TFP speaker Byron Whitcraft treated Kansas friends and supporters to a presentation titled, “Was the Renaissance a Rebirth or Regression?” The March 11-13 speaking tour included talks in Topeka and Wichita.
The overwhelming majority of people today would probably say that the Renaissance was a rebirth. Mr.Whitcraft, however, demonstrated with quotes from historical figures and slides of works of art of the time, that, religiously and ideologically, the Renaissance was anything but a rebirth.
Certainly, natural developments in science and artistic technique did advance during this time, but unfortunately the Renaissance man largely regressed back to the pagan ideas of ancient Greece and Rome.
Philosophically, the medieval scholastics used the best from Greece and Rome and discarded that which was incompatible with Christian civilization. Renaissance man began to turn his back on saints like Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Bonaventure and focused their attention on all aspects of Greco-Roman philosophy, politics, art and culture.
The slides used by Mr. Whitcraft clearly demonstrated the dramatic contrast in mentality between medieval and Renaissance man. The art of the Middle Ages had an air of innocence and the supernatural, whereas the art of the Renaissance generally depicted Greek or Roman gods or goddesses, even when such works supposedly portrayed Our Lord, Our Lady or some saint.
The Renaissance also introduced esoteric symbols into art as well as a preponderance of nudity. Today, free speech is seen as a right above all rights, including even over God’s rights. During the Renaissance, culture and art were considered supreme and absolute rights. So, nudity and sensual art were considered acceptable as long as it was done in the name of art.
The social, political, religious, artistic and cultural corruption of the Renaissance helped to prepare the way for the Protestant Revolution by weakening Europe’s Catholic convictions. The turmoil that resulted caused not just the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, but also the loss of countless souls.
Those attending Mr. Whitcraft’s talk would certainly agree that the Renaissance was not a rebirth.