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Enlightenment (age) Summary

Everything you need to understand or teach Enlightenment (age).

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Enlightenment Summary


During the eighteenth century, the Enlightenment emerged as a social, philosophical, political, and literary movement that espoused rational thought and methodical observation of the world. The term "Enlightenment" refers to the belief by the movement's contributors that they were leaving behind the dark ignorance and blind belief that characterized the past. The freethinking writers of the period sought to evaluate and understand life by way of scientific observation and critical reasoning rather than through uncritically accepted religion, tradition, and social conventions. At the center of the Enlightenment were the philosophes, a group of intellectual deists who were centered in Paris. Deists believe in the existence of a creative but uninvolved God, and they believe in the basic goodness, rather than sinfulness, of humankind. Because this view of God contradicted the accepted religious views of the day, the philosophes were considered very dangerous. The church wielded considerable power at the...

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