Chronologically, the Renaissance sits between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era (from about 1350 to about 1650). As such, it partakes of both the ancient and the modern world and serves as a hinge on which Western Civilization turns. It also marks one of the high points of European civilization in art and literature, in social and political development, and in the technological and scientific discoveries. Many aspects of our modern world had their origin in this period: our emphasis on the study of human affairs, our irrepressible interest in the exploration of the universe, in science, and in medicine, the institutions of church and state as we know them today. The Renaissance is also a period of unparalleled European contacts with non-European civilizations – from the powerful Islamic world of the Near East and North Africa to the great pre-Columbian civilizations of the Americas, from the uncharted forests of equatorial Africa to the exotic lands of the Indian subcontinent and the Far East nothing seemed too distant or too inaccessible for the European mind or merchant. Some of the best known figures of the Renaissance are Michelangelo, Raphael, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Columbus, Magellan, Luther, Calvin, John Knox, King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I, Isabel and Ferdinand, St Theresa of Avila , St Francis Xavier.
A major or minor in Renaissance studies is attractive to students with a wide variety of interests.
If you are considering a future in teaching, law, politics, journalism, or the arts, the program's offerings will broaden your knowledge and intensify your understanding of your discipline and its related fields.
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Discover what students say about their Renaissance studies.
Students in the Renaissance studies program have access to the research facilities of the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, located on the third floor of the Pratt Library and are encouraged to take part in a variety of activities organized by the CRRS.
Victoria College awards a series of prizes to students who excel in the Program and courses. Contact Professor Nicholas Terpstra for more information.
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