The English Renaissance
The Renaissance was in many ways very different from that which had taken place in Italy a century before. The Italian Renaissance was a time of glory and explosion of great arts. In northern Europe the Renaissance was delayed and filtered by the Reformation and, in England, it was more widespread (diffusa), thanks to the reforms of Henry VIII, that have been reduced the Church's power. The spirit of renaissance continued under the reign of Elizabeth I. IT is so difficult to say exactly when the English Renaissance ended, but it's clear that after Elizabeth death, the new king didn't support its spirit. The English Renaissance as a time of huge expansion of knowledge in philosophy, literature, morality, sociality, science and religion. The study of classical culture was reborn and it is from this "rebirth" that the Renaissance takes its name.
Two historical events in particular were of fundamental importance for the rebirth: the fall of Constantinople and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain. The resulting movement of exiled peoples and cultures to other parts of Europe led to the integration of different cultures and allow the meeting between philosophers, scientists and artists from different parts of the world. In particular, the Kabbalah spread very quickly, thanks to the exile of many Jews. The Kabbalah referred of two activities:
1. discover the secrets of God through the use of numerology.
2. capture the power of superior things, like angels.
Francesco Giorgi was profoundly interested in Kabbalah. For him, the armony that the creato had given to each level of the universe was based on number.
The works and theories of Christian Cabalists like Giorgi constituted the dominant philosophy of the Elizabethan age.
The spirit of Renaissance curiosity
In the Renaissance the spread of learning was assisted by technology of printing press. A key figure of Renaissance Humanism in Northern Europe was Erasmus of Rotterdam, who published a new latin version of the Greek Bible.
In a certain way we can say that the Renaissance was an age of confusion, because old medieval ideas of myth and astrology co-existed with the new progressive discoveries of science.
During the Renaissance the human figure and human thought took precedence over the divine sphere: this period is called Humanism. Man became the centre of artistic, cultural and moral enquiry and was exalted as the centre of the universe.