Renaissance vs. Reformation

Basic differences between renaissance and reformation

The basic differences between the meanings and characteristics of the words renaissance and reformation can be analyzed by first looking at what each means. The basic similarity between the two is the fact that both are associated with European transformation in the early centuries. The term renaissance was the total transformation of culture in Europe that was largely a cultural movement that started in Italy and particularly the city of Florence between 14BC and 17BC and spread all across Europe. The consequence of the cultural movement was increased development of art and architecture. Reformation on the other hand was mainly a religious movement in Northern Europe that was associated with Christianity. The immediate follow up of the reformation was the division of religion that was marked by the introduction of Protestantism.

Having had established a breakaway faction of conventional Christianity called protestant; the European reformation was also tagged with name Protestantism Christian movement. The difference in the terms is also based on the fact that as opposed to the reformation that centers on European religious era, renaissance was focused on the cultural and historic era in Europe. It is important to note that renaissance is a general terms that covers all renaissances that were present in Europe at the time.

The concept behind reformation was indeed the call for religious autonomy where the champions of the reformation went ahead to establish the national protestant churches due to what they felt was a monopolistic doctrine and practice of Christianity enshrined in the structures of the Roman Catholic Church which also sparked a Counter Reformation movement to oppose the change. As opposed to the renaissance which spread all around Europe, reformation only reached the borders of northern territories while most of the southern ones remained largely catholic.

The advancement of art and architecture that was associated with the renaissance brought new and unique perspectives in art as opposed to reformation that was mainly accompanied by development of religious sects. Reformation later transformed further to other religious factions due to differences among its advocates on the appropriate doctrine to be adopted.