The Movement Characterized (§ 1).
Political Phase (§ 2).
Economic Phase (§ 3).
Religious and Ethical Aspects (§ 4).
The New Knowledge (§ 5).
The New Historical Method (§ 6).
Philosophy of the Period (§ 7).
Literature of the Enlightenment (§ 8).
The German Enlightenment (§ 9).
Practical Results (§ 10).
Its Relation to Theology (§ 11).
Close of the Period (§ 12).
1. The Movement Characterized. [The Enlightenment is a translation of the German expression die Aufklärung (literally "the Clearing Up"). The rendering "the Illumination" is also sometimes used, while not infrequently the German is transferred without translation.] It signifies a phase of historical evolution in Europe which may be characterized as marking the beginning of the modern period of secular culture, in contrast to the theological spirit that constituted the regulating principle of society in the preceding epoch. The Enlightenment must be regarded not as a definite movement aiming at a particular end, but rather as a general transformation of the genius of the times, accompanied by important changes in national and social organization, and the removal of the center of political gravity from the south to the north of Europe. The principles of the Enlightenment are to be met with in the seventeenth century and may be traced further back to the Renaissance; they attained their fullest development in the eighteenth century; they entered on their decay in the nineteenth. Its animating spirit is essentially that of opposition to the supremacy of churchly ideals based on the irreconcilable contradiction between reason and faith, and to the consequent injection of the element of supernaturalism into the practical affairs of life. Its tendency is toward an explanation of the world on the basis of universally valid factors of knowledge and an ordering of life toward universally valid ends, and its most striking characteristics are an unsparing use of critical analysis and a spirit of reforming utilitarianism. To the general and immutable truth of theology it opposes a truth of its own whose sanction it finds in the mind of the individual, and in this rôle of champion against tradition it is subjective, independent, self-confident and optimistic. But though the Enlightenment was thus the first great movement of opposition to theological dualism, it was not the unconditioned product of the spontaneous action of the human reason, but a historic result of definite facts and circumstances. Its method was determined by ancient tradition and the newly arisen sciences; its content, by that part of historic tradition which it chose to regard as the inalienable possession of the individual mind but which in reality represented only truth attained through development; its essential service consisted in the banishment of supernaturalism from history.
2. Political Phase. The Thirty Years' War (q.v.), ending with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, was followed by a decline of the religious influence and a corresponding rise of secular interests, which now began to predominate in public affairs and in social life. The animosities between Catholic, Lutheran, and Calvinist powers gradually disappeared; the Northern War brought Orthodox Russia into the sphere of European affairs; colonial growth widened the arena of political activity by offering new fields for material development wherein the religious element was of relative unimportance. Diplomacy abandoned the religious view-point and became Machiavellian with the reason of State as its guiding principle. Within the states the ancient pretensions of the Church yielded to the interests of a society that was rapidly being reorganized on the basis of commercialism, militarism, and bureaucracy. Formally, orthodoxy retained its own and established religions prevailed; yet the secular principle determined the attitude of the governments to the Church and toward their subjects. This is the period of Concordats (q.v.), of the persecution of the Jesuits and of territorial church legislation. The theory of sovereignty, fostered by the revival of the Roman law and the Reformation, developed into absolutism, which in turn subordinated Church to State completely, and broke the political influence of creed. With these changes in the conception of the purpose and authority of the State appeared new theories as to its nature and origin. Following out the traditions of Aristotle and Machiavelli, Jean Bodin (d. 1596) advanced a purely rational origin of society and in his Colloquium heptaplomeres, widely read in manuscript (ed. Noack, Schwerin, 1857), developed the destructive effects of such a theory on the religious power in the State. But it was Grotius (d. 1645; see GROTIUS, HUGO) who destroyed the scholastic dualism of lex naturæ and lex divina and found sanction for the law of nature, the law of nations, public law, and natural morality in the human understanding unaided by revelation. His cause was strengthened by the rise of the modern Stoics in Holland and by Hobbes (d. 1679; see HOBBES, THOMAS) with his Epicurean teachings. Pufendorf (d. 1694), in Germany, and Locke (d. 1704), in England (see PUFENDORF, SAMUEL; LOCKE, JOHN), made the new ideas the common possession of European culture. In this newly developed theory of the State is the true precursor of the Enlightenment; for, though it assumed no radical attitude in the beginning and maintained friendly relations with the religious creeds of the time, its result was the destruction of the theological bases of the prevailing culture. It exercised a powerful influence on the remodeling of church law, especially among the Protestants, marking, as it did, the beginning of ecclesiastical legislation on purely political principles. It furthered the growth of toleration and attained its final development in the theory of the freedom of religion and of conscience, and further still, of the universal rights of man. Yet so complex are the sources of the various manifestations which in their entirety are known as the Enlightenment, that the Declaration of the Rights of Man by the French States-General in 1789 is more immediately to be traced to the influence of the constitution of the United States (1783) than to Rousseau's Contrat social (1762).
