In the course of criticizing tradition and integrating the experience of the Renaissance and the Reformation, in responding to the beginnings of modern natural science and modern political institutions, early modern Europeans sought in diverse – and often conflicting – ways to express the self-understanding of Enlightenment. By the end of the eighteenth century, science, morality and art were seen as different realms of activity in which questions of truth, justice and taste could be separately determined, that is, evaluated according to their own specific criteria of validity. This course will consider how these differences compelled European philosophers and theologians, artists and social theorists, to develop and expand their self-understanding to the point where enlightened reason could properly reflect the formal divisions of culture and make critical judgements in relation to them. Special attention will be paid to the relationship between faith and knowledge and the growing sense of conflict between religion and secular freedom.
Cross-listing: EMSP 3210.03