The Renaissance was a time of great change in Europe. It was a time when, thanks to the revival of Classical antiquity and the embrace of Humanism, people began to view the world in a new way.

This change in perspective would eventually lead to many great things, including the Age of Exploration, the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution.

So how did the Renaissance change man’s view of the world? And how did that change affect Renaissance society?

In this article, we’ll explore these questions from literal as well as figurative points of view.

Keep reading!

How did the Renaissance change man’s view of the world?

The Renaissance man’s view of the world changed literally when first Copernicus and then Galileo Galilei proposed that the earth revolved around the sun, and not vice versa as Aristotle had previously taught.

The Renaissance also marked a time when Europeans began to explore new parts of the world, both by sea. This was made possible by the invention of new navigational tools and maps, and new techniques in shipbuilding which allowed them to plan voyages and travel farther than ever before.

This exploration led to the discovery of new lands and cultures, which was a major factor in changing man’s view of the world.

On the figurative side, the Renaissance caused people to think differently about the world. The period saw a rise in artistic expression and humanism, which was a shift away from the traditional views of Christianity. This new thinking challenged many long-held beliefs and caused people to consider things from different perspectives.

This period also saw a revival in the study of classical texts and philosophy, which allowed people to analyze the world in new (or old?) ways, following the teachings of philosophers like Plato and Aristotle.

So, how did the Renaissance change man’s view of the world? Through these 4 aspects of the Renaissance:

  1. Advances in Astronomy
  2. The Age of Exploration
  3. Renaissance Humanism and the Rise of Artistic Expression
  4. Rejection of Dogma and the Revival of Classical Studies

Let’s now look at each of these more closely.

The Renaissance and Advances in Astronomy

The great strides made in astronomy during the Renaissance resulted in a shift of perspective for many people with regard to the world. Prior to the Renaissance, most individuals subscribed to a geocentric view of the universe which placed Earth at its center while stars and planets rotating around it. This outlook was largely due to ancient Greek philosophers such as Aristotle and Ptolemy, who were held in high esteem.

However, Nicolaus Copernicus proposed a heliocentric model of the universe during the Renaissance. In this model, the Sun was at the center with planets and stars moving around it. This new discovery gradually became accepted by many people because it was more accurate than what had been previously believed.

The development of the telescope during the Renaissance created it possible for astronomers to get more exact observations of planets and stars. With these new discoveries, they realized that the universe was much bigger and more intricate than what they had initially believed.

The advances in astronomy during the Renaissance changed man’s view of the world in a literal sense.

The Renaissance and the Age of Exploration

Europeans explored different lands and cultures from the 15th to 16th centuries. This was the Age of Exploration. This was marked by Europeans reaching Africa and America, exploring the Indian Ocean and the Far East.

The Age of Discovery was a time when Europeans came in contact with new cultures and expanded their understanding of the world around them. Prior to this period, many believed that the earth was flat and extended only to the horizon.

They discovered that the world was much vaster than they’d originally imagined after finding new lands. The unearthing of these territories also heightened trade between European merchants and the people of these newly found places. This had a great influence on Europe’s economies as items from these novel areas became available to them.

The Age of Exploration led to major improvements in technology, especially maritime technology. New devices like the compass and the astrolabe came into use and advances in ship-building technology meant that ships could travel much longer distances.

Needless to say, The Age of Exploration literally changed The Renaissance man’s view of the world.

Renaissance Humanism and the Rise of Artistic Expression

The Renaissance was a time of great change in the way people saw and interacted with the world. The philosophy of Humanism greatly affected culture and intellectual life during this period.

Humanism placed importance on individualism, the value of human potential, and appreciation for individuals. This worldview put the person at the center instead of Church or state entities. Furthermore, it encouraged people to follow their interests and talents.

Renaissance Humanism involved the revival of classical antiquity and that meant that artistic expression did not have to be spiritually oriented but could include humans and nature in non-religious settings.

This freedom to move away from artistic orthodoxy also helped change the Renaissance man’s view of the world.

Rejection of Dogma and the Revival of Classical Studies

The Renaissance marked the rejection of dogma and blind faith. In Medieval times, the Church had exerted a great deal of control over people’s thoughts and beliefs, but during the Renaissance, it found itself increasingly challenged by reformist ideas.

People began to question the teachings of the Church and look for answers outside of traditional religious sources. This questioning of established religious thought made people in the Renaissance change their view of the world as they knew it.

Likewise, the revival of Classical studies exposed them to philosophy, science, and literature from antiquity further changing their view of their place in the world.


So, how did the Renaissance change man’s view of the world?

Through advances in astronomy, and specifically the heliocentric model of the universe, people during the Renaissance literally started to change their view of the world. This trend only continued through the Age of Exploration as Europeans reached distant lands.

Rejection of dogma, the revival of classical studies and changes to artistic expression also changed the Renaissance man’s view of the world around him.