3. Economic Phase. Parallel with this process of political transformation went a line of cognate economic and social development. The old rigidity of social organization--the feudal separation of classes--gave way slowly with the development of an extensive world commerce and the rise of industry. The financial needs of the absolute state made it the friend of the rising commercial and industrial classes for whose protection laws are now enacted. The growth of economic freedom reacted in turn upon the development of the individual. The natural sciences came to the aid of the rising technical industries, and in this manner an alliance between the industrial and the learned classes was effected. The final result was a fluent intermingling among the different classes of the population, revealing itself in the appearance of a powerful citizen class eager for political, economic, and spiritual liberty, the inheritors of a new literature and a new education that was tending to free itself from theological guardianship. England and Holland were the models of this close union of commercialism and liberty and as changed political conditions had led to the formulation of a new political theory, so the transformation of economic facts in Europe brought forth a new economic and social theory, which, like the new theory of the State, bore a deep impress of the idea of natural rights. Bound up for a time with the theological teaching, it was developed into an independent theory by the English and French bourgeoisie and became, finally, anti-theological and, to a degree, anti-religious. Its independence was fully established by Adam Smith (d. 1790) and Quesnay (d. 1774). The spirit of individual freedom and courageous optimism appears more prominently in this economic phase than in any other phase of the Enlightenment. Unrestricted freedom of labor and of capital became inalienable human rights, and of all the ideas of the Enlightenment have maintained themselves longest and affected the world most.
4. Religious and Ethical Aspects. Along with political and economic changes there is to be noted a transformation in the general spirit of the age, which arose in reaction against the excesses of religious wars, the burden of established creeds, and the ceaseless strife of theologians. Out of religious conflict in England came the Levelers and Latitudinarians (qq.v.), and, in Germany, the Calixtines (see HUSS, JOHN, HUSSITES), together with the many attempts at religious union. A powerful cause contributing to the weakening of the religious influence was the patent inefficiency of established creeds as a force for morality. The rise of Pietism (q.v.) prepared the way for the Enlightenment. There comes a revolt against the belief in magic, witchcraft, and other superstitions. A growing spirit of humaneness, of active philanthropy, and of cosmopolitan tolerance, appears, indicated, for example, in the mitigation of the severity of judicial procedure. The tendency to find a basis for morality independent of religion gains strength. In England and France societies are organized for the improvement of morals and manners; in the universities the elegance of Cicero and Seneca drives out the old scholasticism; and theological narrowness is combated by the spirit of universalism in the Neo-Stoic teachings of Justus Lipsius (d. 1606), who influenced Grotius, Descartes and Spinoza. The spirit of Humanism and the Renaissance thus persisted in the jurists and the philosophers of France and Holland.
In all these phases of the Enlightenment there appears, as yet, no conscious, thorough hostility to a theology restricted to its own field, but the desire rather to emancipate other branches of human interest from its sway. Only gradually does a really independent method of thought arise, conditioned largely by the epistemological and moral theories of Stoicism. The theory of natural law first established its independence; natural religion and natural morality achieved their freedom with greater difficulty. Yet natural religion, in essence, was taught by theology itself and needed but the refutation of the doctrines of hereditary sin and the invalidity of the human intellect in order to gain the overhand over a revelation. Lord Herbert of Cherbury accomplished this in 1624 in his De veritate religionis. Natural morality was freed from theology through the separation of the lex naturæ from the lex divina and sanction for it in the human reason was established by Francis Bacon (q.v.; d. 1626) and the French skeptics, especially by Charron in his Sagesse (1605). Bayle (d. 1705; see BAYLE, PIERRE) contrasted the universality of the moral instinct with the diversity and conflict between historical creeds. In these different ways Western Europe, in the seventeenth century, strove toward the attainment of an autonomous organon that should constitute a simple and unvarying norm for the guidance of the judgment on the matter of conflicting faiths and moral dogmas.
