New Learning

New Learning

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In the history of ideas
History of ideas
The history of ideas is a field of research in history that deals with the expression, preservation, and change of human ideas over time. The history of ideas is a sister-discipline to, or a particular approach within, intellectual history...

 the New Learning in Europe is a term for Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism
Renaissance humanism was an activity of cultural and educational reform engaged by scholars, writers, and civic leaders who are today known as Renaissance humanists. It developed during the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and was a response to the challenge of Mediæval...

, developed in the later fifteenth century. Newly retrieved classical texts sparked philological
Philology
Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics.Classical philology is the philology of Greek and Classical Latin...

 study of a refined and classical Latin style in prose and poetry.

The term came to refer to other trends, one being the new formulation of the relationship between the Church
Christian Church
The Christian Church is the assembly or association of followers of Jesus Christ. The Greek term ἐκκλησία that in its appearances in the New Testament is usually translated as "church" basically means "assembly"...

 and the individual arising from the Protestant Revolution. Contemporaries noticed this: Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, KG, Earl Marshal was a prominent Tudor politician. He was uncle to Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, two of the wives of King Henry VIII, and played a major role in the machinations behind these marriages...

 lamented "It was merry in England afore the new learning came up", in relation to reading the Bible.

An earlier 'new learning' had a similar cause, two centuries earlier. In that case it was new texts of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 that were discovered, with a major impact on scholasticism
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

. A later phase of the New Learning of the Renaissance concerned the beginnings of modern scientific thought. Here Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

is pointed to as an important reference point and catalyst.