Religion in the Age of Enlightenment

Article Title



Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, Preface


The first five articles in this volume represent a special section devoted to Eastern and Middle Eastern religions during the Enlightenment. These articles do not so much explore these religions on their own terms as consider how Western thinkers and writers responded to Buddhism, Islam, and other non-European religions; they examine how the religious and philosophical thought of the Far and Middle East, or at least the ways Western writers represented this thought, informed Enlightenment ideas and European religious, cultural, and textual practices. As they point out, non-Western religions often served as a lens through which individuals during the long eighteenth century viewed themselves, and in the case of the lead article, a lens through which modern-day scholars of the Enlightenment might read the literature of the period.