Monday, April 10, 2017

What is Renaissance Humanism?

            Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Renaissance Humanism was an intellectual movement which started first in Italy, and later spread throughout Western Europe (Wilde, 2013). This movement challenged the ideas from the medieval era and created new ways of thinking with approaching the world around them (Wilde, 2013). In the late 13th century, Europeans were eagerly studying classical literature, art, and culture of Greece and Rome. “[European scholars] were tired of studying the past and started looking into their world, such as old Greek and Roman texts as well as fine art, since wealthy families like the Medicis were able to afford them and provide interests in the people” (Causes and Effects, N.D.). 

Petrarch, an Italian scholar, and poet from Italy, was known as the Father of Italian Humanism. He believed that classical literature was irrelevant to his time, but appreciated their moral guidance which contributed to reforming humanity. “Petrarch has been said to have created the ‘Humanist programme’, and he argued that each person should study the ancients and create their own style to reflect themselves” (Wilde, 2013). Without Petrarch’s efforts, Humanism wouldn’t have been a major threat to Christianity. 

In the 14th century, the ideas and studies of Renaissance Humanism spread vastly. It became well-known in Europe to the point that the upper classes allow their sons to study Humanism (Wilde, 2013). Humanists shifted their focus away from religion because many people simply became uninterested to the Roman Catholic Church (Causes and Effects, N.D.). Erasmus, a Dutch humanist, and theologian, played a significant role in Rotterdam. He disagreed with the churches by expressing “that the Christianity which people experienced was nothing at all like the Christianity experienced by the early Christians or taught by Jesus Christ” (Cline, 2015). Additionally, he indulged in many debates on what “free will” meant (Wilde, 2013).

Throughout the 15th century, humanists persuaded many of the popes that the church could benefit from their ideas and findings. Along with religion and education, humanists also reformed the printing press which produced texts in large quantities and delivered information to a greater audience compared to their older techniques. “The printing press was vernacular in oppose to Latin since only the Church spoke and understood Latin. More people were aware of what they were reading and could have their own beliefs.” (Causes and Effects, N.D.). In the 16th century, due to intense disagreements on ideas surrounding Christianity, Renaissance Humanism lost most of their power in Europe (Wilde, 2013).

"Causes and Effects of the Renaissance Period 4." AP European History – Causes and Effects of

the Renaissance Period 4. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

Cline, Austin. "Humanism and the Reformation History." Religion & Spirituality.
N.p., 27 July 2015. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

"History." Muse Virtuel Du Protestantisme. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

"Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library & Renaissance CultureHumanism." Humanism - Rome
Reborn: The Vatican Library & Renaissance Culture | Exhibitions - Library of Congress. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

Wilde, Robert. "Renaissance Humanism." Education. N.p., 08 Oct. 2013. Web. 05
Feb. 2017.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The excitement leading up to UFC 210

This Saturday night, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is returning to Buffalo, New York with their UFC 210 paid per view. This will be the second time the UFC host an event in Buffalo since UFC 7 in 1995.

Main Event

On top of the card features a rematch between the current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion (LHW) Daniel Cormier and power hitter Anthony Johnson. Both athletics' first bout was at the main event of UFC 187 for the vacant UFC LHW title where Johnson tested Cormier's chin within the first 30 seconds of the fight by landing a thunderous right overhand punch. Cormier weathered the storm and was able to avoid an early stoppage loss by neutralizing Johnson's offensive with his freestyle wrestling skills.

Johnson, however, didn't give up whenever the two were separated. At the halfway point of the first round, Johnson landed a series of strikes that backed up his opponent. Due to Cormier's ability to grind down Johnson in the second and third rounds, he eventually secured the win in the 3rd round via submission. In the rematch, Cormier looks to do the same and has his mind set on another rematch with Jon Jones once he returns this summer. Since the loss, Johnson has looked incredible in the LHW division, knocking out his last three opponents and receiving three performance of the night bonuses as well.

Co-main Event 

In the co-main event, former Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and four-time World Champion Gegard Mousasi will face off. During Weidman's undefeated streak which lasted for 6+ years, he had wins over elite UFC fighters such as Demian Maia, Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, and most notably two over Anderson Silva. Impressively, he also won four professional bouts in only 11 months. In late 2015, Weidman suffered a loss in a title match against Luke Rockhold and again last year in his home state of New York against Yoel Romero at UFC 205. With two straight losses and competing again in New York, Weidman is looking at a chance at redemption and another shot at UFC gold.

Looking across from Weidman this Saturday night is Gegard Mousasi. He's a Dutch mixed martial artist and kickboxer who has been competing professionally in MMA since 2003. Throughout his career, he gathered 41 wins out of 49 fights. Along with his calm demeanor are his compelling striking skills and a nasty submission game. The 5th ranked middleweight is entering his 50th professional MMA bout and wants to make a statement in this title contention fight.

Main Card Predictions:

Daniel Cormier
Gegard Mousasi
Cynthia Calvillo
Patrick Côté
Will Brooks

Fight On!