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Enlightenment response | History homework help

Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow.

“The Enlightenment was an eighteenth-century movement of ideas and practices that made the secular world its [main focus]. It did not necessarily deny the meaning or emotional hold of religion, but it gradually shifted attention away from religious questions toward secular ones. By seeking answers in secular terms – even to many religious questions – it vastly expanded the sphere of the secular, making it, for increasing numbers of educated people, a primary frame of reference.

In the Western world, art, music, science, politics, and even the categories of space and time had undergone a gradual process of secularization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; the Enlightenment built on this process and made it into an international intellectual cause.

Attachment to the world – the here and now – to a life lived without constant reference to God, became increasingly commonplace and the source of an explosion of innovative thinking about society, government, and the economy, to mention but a few areas of inquiry.”

Margaret Jacob, historian, The Secular Enlightenment, 2019

Answer the following two questions in complete sentences.

  1. Describe the main argument the author makes about the Enlightenment in the passage.
  2. Explain how one piece of evidence not in the passage supports the author’s claims regarding the Enlightenment.


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