The Enlightenment Ideals from a Christian View
The Enlightenment was a movement that dominated Europe during the 18th century. Concepts about God, humanity, and nature fused into a worldview that extended the agreement in developing art, philosophy, and politics (Schmidt, J. Ed.). (2019). The goal was to bring knowledge, freedom, and happiness. It advocated ideals such as liberty, fraternity, tolerance, constitutional government, and separation of church and state. The enlightenment thinkers believed they could create better societies and better people. It focused on the reasoning power of the individual.
Enlightenment led to numerous books, inventions, essays, laws, and revolutions, provided medicine, modern schooling, democracy, and recognized science as sources of knowledge. It defended human rights against oppression. However, Enlightenment presented a challenge to traditional religious views. It was in direct contradiction with Christianity and brought all new conceptions based on reason, emphasized individualism and skepticism. Putting forward the idea that man was naturally good, that man’s nature could not be altered but made better
ruined the notion of original sin.
The majority of the Christian believers came across the enlightenment view of Christian values and beliefs and used that rational philosophy as support for the existence of God. This guided other Protestants in a very different direction and gave individuals the right to choose their faith (Sorkin, D. (2018). This awakening set churches against establishments and trumpeting the right to worship as they pleased without anyone’s interference. Many also believed in magic, and several beliefs developed, including deism and atheism. Some generations remained tied to the church but weakened over time, and the number of testimonials of God’s grace decreased.
Schmidt, J. (Ed.). (2019). what is Enlightenment? Eighteenth-century answers and twentieth-century questions. University of California Press. Kurtz, P. (Ed.). (2018).
Sorkin, D. (2018). The Religious Enlightenment: Protestants, Jews, and Catholics from London to Vienna. Princeton University Press.
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