A doctrine or ethical point of view that emphasizes the dignity and worth of individual people, rejects claims of supernatural influences on humans, and stresses the need for people to achieve improvement of society and self-fulfillment through reason and to develop human-oriented ethical values without theism.
movement believing man is capable of self-fulfilment, ethical conduct, etc. without recourse to God or supernaturalism
Intellectual movement characterised in our period by a preoccupation with recovery of the ancient world of Greece and Rome, its texts and its values. This recovery led to a growing vision of active involvement in civic affairs as one of the most worthwhile of human activities and education for such a vocation as a priority. Christian humanists (such as Erasmus) used this knowledge to further understanding of the Scriptures.