5. The New Knowledge. On the evolution of such a method of thought a profound influence was exercised by the natural sciences and the method which they employed. Two forces are discernible in this development (1) the impetus toward induction supplied by Bacon and, more than this, (2) the progress in mathematics and mechanics following the astronomical discoveries of Copernicus (d. 1543), Kepler (d. 1673), and Galileo (d. 1642). The new knowledge united to the atomism of Gassendi (d. 1655) established induction on a firm basis and found fullest expression in Newton (d. 1727), Huyghens (d. 1695) and Laplace (d. 1827). The laws of gravitation and inertia were both the basis and the impulse to extensive investigation in the various phases of the physical world. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are the centuries of the great physicists and mathematicians, and on the principles they outlined arose the sciences of optics, acoustics, chemistry, zoology, geology, physiology, and medicine. The influence of the new sciences was enormous. They destroyed the foundations of revelation and theology, and led to the rise of new philosophic systems aiming at the interpretation and correlation of the results attained by the various sciences, the methods of which were mathematical, marked primarily by clearness of statement and preciseness of definition. The new scientific method entered even the fields of natural law, natural religion, and natural morality. Locke and Condillac made psychology the study of the laws of motion among psychic elements, and Quesnay interpreted social laws after the manner of laws of nature. Voltaire became the apostle of Newton and in France particularly the new sciences were perfected and disseminated. Nor were these in the beginning hostile to religion. The new knowledge showed itself capable of various interpretations. It was found consistent with deism by Locke and Voltaire, with ancient pantheism by Shaftesbury, with mystic pantheism by Spinoza, with spiritualism by Descartes, with theism by Leibnitz, and with materialism by the Encyclopedists (q.v.). Yet the whole aspect of the world of thought was changed. Miracles became impossible, except to the casuist; the earth was removed from its central position in the universe and became only a point in space; anthropocentrism was destroyed. The spirit of the eighteenth century assumed its characteristic qualities; it became atomistic, analytic, mechanical, practical; entirely on the side of the known and the evident, entirely opposed to all that was dark, mystic or fantastic.
6. The New Historical Method. Second only in importance to the mathematical sciences was the development of a new historical method, universal, secular, and philosophic, as opposed to the theological and antiquarian historiography that came before. The great geographical discoveries of the age made the field of human interest coextensive with the world and fostered the study of history, geography and statistics. Tradition in state, religion, and law were put to the test of critical investigation. Machiavelli and Bodin were followed by the expounders of natural law whose studies lay in the field of politics and legal history, and the Deists who gave their attention to religion. In manifold ways the French skeptics emphasized the relativity of the principles underlying state and religion. This principle of relativity found its most ingenious exposition in Bayle's Dictionnaire historique et critique (1696) and its profoundest expression in Montesquieu's Lettres persanes (1727). A decisive blow at traditional methods was administered by Bolingbroke's Letters on the Study and Use of History (1738-52). Voltaire in his Essai sur les mæurs et sur l'esprit des nations (1754-58) opened the succession of histories of civilization and universal histories which established the principle of the relativity of different civilizations and of the possibility of explaining history by natural laws. He was followed by Turgot (d. 1781), Condorcet (d. 1794), Dupuis (d. 1809), and others in France, by Robertson (d. 1793), Gibbon (d. 1794), and Hume (d. 1776) in England, and in Germany by Gatterer (d. 1799), Schlözer (d. 1809), Heeren (d. 1842), Meiners (d 1810), J. D. Michaelis (d. 1791), and Spittler (d. 1810). If the age of the Enlightenment be called an unhistorical age, it is so only in the sense that it cultivated history not so much as an end in itself as for the purpose of obtaining support for its political and moral theories. And the influence of its investigations was enormous. They destroyed the idea of a history of the world based on Daniel, the Apocalypse, and St. Augustine, opened up vast realms of time, rejected the fall of man as the cardinal point in universal evolution, and created a new type of primitive man. Above all, it introduced a method analogous to the analytical and mechanical method of the natural sciences. It dealt with the individual as the historical unit, as a result of whose conscious, purposive actions social structures arise. And as the enormous diversity of human motive and impulse thus revealed necessitated the establishment of some norm for a unified interpretation of history, such a one was found in natural law, religion, and morality; and all deviations from the norm were ascribed to evil or cunning, to tyranny or priestly hypocrisy, to stupidity or ignorance. And thus historiography, because it had caught the spirit of the Enlightenment, became a powerful instrument for the dissemination of that spirit, though in the first place works may have been written with purposes deistic or materialistic, theological or anticlerical, skeptical or optimistic.
