The Age of Enlightenment was an incredibly important period in European and American history. Its ideals still influence our world today in nearly every branch of human learning. This includes the study and practice of religion. Read the following article in Wikipedia through the section on “religion” for a general overview of the Enlightenment period:
Next, read these two articles that highlight slightly different aspects of the Enlightenment:
- Loving the Enemy: Christianity and the Enlightenment (Links to an external site.)
- What was the Enlightenment? (Links to an external site.)
Putting all of these sources of information together, write 3-4 pages outlining what were the basic principles and ideas of the Enlightenment. Do you think these ideas are proven beyond a shadow of doubt or simply reasonable? Next, state what effect you think the Enlightenmnt has had on peoples’ religious faith. Has the Enlightenment been helpful or harmful to Judaism, Christianity and Islam? In your view, does the Enlightenment inevitably lead to people giving up their faith?