In this book, William Caferro asks if the Renaissance was really a period of progress, reason, the emergence of the individual, and the beginning of modernity. An influential investigation into the nature of the European Renaissance Summarizes scholarly debates about the nature of the Renaissance Engages with specific controversies concerning gender identity, economics, the emergence of the modern state, and reason and faith Takes a balanced approach to the many different problems and perspectives that characterize Renaissance studies
1. The Renaissance Question. 2. Individualism. Who was the Renaissance Man? 3. Gender. Who was the Renaissance Woman? 4. Humanism. Renovation or Innovation? 5. Economy. Hard Times or Prosperity? 6. Politics. The Emergence of the Modern State? 7. Faith and Science. Religious or Rational?
"Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries." (Choice, 1 August 2011)
William Caferro is Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. His previous publications include Mercenary Companies and the Decline of Siena (1998), and The Spinelli: Merchants, Patrons and Bankers in Renaissance Florence (1998).
In the nineteenth century, the Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt famously defined the Renaissance as a period of progress, reason, the emergence of the individual, and the beginning of modernity. In this book, William Caferro asks how accurate Burckhardt’s definition was and summarizes recent scholarly debates about the nature of the Renaissance. Caferro’s account engages with a range of specific controversies, including: the nature of the Renaissance (wo)man; whether or not the Renaissance was a period of prosperity; and how the relationship between reason and faith altered during this period. The book takes a balanced approach to the many different problems and perspectives that characterize Renaissance studies.
"An admirably wide-ranging and fair-minded survey of a vast body of literature." —Christine Shaw, Swansea University "After decades of quarrels and controversy over the meaning of the historical Renaissance in the modern world, William Caferro reminds us why all the fighting has mattered--and how much fun it has been for the participants and spectators." —William J. Connell, Seton Hall University
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