Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, review, Theology, Jeffrey D. Burson


A peculiar artifact of many decades of materialist historical study is the reinforcement of a highly imaginary, cinematic envisioning of the French eighteenth century. Eager to debunk, demythologize, or otherwise demote anything even remotely religious, historians relish pictures of the French Enlightenment and French Revolution worthy of a Cecil B. DeMille or a D. W Griffith. In the rendering of continental Enlightenment now favored among fashion-forward academic professionals, the poor, the intellectual, the oppressed, and the angry increase in number and fervor while the overfed monks, the ermine-draped clerics, and the impudent aristocrats gobble up every last resource. Then, in a miraculous ignition, a cast of thousands explodes into the Bastille, liberating prisoners, thought, and the arts while casting superstition into perdition.