Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment

The Renaissance and Enlightenment were two time periods in history which began a new phase of transforming human culture as we know it. 

Both the reformation and enlightenment had bought new ideas in scholarly circles but the impact they had was remarkably different.

The Renaissance was marked by a renewed interest in learning more about the ancient cultures of Greece and the Roman Empire.

The Enlightenment was a period following the Renaissance which led to heavy inflow of ideas that sought to better the condition of humankind.

This article will further explain the differences between Renaissance and Enlightenment within the context of the IAS Exam.

Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment

Renaissance vs Enlightenment – Comparative Analysis

Given below is a detailed tabulated difference between Renaissance and Enlightenment. UPSC aspirants must go through the points of difference to understand the two terms clearly:

Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment

 

Renaissance Enlightenment
The Renaissance is said to have begun in the late 1300s and lasted until the beginning of the 17th century The Age of Enlightenment lasted between the 17th and 18th Centuries.
Significant contributions on art, architecture, astronomy, science and literature were made Science, mathematics and technology were the core areas of interest
The period was centred on, ancient wisdom and religion. Freedom of religion and thought saw a significant increase in demand Focus on the application of rational thought was the mainstay during this time period
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literature, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centred on the sovereignty of reason and the evidence of the senses as the primary sources of knowledge and advanced ideals such as liberty, progress, toleration, fraternity
The invention of new  technology such as Gutenberg’s new printing press helped in furthering the spread of ideas of the Renaissance Philosophers and scientists of the period widely circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies, literary salons, coffeehouses and in printed books, journals, and pamphlets.
One of the most significant outcomes of the Renaissance was the Protestant Reformation which changed the very perception of religion that was followed at the time. The French Revolution of 1789 steeped in the ideals of the liberty, quality and fraternity spread the enlightenment throughout continental Europe
Notable personalities of the Renaissance  include:

  1. Niccolò Machiavelli 
  2. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
  3. Leonardo Da Vinci
  4. Sandro Botticelli
  5. Nicolaus Copernicus
Personalities of the Age of Enlightenment include:

  1. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  2. Adam Smith
  3. Immanuel Kant
  4. Voltaire
  5. John Locke

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Frequently Asked Questions on Difference Between Renaissance and Enlightenment

Q 1. What is the difference between Renaissance and Enlightenment?

Ans. The Renaissance had begun in the late 1300s and lasted until the beginning of the 17th century, while The Age of Enlightenment lasted between the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Q 2. Is Renaissance and the Enlightenment the same?

Ans. No, there is a major difference between Renaissance and Enlightenment. The Enlightenment emerged out of a European intellectual and scholarly movement, known as Renaissance.

Q 3. What is the difference between Renaissance and Reformation?

Ans. Reformation was more focussed on religious revolution. But, Renaissance was focussed on intellectual revolution.

Q 4. Who were the notable personalities of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment period?

Ans. Notable personalities of the Renaissance include Niccolò Machiavelli, Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, and Leonardo Da Vinci. Notable personalities of the Age of Enlightenment include Adam Smith, Voltaire and John Locke.

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