Short Essay & Reaction paper

Part I
Please write a short answer responses to any FIVE of these questions.  Short answers should be about two or three paragraphs–no need to make it a full page.
1. What is meant by “Humanism.” Why do historians say it embodies the value of the Renaissance? 
2. Do the values of the Renaissance contradict Christianity? Can they be reconciled?
3. Why did the Renaissance begin in Italy? What are the conditions that made it flourish there?
4. What are some reasons why Christianity succeeded in Europe rather than Islam? Would you say it was merely chance?
5. Describe the cultural achievements of ONE of these civilizations  (Israel, Islamic world, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, medieval Christian civilization). How did the one you chose contribute to the success of Western Civilization?

Part 2
For part two please watch this classic Swedish film–Ingmar Bergman The Seventh Seal] (Links to an external site.)

                                                  Write a one or two reaction paper.
It deals with the spiritual struggle of a knight who is returning to Sweden from the Crusades. His country is now suffering under the Plague. He himself has lost faith in God and is being pursued (symbolically) by Death.
Some ideas–What do you think of the contrast between the cynical squire and the religious knight? How is the plague portrayed in the film? What is the nature of the knights religious crisis? Why does he choose to play chess with Death? Finally, how did the characters make meaning in their lives during the disaster of war and plague?
This is meant to be a reaction paper, so just about any reflection you make on the film will be relevant.