Enlightenment Term Paper example
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Religion and Theology
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Name Instructor Class Date The Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement of the 1700’s. Its beginnings were on the European continent but the concepts spread throughout many other parts of the world, most famously inspiring the Founding Fathers of the U.S…

Introduction

The Enlightenment followed the Renaissance and the Reformation periods of Europe and is included in what has been termed the Age of Reason. Those who championed the Enlightenment such as Voltaire, John Locke, David Hume and Thomas Paine, among many others, dismissed superstition, irrational thought and oppression by the ruling authorities which put them at odds with the monarchies of the time and the Catholic Church. Enlightenment “thinkers” were primarily Deists who questioned the authority of church institutions and whether their influence was a positive for society. Though not advocating the devolvement of religion, they embraced scientific analysis and rational conclusions based on evidence rather than the suppression of knowledge long supported by the Church throughout the dark ages. Enlightenment philosophers sought to deliver people from the constraints of religion and set the standard for secular morals and politics. To them, Christianity celebrated human suffering and poverty while preaching undeserved forgiveness. The Church hierarchy was institutionally corrupt, their actions to oppress the common people appalling and lust for power insatiable. ...
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