Difference Between Renaissance World View and Enlightenment World View (With Table)

In the world’s history, there have been various reforms, periods, and revolutions that have affected the respective country and also contributed to the culture and art they have today. Europe is the most beautiful continent in the world, has a very beautiful yet terrifying history. Some revolutions and periods have contributed and gave the art and music it has now. An example of this can be the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods.

Renaissance World View vs Enlightenment World View

The difference between both the Renaissance World View and Enlightenment World View is the contribution and their main focus. The renaissance period was mainly focused on arts and literature, which also contributed in the same whereas the Enlightenment period was mainly focused on science, contributing in the same and similar fields.

Renaissance World View founded in the Renaissance period that took place after the crisis of the late middle ages, which lead to major changes in art, architecture, literature, and poetry field. This movement has the values such as well-roundedness, secularism, and classicism.

Enlightenment World View or known as the Age of Reason, is the period followed by the Renaissance World View with the main focus on reason, progress, and scientific use. The main belief was that superstition and blind faith should be avoided.

Comparison Table Between Renaissance World View and Enlightenment World View

Parameters of ComparisonRenaissance World ViewEnlightenment World View
Began InIt began in the 14th century first in Italy and then in Europe.It began around the end of the 17th century and the 18th century in Europe.
Main FocusThe main focus was arts, literature, and poetry.The main focus was intellectual reasoning and science
ContributionIn Areas of architecture, drama, and music.In the field of science, rationality, and industrialization.
Significant OutcomesProtestant ReformationFrench and American Revolution
Notable PersonalitiesLeonardo Da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli etc.Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant etc.

What is Renaissance World View?

The period of the Renaissance is important as it made many contributions and even led to the Enlightenment Period in Europe. It has its roots in Italy and then spread to Europe. The art music and poetry flourished the most during this period only, and the famous poets and artists of Europe were from this period such as few famous arts of this period are The Mona Lisa (Da Vinci), The Last Supper (Da Vinci), Statue of David (Michelangelo), The Birth of Venus (Botticelli), and creation of Adam (Michelangelo). But it did not only contribute to the artistic field but also know for the contribution in fields such as finance, politics, technology, etc. 

The Renaissance worldview is said to be the Humanistic World view as this period value humanity, literacy, and education. Later on, these became the main factors for the discovery of the world. It also an important period as it led to the Protestant Reformation that caused a split in Catholic churches questioning their practices.

The following factors led to the end of the Renaissance:

  1. Numerous wars taking place in the Italian Peninsula
  2. Spanish, German and French invaders causing Instability
  3. Changes in the economic trade routes

What is Enlightenment World View?

After the Renaissance, comes the Enlightenment worldview, which was mainly focused on and flourished the field such as science, mathematics, and technology the most. Most historians believe that the main cause of this was the Thirty Years’ Wars. This period was the period of reasoning. They belied that the main source of legitimacy and authority is the reason.

Following changes and steps were taken during this period:

  1. Science was established as the main source of knowledge, logical reasoning and thinking were given priority.
  2. Human rights were defended, promoting liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity.
  3. Terminated the superstitions and blind faith, books and scripts were written the most during this period. People started questioning the church’s teachings and practices and started fighting for their rights.

There were three main concepts of the Enlightenment World View:

  1. Reason
  2. Scientific Method
  3. Progress

It is believed that both American and French revolutions were the outcomes of the Enlightenment Worldview.

Impact on Society: modern society is the result of the Enlightenment Period, scientific methods were established, and thinking towards church and religion took a turn and eventually changed. It contributed towards modern education, schooling democracy, and many more.

Main Differences Between Renaissance World View and Enlightenment World View

  1. The renaissance period was initially started in Italy and then spread across the parts of Europe, and the Enlightenment period began in Europe.
  2. Renaissance contributed to the field of art, architecture and literature mainly, and Enlightenment was responsible for the contribution in the field of science, technology, and mathematics.
  3. The period of the Renaissance was mainly focused on freedom of religion, whereas the Enlightenment period was mainly focused on the sovereignty of reason, liberation, fraternity, and progress.
  4. The Protestant Reformation is considered to be the most important outcome of the Renaissance as aster it the perception of religion was changed among the people, and the outcome of The Enlightenment period is that science was established as a source of understanding.
  5. Personalities of the Renaissance Period include Leonardo Da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli and the Enlightenment Period includes Adam Smith, Voltaire, and John Locke.
  6. Renaissance is more considered a Religious Revolution, whereas Enlightenment is considered an Intellectual Revolution.


Enlightenment was followed and happened after the Renaissance Period. Although both of the periods were their importance and outcomes, major both of these periods are responsible for all the art and science development in Europe. Both of these periods are considered important historical events as these led to major changes in the societies, which not only include art or science but also the way how people think and believe. After these two periods, superstition and blind faith were not in practice. People started reasoning, enjoying poetry, art, drama, etc. they started giving more importance to the logical facts.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1558/jate.v6i1.69
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=bWjUf040CJ0C&oi=fnd&pg=PA21&dq=renaissance+worldview&ots=Xmng8pQh6O&sig=uLVzerDOFQP-X1OZTSlF2roW_iI
  3. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=yjCdDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR8&dq=enlightenment+period&ots=rO220xgDP3&sig=LnhRLT84pqHIO2YBc9ENFhlgivc

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