Enlightenment, The - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Enlightenment, The

ENLIGHTENMENT, THE. The eighteenth-century European intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment was affiliated with the rise of the bourgeoisie and the influence of modern science; it promoted the values of intellectual and material progress, toleration, and critical reason as opposed to authority and tradition in matters of politics and religion. The eighteenth century itself is sometimes referred to as "the Enlightenment," but this appellation is highly misleading. For despite the patronage of a few powerful individuals (Frederick the Great of Prussia, Catherine the Great of Russia, Josef II of Austria, and Pope Boniface XIV), the Enlightenment was always a critical and often a subversive movement in relation to the established political and religious order. Its values may have dominated certain intellectual circles in the eighteenth century, especially in France, but they did not dominate the political structures or the religious life of eighteenth-century people...

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This section contains 3,388 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Enlightenment, The Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Enlightenment, The from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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