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Even though the church demonstrated strict limitations to advancement, Manchester notes that the institution was not penalized: “The Christian faith was not repudiated, but the new concept of the cultivated man was the Renaissance , the universal man: creator, artist, scholar, and encyclopedic genius in the spirit of the ancient paideia” (Manchester 105).Typographers, scribes, and copiers were preferred by the upper crust as class held snobbish designs on common people controlling the press: “The invention of printing was denounced by, among others, politicians and ecclesiastics who feared it as an instrument which could spread subversive ideas” (Manchester 95-96).
Historical evidence suggests that metal movable type was also developed independently in Korea in the late 14th century.
In 1377, a Korean monk named Baegun is credited with printing a compilation of Buddhist sayings using movable metal type.
Private printers in these places used both wood and metal blocks to produce Buddhist and Taoist treatises and histories in the centuries before movable type was invented.
An important advancement to woodblock printing came in the early eleventh century, when a Chinese peasant named Bi Sheng (Pi Sheng) developed the world's first movable type.
Nearly 600 years before Gutenberg, Chinese monks were setting ink to paper using a method known as block printing, in which wooden blocks are coated with ink and pressed to sheets of paper.
One of the earliest surviving books printed in this fashion — an ancient Buddhist text known as "The Diamond Sutra" — was created in 868 during the Tang (T'ang) Dynasty (618-909) in China.
The two-volume book, known as "Jikji," is believed to be the oldest book in the world printed with metal type.
One volume of the work is held at the National Library of France.
Jensen notes the printing press “had a greater effect over a longer period of time and upon more people Some scholars have pronounced it the single most important development of the Renaissance and perhaps of the entire world” (Jensen 217).
Since the 12 century, typographers were skilled in using hand-carved wood block plates to copy manuscripts, but the process was long and served only the intended copy.