World History Chapter 1 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300-1650) Between the 1300s and 1500s, Europe experienced a period of cultural rebirth known as the Renaissance. During the same period, the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution reshaped European civilization. Beginning in Italy and later spreading to northern Europe, the Renaissance reached its most glorious expression in painting, sculpture and architecture. The intellectual movement known as humanism stressed the study of classical Greek and Roman cultures and the development of the individual. Reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin challenged church corruption and eventually broke away from the Roman Catholic Church entirely. In response to the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church undertook its own vigorous reform movement. Religious fervour led to widespread intolerance and persecution by both Protestants and Catholics. During the Scientific Revolution, startling discoveries by individuals such as Copernicus, Newton and Galileo changed the way Europeans viewed the physical world.