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The Secular Enlightenment$
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Margaret C. Jacob

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161327

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161327.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 22 November 2019

Prologue

Prologue

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Prologue
Source:
The Secular Enlightenment
Author(s):

Margaret C. Jacob

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691161327.003.1001

This prologue provides an overview of the Secular Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was an eighteenth-century movement of ideas and practices that made the secular world its point of departure. It did not necessarily deny the meaning or emotional hold of religion, but it gradually shifted attention away from religious questions toward secular ones. By seeking answers in secular terms—even to many religious questions—it vastly expanded the sphere of the secular, making it, for increasing numbers of educated people, a primary frame of reference. In the Western world, art, music, science, politics, and even the categories of space and time had undergone a gradual process of secularization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; the Enlightenment built on this process and made it into an international intellectual cause. This book then aims to understand the major intellectual currents of the century that gave birth to the label “secular.”

Keywords:   Secular Enlightenment, Enlightenment, secular world, religion, religious questions, educated people, secularization

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