Enlightenment And Puritans Essay

894 words - 4 pages

The Enlightenment period, also known as The Age of Reason, was a period of social, religious, and political revolution throughout the 18th century which changed the thoughts of man during this “awakening” time. It was a liberation of ignorant thoughts, ideas, and actions that had broken away from the ignorant perception of how society was to be kept and obeyed thus giving little room for new ideas about the world. Puritan society found these new ideas of thought to be extremely radical in comparison to what they believed which was a belief of strong rational religion and morality. Enlightened society believed that the use of reason would be a catalyst of social change and had a demand of political representation thus resulting in a time in history where individualism was widely accepted amongst the new world. Puritan society believed strongly in myth, magic, and religious superstitions that was immensely used by the Puritans before democracy, capitalism, and the scientific revolution gave rise from the Enlightenment period.
First, the religious philosophies between these ages of thinking were very radical for their time in history which eventually discarded the old ideas and beliefs of Puritanism into more modern ideas and reasoning of the Enlightenment. Writing was a principle of social philosophy that both ages conflicted with due to the differences of how and what they wrote. In John Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, he wrote and instilled fear to those who were thinking of moving away from Puritan teachings by saying that God will have wrath to those who don’t glorify him which caused some Puritans to revert to the old teachings rather than the new ideas of religion. On the contrary, writings from Enlightenment authors such as John Locke’s’ “The Reasonableness of Christianity”, questioned the belief of an all knowing and all powerful being which had a profound impact on the peoples’ view of how and why things happen rather than to believe that all the answers were in the Bible. This had an adverse effect on the churches’ power which was lessened because of the influence of new “radical” thoughts of religion. Because of ideas that the Enlightenment brought forth from writing they also made a significant impact on how politics would transition from the old theocratic view of government into a democratic institution.
Next, the new ideal of government started bringing new ideas of how the government should be ran. The old theocracy of the Puritans gave power to the ministers of the older settlements which limited all power from the people. An example of political philosophy ideas that were proposed was the introduction of empiricism by John Locke which profoundly influenced American society to...

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