Santayana (1863 - 1952) apparently proposed that the true 'limited' nature of the human condition was recognised by the Greeks and Romans, thus humans knew their place in the world and consequently had limited ambitions for personal freedom. He argued that the Enlightenment was flawed in rejecting the role of tradition, and in giving rise to the belief in progress toward human perfection. Now while one can debate whether individual perfection is thought to be one of the potential outcomes of Liberalism, there certainly is a focus on human perfection rather than a world of perfect harmony.
The intriguing thing is that he lays the blame for this transition at the door of christianity. Is this a valid proposal? Certainly in the dark ages, the catholic church was a very top down organisation steeped in tradition, and the individual human was of very little importance, the rise of protestantism can be seen as part of the process of awakening individualism rather than the source of such concepts.
I don't know enough about the early christican church, was that fiercely individualistic? Or is the argument just that by accepting the notion that all of nature has been given by god for man's use, created the idea of human supremacy - and that this notion had not previously held sway?
If the latter, should the same consequences not flow from islam, and should the consequent humanism be a species objective rather than an individual objective - hence not lead to liberalism?