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Religion in the Age of Enlightenment

“Religion in the Age of Enlightenment” publishes scholarly examinations of religion and religious attitudes and practices during the age of Enlightenment.

A characteristic enlightening idea is the denial of all divine revelation, in particular Christianity, which was considered the primary source of errors and superstitions. As a result, the choice fell on deism (God exists, but he only created the World, and then does not intervene in anything) as a natural religion, identified with morality.

In the Enlightenment, the universe was seen as a striking machine, which is the acting cause, not the ultimate. God, after the creation of the universe, does not interfere in its further development and world history, and the person at the end of the path will neither be condemned nor rewarded by Him for his/her deeds. The new concept of tolerance does not exclude the possibility of professing other religions only in private life, and not in public.

The attitude of the Enlightenment towards the Christian religion and its connection with civil authority were not always the same. In Continental Europe the Enlightenment retained a strong hostility towards the Catholic Church. States began to take the position of independence of domestic politics from the influence of the papacy, as well as an increasing restriction on the autonomy of the curia in church matters.

Category: General Issues