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Difference Between Renaissance World View and Enlightenment World View

Renaissance World View vs Enlightenment World View

Both the Renaissance and the Enlightenment are two significant points in world history, specifically in European history. Both periods have distinctive characteristics but share the notion of being periods of discovery in many aspects of life and living in this world.

Each period has its own world view, which is basically a framework of ideas and beliefs through which people interpret the world.

The Renaissance occurred during the 14–16th centuries. This period gave significant contributions to many disciplines, mostly in the arts like music, visual painting, architecture, poetry, drama, as well as philosophy and astronomy. There was an increase of thought and production in terms of the arts, culture, and the intellectual domain. There were also innovations in non-artistic fields like finance, politics, and technology.

The period was mostly centered on art, ancient wisdom, and religion. In addition, the period gave rise to the general movement towards freedom of thought and religion. The world view of the Renaissance was the humanistic world view with an emphasis on the power and capacity of the human being. There was also an aspect of valuing humanity, literacy, and education which became powerful tools for discovery and understanding of the world.

On the other hand, the next succeeding period, the Enlightenment, also produced a slightly different world view. In the Renaissance, the seed of discovery and knowledge was the appreciation for reason and logic. These two disciplines bloomed in the period of the Enlightenment as well as industrialization.

The Enlightenment, (17–18th centuries) science, mathematics, and technology were the core of human interest and activity. To prove this point, all other disciplines and subjects like religion, art, and history were subject to rational scrutiny. There was also a focus on social sciences and the attempt to apply rational thought and order to society and all its extensions.
While the Renaissance was on the artistic side of human life, the Enlightenment focused on the human intellectual side. The Enlightenment world view contributed a great deal to today’s modern world.


1.Both the Renaissance and the Enlightenment world view contributed not only to European history but the progress of human history. A world view is a definite set of ideals or beliefs of people in a specific period of time.
2.Both world views encourage the progress of discovery and knowledge. At the same time they empowered humans in their own capabilities.
3.The Renaissance world view is a departure from its predecessor, the Medieval world view. In this type of world view, there was an emphasis on art and other artistic forms. This period was also anchored and celebrates the artistic side of humanity. In addition, the Renaissance gave rise to changed human perspectives towards religion and the Church. These different perceptions allowed scrutiny and reform toward religious views and issues.
4.On the other hand, the Enlightenment world view is a continuation of the Renaissance world view except for the difference in focus. This world view is more focused on science, reason, and logic. The pursuit of discovery in the Renaissance period continued. This particular world view of objectivity, rationality, and the use of reason is still observable today in the modern era. It deals more on the human intellectual side.
5.The Renaissance world view is what prompted the movement of discovery and objectivity, though its main focus is on the humanistic perspective and view. The Enlightenment is the culmination of the use of reason, rationality, and objectivity and became the period’s sole focus and viewpoint.
6.Both world views have had significant impacts on each other. The Renaissance influenced the growth of interest in reason, science, and technology. Meanwhile, the Enlightenment is still prevalent in today’s modern world view. The basic tenets of objectivity and reason are still used today in many areas.

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