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Popes of the Renaissance

What are some of the contributions of the "Renaissance Popes"? How did they affect the culture and geography of their time? How did their activities eventually lead to the Protestant reformation?

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Dear Student,
Here is your solution. The Papacy while to the historian is an easy study to undergo, it is further complicated by the spiritual aspects that it holds over much of the Catholic/Christian world. Your post asked for a discussion of the renaissance pope & their effects to the society they held sway over. I decided that the best possible way for me to guide you in this matter is to discuss their achievements & the way history marked them in order for you to deduce the kind of social world they led and lived in. Geography-wise while their territory was limited within the Papal States the influence of their political power reached Catholic/Christian Kingdoms that influenced the decisions made by their monarchs. The division of the world for the exploring Kingdoms of Spain & Portugal was largely a papal decision and the reason of the existence of present day Latin America and their very Christian-Iberian traditions. This also resulted in the Christian colonialization of the Philippines. The encouragement of Pope Alexander VI of Spain & Portugal's explorations led to a circumnavigation of the world and ushered the Age of Exploration & Discovery changing forever the known geography and ushered an era of the World in a very Western Perspective. Thank you for using Brainmass.

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The Papacy

The current head of Catholicism Worldwide, Pope Benedict XVI carries on the tradition and leadership that his forebears did so before him, a spiritual and temporal role with a time span of almost 2,000 years. His office is referred to as the Papacy and had its origins at the time of St. Peter and the eventual conversion of the Emperor Constantine to Christianity in 42 AD. Biblical foundation wise, Jesus was quoted by Matthew to have appointed St. Peter to be the 'rock' --- the foundation of His teachings on earth. Christians hold to this Matthew reference and has considered St. Peter to be the first 'Pope', God's appointed guardian of his people on earth. The Papacy according to historical records however wasn't established by the Roman Emperor with such political and social power per se, it grew through the centuries with the most powerful emperor imbuing the papacy with political power & monetary as well as military strength to condone and support their acts & ambitions as spirituality is a strong social thread among now Christian Europe.

Nevertheless, the Papacy has its own share of scandals as well as questionable history and none of it can be more evident as the it was during the Renaissance. The Renaissance is that Period in Europe that recalled and emulated the Glory of the Classical world, an era of 'New Learning' that threw back the seemingly culturally mundane period of the Middle Ages. When one thinks of the Renaissance, one recalls to mind the names of Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Donatello, Dante, Ghiberti among others. Renaissance was the age of Humanism. The arts and literature flourished with the greatest of Royal Families sponsoring the movement, like the Medicis. New Learning and an interest in critical thinking and the sciences of the Greeks led many to question Religious exactness and the policies of the Catholic Church, hence the ultimate schisms that led to a religious divide. The Popes in this period played various ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a historical account listing all th Popes o the renaissance delving into their personalities, achievements, their policies as well as the politics that they played. As such it strives to present a picture of their time & their effect upon the people they governed through their 'Holy Office' as the representation of the Catholic God on Earth. The solution also looks at
the various Papal policies that eventually led to the Protestant Reformation movement & the schism.