The Renaissance was one of the greatest periods of Western civilization. It was, in one sense, however, an accident. None of the Christian Scholastics who tried to integrate Aristotelian philosophy into the Church planned for the secular achievements that would follow. How then did it happen? Why did Aristotle's influence endure in Christian Europe, but not among the Muslims? What events and intellectual developments led to the triumph of reason over faith, and what lessons can we learn for bringing about a second - and complete - Renaissance? This course (heavily expanded and revised from a course given in 1998) traces the political and intellectual history that ended the Dark Ages and ignited the Renaissance.
This course was recorded at the 2004 Objectivist Summer Conference in Wintergreen, VA.
(MP3 download; 5 hrs., 5 min., with Q & A, 219.73 MB)