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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown

Christian humanism:

An early form of humanism in England dedicated to the revival of classical culture -- the life, thought, language, and literature of ancient Greece and Rome. Although opposed to Scholasticism, medieval asceticism, and abuses in the Church, Christian humanism retained its Christian faith and incorporated it with the Renaissance Humanist stress upon human as opposed to supernatural or divine interests. This humanism sought to apply humanistic doctrines to literature and criticism as well as to government, education, and religious reform. Its representative writers -- Sir Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, and John Milton -- reflect its dual focus, their works embodying aspects of both paganism and Christianity. (See also Humanism, New humanism.)

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
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Last modified: March 31, 1997