7. Philosophy of the Period. A new philosophy, opposed both to the Aristotelianism of the Church and to the rehabilitation of ancient philosophic systems, now assumes to outline the fundamental principles of scientific thought in the theoretical and practical disciplines. Abandoning the old belief in the Fall and the consequent degeneration of the human intellect, it grounded itself on the capacities of the human mind and dared to be as creative in basic principles as the new sciences had been in their respective fields. Philosophy was no longer the handmaid of theology, but ruled an independent realm. The creation of a new philosophy was the work of the great minds of the seventeenth century; its consequences partly destroyed theology and partly transformed it. These consequences were developed in the eighteenth century by the less original thinkers and littérateurs; for though the great men of the eighteenth century, Hume, Berkeley, Kant, belonged in part to the Enlightenment, their original work first bore fruit in the nineteenth. Yet the influence exercised by the great philosophers on the history of philosophy is different from that they exerted on the history of the Enlightenment. Their essentially philosophic problems were too abstruse and subtle to affect greatly a popular movement, and it was rather their secondary contributions that furthered the progress of the Enlightenment. Thus Spinoza and Malebranche exercised practically no influence at all; the influence exercised by Hobbes and Leibnitz was indirect; while that of Shaftesbury and others was only partial. Of greater importance, after Descartes, was the work of Bayle, Locke, Wolff, Voltaire, and the Encyclopedists. Service was also rendered by the Deists who directed their criticism against positive religion, and the ethical writers who sought in the new philosophy a basis for natural morality. There came finally the real philosophers of the Enlightenment, the eclectics and popularizers, the exponents of common sense and natural law, whose philosophical importance is small indeed, but whose historical influence was great.
Nevertheless the philosophy of the Enlightenment, in the last analysis, may be traced back to the great philosophic systems. (1) Cartesianism applied the mechanical method to the study of the physical world and the axiomatic process of mathematics to the spiritual. It found ontologic unity in a God who combined in himself physical substance and soul substance. It abandoned everything that was not clear or demonstrable. (2) The sensualism of Hobbes and Locke broke more abruptly with the old metaphysics by discarding self-evident truths and innate ideas and founding all knowledge on the experience of the senses, and its recasting in the soul; yet they found the idea of God necessary for the working of their world machine. From them proceeded the physico-theological arguments for the wisdom and the goodness of an architectonic deity and the treatment of morality on the basis of an empirical psychology which attained to the greatest importance. (3) In reaction against sensualism, Leibnitz, by a method analogous to that of Descartes, established a mechanical world of bodies and a dynamic world of spirits, transforming the old ontology of substances into one of monads. (4) Materialism carried the tenets of sensualism to the extreme by denying the existence of the soul and combating the physico-theological arguments for the existence of God. In Hume and Kant, it is true, the materialism of the new natural philosophy brought forth profound epistemological theories, but the natural sciences on the whole rendered greater services to the revolutionary thought, which attempted, on the basis of the observation of nature and certain elementary data of psychology empirically derived, to create a new metaphysical and ethical system, destined to constitute the precondition for a complete reconstruction of society. Yet to all these contrasting or opposed systems there were common the spirit of antagonism to the theological method, the miraculous and the exceptional, and an undoubting confidence in the power of the intellect to attain knowledge and in power of will to apply it. Especially in the field of ethics the independence of the human conscience was upheld against all supernatural authority, against all revealed systems of sanctions, rewards, and punishments.
