Intellectual periodis tend to be influenced and shaped by the periods which preceded them. In this respect, the Enlightenment is no different. Renaissance Humanism, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution all levied challenges towards the preceding intellectual traditions of Medieval Europe, and the Enlightenment would further build upon that influence.
Renaissance Humanism carried with it a focus on the individual and on civic engagement within the bounds of temporal life (in contrast to Medieval thought, focused as it was on theological concerns, and on the primacy it placed on one's life in the Church).
Meanwhile, the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution both contained at their heart an attack on tradition. The Protestant Reformation undermined the authority of the Church and argued for the primacy of scripture in shaping religious teaching and practice. Reformers also called for the translation of the Bible into vernacular languages so that laypeople would be...
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