuries. Learning Renaissance vs Enlightenment difference is essential to know modern thought's evolution.

Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment PDF

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. Here, we will explore the difference between Renaissance and Enlightenment periods in detail.

Table of Content

Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment

A prominent difference between Renaissance and Enlightenment are that the Renaissance saw art, architecture, and literature flourished, and the Age of Enlightenment saw Science and Mathematics flourish.

Renaissance vs Enlightenment

Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment

Renaissance

Enlightenment

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

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

The Renaissance 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 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.

Renaissance and Enlightenment

The difference between Renaissance and Enlightenment is their main worldview and contribution to the Modern Era. The Renaissance was the time of awakening and radical changes in 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.

What is Renaissance?

The period is named the “Renaissance”, a word from the Italian Rinascita, first used in the 14th century as Italian artists had a revived curiosity to know more about the old civilizations of Greece and the Roman Empire.

The most notable change influenced by the Renaissance period was the Protestant Reformation which changed people's attitude toward religion.

What is Enlightenment?

It is a movement of the 18th century that emphasized that science and logic give individuals more wisdom and insight than custom and belief. The outcome of the Enlightenment age is the legitimacy it got to scientific thought as the source of knowledge.

The Enlightenment was an age after the Renaissance, which led to a severe influx of thoughts that aimed to improve the state of humanity.

Conclusion:

Key Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment

The key 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 Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment

  • 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.

  • The Renaissance aided in placing the stage for the Enlightenment age. Another pivotal strand of the Enlightenment was its dependence on science and reasoning. The Scientific Revolution helped lead straight to the Enlightenment.

  • 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.

  • The definition of Renaissance vs Enlightenment is that Renaissance saw individuals move away from belief in favour of free opinion and religious independence. The Enlightenment era was more comparable to the Modern Age and brought the free-thinking of the Renaissance a step further.

  • 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.

    • 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.
  • Despite the differences between Renaissance and Enlightenment, there are a few similarities. Both Renaissance and Enlightenment have supported the growth of human history and European history. The discovery of various things and the upliftment of knowledge of various aspects.

  • 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.

  • Renaissance was a period (14th -17th century) after which the modern era started in European history. This period was a bridge between the middle and the modern age. Renowned people of Music, Art, and philosophy graced this era, and their work immensely shaped the contemporary world.

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