8. Literature of the Englightenment. It was literature, however, and not philosophy that really insured the triumph of the Enlightenment. The great fact here to be recognized is the cooperation of three forces, a rising bourgeoisie, a growing independence of thought, and the highly developed literatures of England and France. It was literature that finally overthrew theology and created the vocabulary, the battle-cries and very name of the Enlightenment. Holland was the first home of the militant literature of the age. There Bayle published his dictionary and edited his journal (Nouvelles de la républiques des lettres, 1684-87), and Le Clerc published his Bibliothèque universelle (1686-1726). The real origin of the literature of the Enlightenment, however, was in England after the Whig Revolution and the establishment of the freedom of the press in 1693. Locke (d. 1704) and Shaftesbury (d. 1713) were writers of elegance. Pope's Essay on Man (1733) is a theodicy in the spirit of Shaftesbury. The publication of periodicals dealing with contemporary manners and morals prepared the way for the realistic study of life which Fielding (d. 1754), Smollett (d. 1771), Goldsmith (d. 1774), and Sterne (d. 1768) were to carry on with splendid psychological power and absolute freedom from theological predispositions. Defoe (d. 1731) pictured man in a state of nature, and exercised a profound influence on Rousseau and German pedagogy. Bolingbroke (d. 1751) was the first to write philosophic history. The moral theories of the Deists were expounded by Hutcheson (d. 1747), Ferguson (d. 1816), Adam Smith (d. 1790), Wollaston (d. 1724), Price (d. 1791), and Tucker (d. 1799), and the esthetic theories of Shaftesbury were developed by Burke (d. 1797), Gerard (d. 1795), and Hume (d. 1776) who studied the relations between the beautiful and the useful and greatly influenced the German Enlightenment. Richardson's (d. 1761) novels of middle class sentimentality and morals produced an important effect on Voltaire, Diderot, Klopstock, Lessing, and Wieland. The Enlightenment literature in England was not radical, however; extremists, like Toland (d. 1722) among Deists, exercised no great influence, while materialism found in Hartley (d. 1757) and Priestley (d. 1804) only solitary champions. The decline of the Enlightenment in England may be dated from the reaction following the outbreak of the French Revolution.
In France the Enlightenment first gained strength among the dilettante nobility of the court of Louis XIV. from whom it passed to the members of the higher bourgeoisie and the literary class, and then to the great mass of the Third Estate. From the classic literature which it found ready to its hand it derived precision, elegance, and wit, but also something of the shallowness that goes with these qualities. Newton and Locke were introduced to the French public by Maupertuis (d. 1759) and D'Argens n (d. 1757). The novel and drama of English citizen life were copied by Prévost (d. 1763) and Destouches (d. 1754). But the highest development of the Enlightenment literature came toward the middle of the century when in a spirit of extreme radicalism it assailed everything in society, Church, and State. The exponents of the Enlightenment may be divided into three groups which differed appreciably in character and succeeded each other in prominence, though united in aim. (1) English liberalism and deism were advocated with remarkable success by Voltaire (d. 1778) in almost every literary form; his interests were predominantly religious. Montesquieu (d. 1753) gave his time to history and politics and became the father of pragmatic history and constitutionalism. (2) The succeeding scientific and materialistic movement was originated by La Mettrie (d. 1751), found its most celebrated exponent in Diderot (d. 1784), and its classic formulation in the "Encyclopedia" (1751-80). More purely scientific were Holbach (Système de la nature, 1770), Condillac (d. 1780) and his theories of knowledge, Cabanis (d. 1808), and Buffon (d. 1788), whose literary charm made him one of the most influential of popularizers of science. (3) A new spirit and tone appears in Rousseau (d. 1778) who expressed the economic theories of the Enlightenment in their deepest and most abstract form and on the other hand lent to its cold intelligence a romantic warmth and a depth of feeling that widened immensely its range of appeal. Through Mirabeau and Sieyès the ideas of the Enlightenment entered the Revolution.
