In graduate school I embraced Early Modern European History as my hands down favorite area of study. The clothes were fabulous. Think Veronica Franco, the Venetian poet and courtesan or Queen Elizabeth in her sumptuous get-ups. Food was plentiful and more varied than previous centuries. The printed word grew to disperse some of the most beautiful ideals humanity has ever had. Think Erasmus’ first mass-produced translation of the Bible and his ideas on freedom of choice. Think Teresa of Avila’s ideas on inner spirituality and Elizabeth I’s attempts to diffuse the power of religion in State affairs. Consider Leonardo Da Vinci‘s notebooks detailing the inseparability of body from mind.
Such ideas elevated humanity to greater responsibility and possibility and led to modern ideas of equality, independence, freedom of thought and self-determination.
The humanistic ideas born in Early Modern Europe allowed Creativity as a gift of Humanity but also, pointed to our deep responsibility to unwrap it within ourselves and others.