Alice C. Linsley
The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, reaching England by the 16th century and northern Europe by the mid-17th century. This period must be viewed against the backdrop of religious upheaval and bloody conflict, the Bubonic plague, interest in Pagan mythology, and the imperialism of the Ottoman Turks.
In many ways, the Renaissance was a time like our own. We too face religious upheaval as is seen most recently within the worldwide of Anglican Communion which has split over the issues of women priests and ordination of non-celibate homosexuals.
We have seen renewed interest in Paganism, especially in the mysterious Druids of Celtic religion and in Native American spirituality.
There are so many religious groups in America that one can find a group that will allow you to believe and act according to one's personal preferences. Ignorance and/or dismissal of the authority of Holy Tradition (with its binary features) is the general rule.
We live with new diseases such as Ebola and HIV/AIDS, and the resurgence of resistant strains of old diseases such a Tuberculosis and Polio.
The discovery of the New World expanded geographical horizons and stimulated European imaginations and economies. Today we look to the heavens to discover new worlds and for the first time have chartered space travel. Space exploration may lead to the discovery of earthlike planets in other galaxies. The very thought stimulates the imagination and nurtures technological development.
In education, parents are seeking alternatives to public schools, such as charter schools, home schooling and classical education schools.
As Muslims of the Ottoman Empire sought to expand their territory and didn't hesitate to use violence means, Jihadists today seek to establish a world empire under Islamic Law (Sharia).
Ruthless or Machiavellian politics are practiced in our own country. Washington's inner Beltway has a reputation for "dirty" politics, back-stabbing, and secret deals that work against a healthy political system.
Today we share many of the ethical concerns of the Renaissance.
- The Dignity of Man
- Responsibility of the Wealthy
- Reform of Education and Healthcare
- The Power of Rulers
- Religious Intolerance
- Insistence of one's own interpretation of meaning
What do you think our time will give way to? What will our children's world be like?
Related reading: Ethics of the Renaissance