S.J. Barnett
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Introduction
The Enlightenment and modernity

Enlightenment is a broad phenomenon, and it is now increasingly recognised that it was as diverse in its protagonists as it was geographically and chronologically disparate. This chapter reveals that, outside of traditional Enlightenment studies, there also exists strong support for the Enlightenment-modernity thesis in the form of the so-called post modernity theory. Modernity gave way to post modernity in the early 1970s. Postmodernists have repeatedly asserted that the secularising, reason-orientated Enlightenment is the one and only origin of modernity. It is true that postmodernism has been responsible for a renewed interest in the philosophy of history, mostly because it asserts that the past is irretrievably gone, and that self-interested attempts at reconstructing it are, by their nature, consequently doomed to failure. This study represents an attempt to review some of the causes and contexts of religious change in Enlightenment Italy, France and England.

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The Enlightenment and religion

The myths of modernity

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