Ap Chapter 17

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John Locke and Isaac Newton were the major intellectual forerunners of the Enlightenment. Print culture was a culture in which books, journals, newspapers, and pamphlets had achieved a status of their own. The Enlightenment flourished in this. The most influential philosophe was Voltaire. He wrote Letters on the English. The book praised the virtues of the English, especially their religious liberty, and criticized the abuses of French society. Voltaire said Muhammad and Islam represented simply one more example of religious fanaticism he often criticized among Christians. John Toland contended that Islam derived from early Christian writings and was a form of Christianity. Edward Gibbon wrote with Muhammed’s leadership and Islam’s success in conquering so vast a territory in the 1st century of it’s existence. Some philosophe’s would criticize Islam on cultural and political grounds. Voltaire and Montesquieu were negative writers. Toland, Gibbon, and Montagu were positive writers. The 2 major Jewish writers were Baruch Spinoza and Moses Mendelssohn. Spinoza set the example for a secularized version of Judaism, and Mendelssohn established the main outlines of an assimilationist position. David Hume wrote Inquiry Into Human Nature ( no empirical evidence that miracles exist) Voltaire wrote Philosophical Dictionary (using humor, pointed out inconsistencies in the Bible and immoral acts of Biblical heroes) Edward Gibbon wrote Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ( explains the rise of Christianity through natural causes) Immanuel Kant wrote Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone ( religion as a humane force through which there can be virtuous living. Deism is religion and reason combined. John Toland promoted religion as natural and rational rather than supernatural and mystical. Deism is tolerant, reasonable, and capable of encouraging virtuous living. The Enlightenment challenged the church and its concepts of “original sin”. The church was not just...
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