Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


Religion, Enlightenment, Revelation


Religion encountered a host of problems in the eighteenth century: the decline of Biblical authority, the rise of scientific skepticism, and an emerging spirit of human autonomy. Each of these developments diminished the function of religious institutions in public life, but this is not to say that religion lost its importance. Western modernity has not been able to ignore or replace Christianity- even if modernity generally cannot incorporate it. As Jonathan Sheehan observes, "secularization always is and always must be incomplete. Even as religion seems to vanish from politics and public culture, it never ceases to define the project of modernity."