9. The German Englightenment. From England and France the elements of the Enlightenment came to Germany, where, owing to peculiar conditions, its political manifestations were of far less importance than its influence in the fields of religion, ethics and esthetics. Two distinct literary movements marked the eighteenth century: (1) The real literature of the Enlightenment proceeded from the popularized teachings of Leibnitz, through Wolff and Gottsched, and developed on the one hand into theological and legal rationalism, and on the other into the novel and play of middle class morals. (2) The revived humanistic or classic-romantic movement, proceeding from English sources and from the more essential teachings of Leibnitz, passed through Lessing to Herder, Winckelmann, Goethe, Schiller, and Humboldt and found expression also in the newer schools of philosophy and the historical and psychological sciences. Leibnitz, Lessing, and Kant belong to both movements; to the Enlightenment, through their practical interests and the results of their popularized teachings; to the second, through the deep and original content of their philosophy which was appreciated only by the minority. Only the former movement is here to be considered, a movement through which Germany assumed its place in the literary world, last, because the theological influence had longest maintained itself in the small German principalities, because science was still subject to scholasticism, and finally because of peculiar political conditions. The first change to be noticed occurred in the sphere of learning where Pufendorf (d. 1694) and Leibnitz (d. 1716) ushered in a broad, cosmopolitan treatment of the sciences. The first to gain a wide hearing for the new ideas was Thomasius (d. 1728), who sought to reorganize education after the French model and in 1688 established a periodical similar to those published in Holland at the time. Wolff (d. 1754) slowly drove scholasticism from the universities. The real founders of the literature of the German Enlightenment, however, were Gottsched (d. 1766) who combined the Wolffian philosophy with French classicism and translated Bayle, and Gellert (d. 1769) who, writing under English influences, in poems, lectures, fables, and novels, laid the basis for the moral culture of Germany for many decades. There appeared also imitations of the English periodicals (after 1721) which, though largely theological in tone, continued the connection between literature and the bourgeoisie and sang of the justness of God after the manner of Pope and Thomson. How all-pervading the theological atmosphere was appears in Klopstock (d 1803) and his imitators, though it is indeed a softened theology expressed in humanistic and poetic form. The break with theology was initiated by Lessing (d. 1781), who found the step essential in his endeavor to create a new culture and a new literature upon the basis of a new attitude toward life. In revelation Lessing discerned only a manifestation of the human mind striving toward truth, which is attainable only by reason, and this theory he elaborated with the assistance of deistic theologians like Spalding (d. 1804) and Jerusalem (d. 1789). At Berlin arose the group under Nicolai (d. 1811) and Mendelssohn (d. 1786). Their organ was the Allgemeine deutsche Bibliothek, around which sprang up a group of popular philosophers who promulgated theories of natural morals, theology, and esthetics on the basis of Locke, Leibnitz, and Wolff. Wieland (d. 1813) in his philosophical romances contrasted the light French view of life with the heavy idealism of the Germans and thus gained over the Gallicized higher classes to the use of the German tongue. Of the other great figures of literature only the youthful Schiller (d. 1805) had connection with the Enlightenment. Kant (d. 1804), in his practical philosophy, in his morals, law and theology, approached the Enlightenment and lent to its ideas a more formal character. But while Goethe (d. 1832) and Schiller had little to do with the movement, the favor of the public went out to Iffland, Kotzebue and the charm of Jean Paul.
10. Practical Results. So mighty a development as the Enlightenment could not fail to produce a profound effect on the practical affairs of life. Its double result was (1) to strengthen the bourgeoisie and inspire them to demand a share in government and administration and (2) to drive the governments themselves to concession. In England and France the first movement made itself predominant; in the rest of Europe the second was the more conspicuous. Philosophic kings and ministers now appear of the type of Frederick II. of Prussia, and the espousal of the ideas of reform by the monarchs led in turn to the complete triumph of such ideas. The French Revolution came because the French government lacked the courage and decision to adopt the new ideas. After the Revolution the ideas persisted and in the subsequent political reorganization played a prominent part.
In the spiritual realm the most important effects of the Enlightenment appeared in the fields of education and public instruction. Universities were freed from the sway of the old theological humanism, citizens' schools and popular schools were established or reorganized, and public instruction was freed from clerical supervision. Other influences like Pietism tended toward the same result, but it was from the Enlightenment that the inspiration came toward the creation of an educational system that, with the supreme confidence of the period, was expected to lead to a higher, happier, prosperous, and more moral age. The great educational programs of the age emanated from Locke (Some Thoughts Concerning Education,1693) and Rousseau (Émile, 1762), the one outlining the education of a man of the world through experience and reflection, the other the development of man through the unrestrained unfolding natural powers. The Émile, in France, was only a success of the hour, but in Germany it gave impetus to the great philanthropinistic movement. Basedow (Methodenbuch für Väter and Mutter der Familien und Völker, 1770) was followed by Bahrdt, Rochow, Campe, Stuve, and others. Through Zedlitz, minister of Frederick II., the new ideas shaped the policy of the Prussian government. But as early as the middle of the seventeenth century, the needs of the bureaucracy and the nobility had led to the erection of institutions intended to furnish a new education, not Greek and theological, but modern and practical. Halle (1694) was the type of the new institutions and it influenced greatly the development of philosophic and juristic studies. By the middle of the eighteenth century the theological education had suffered a further loss of prestige as indicated in the erection of the University of Göttingen (1736), where humanism is found independent of theology. The Volksschule created by Pietism fell ultimately under the sway of the ideas of the Enlightenment, and even Pestalozzi recognized them in part.
