Publication date:

18 April 2013

Length of book:

418 pages

Publisher

Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9780739177471

Enlightenment and Secularism is a collection of twenty eight essays that seek to understand the connection between the European Enlightenment and the emergence of secular societies, as well as the character or nature of those societies. The contributors are drawn from a variety of disciplines including History, Sociology, Political Science, and Literature. Most of the essays focus on a single text from the Enlightenment, borrowing or secularizing the format of a sermon on a text, and are designed to be of particular use to those teaching and studying the history of the Enlightenment within a liberal arts curriculum.
Some recent scholarship on the Enlightenment has placed so much emphasis on differences from country to country, between high and low, and between radical and moderate, that we risk not seeing the forest for the trees. This volume gives all the attention one could want to diversity by featuring careful attention on particular writings by writers from different countries, including critics of the Enlightenment as well as fervent supporters. At the same time, it shows a unity of concern within this diversity by treating a single set of political, economic, religious and social issues revolving around the question of secularism and religion. As a whole, the book gives us a rich account of thought in the Enlightenment. In addition, many of the individual essays are important and original contributions to scholarship on a single thinker or book.