11. Its Relation to Theology. Of the influence exerted by theology on the progress of the Enlightenment mention has already been made; it was an influence exerted, however, under compulsion and it advanced the interests of the Enlightenment without adding anything to its content. As a result of the subjection in which the Enlightenment was held by theology for a long time and the necessity for violent action on the part of the latter to achieve its independence, it assumed that negative and destructive character by which it was so strongly marked. Even in its affirmative theories the Enlightenment, in its struggles with theology, was brought to assume the existence of as rigid a truth as that of its rival. The break between the two was sharpest in France where the unyielding attitude of the Church made the Enlightenment perforce a movement of thorough negation. In England and Germany, on the contrary, there was a rapprochement between the two. In the former country there arose out of the deistic controversy an apologetic theology (Clarke, Butler, Warburton, and Paley) which may be designated as rational supernaturalism, which here as well as in Germany carried the spirit of the Enlightenment into the very heart of the enemy's position. In Germany, especially, the course of the development was decided by a compromise between Enlightenment and theology which was effectual in disseminating the principles of the former, not only among the learned classes, but among the great masses of the population. But as its principles were embraced by members of the higher clergy and by the theological faculties, it became in turn conservative. Slowly, however, the inherent contradiction between its principles and the theological dualism of reason and revelation came to the front. With time the germ of dissolution entered into the body of dogma and the new spirit of the times attacked both the logical substructure and the imposed superstructure of doctrine. The followers of Wolff had attempted a compromise without departing from the paths of orthodoxy, but the Neologues, under the influence of the popular philosophy, broke entirely with dogma and sought to restrict revelation to the Bible, whose contents seemed more in harmony with natural theology than the scholastic subtleties of the Church. Only at the end of the century, however, and primarily under the inspiration of Kant's Religion innerhalb der Grenzen der blossen Vernunft (1793) did the more radical theologians advance to the position of identifying completely the religion of ethical rationalism with Biblical revelation, though still with purely apologetic purposes. But through this apologetic literature the subjective, analytic, and utilitarian spirit of the Enlightenment penetrated to the very heart of Christian belief, and inevitably led to reactionary movements which made common cause with other forms of reaction aroused by the spirit of the Enlightenment. The theology of the Enlightenment was, therefore, a thoroughly apologetic compromise on the basis of the principles of the Enlightenment. It was a question of the supremacy of the dogma of reason, of the dogma of revelation, or of the identification of the two, and it was the last solution that theology was driven to adopt.
12. Close of the Period. The end of the period of the Enlightenment began in different countries at different times. The mightiest influences that contributed toward its downfall were the political reactions aroused in England by the American Revolution and that in Europe by the French Revolution. At the same time the revolutionary movement finally destroyed the political structure of the medieval ages and cleared the ground for a new political and social organization. The wars of the Revolution called into being a new factor, the principle of nationality, which came into opposition both with the spirit of enlightened cosmopolitanism and with the spirit of enlightened absolutism of the preceding period. There entered into play at the same time the influence of the new German culture which emancipated itself from the ideas of the Enlightenment in literature, philosophy, and science, created a new attitude toward life, and soon came to cooperate with similar tendencies in other countries. Fancy and sentiment, a love for the humane culture, sympathy for all that is psychologically real, characterized this new conception of life which was at one with the Enlightenment in its opposition to supernaturalism, but differed from it in its positive appreciation of the worth of things. Science, too, lost its character of abstract subjectivism and militant reform, and restricted itself to the interpretation of reality. Finally reaction entered also the field of economic thought, destroying the individualistic principles of the Enlightenment. Nevertheless the Enlightenment has remained an appreciable influence to the present day, to a minor degree in Germany, to an important extent in France and the Anglo-Saxon world, where the separation between Enlightenment and supernaturalism is as sharp as it was a century ago.
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