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"Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century."
Lynch, Deidre. "Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century." Book History and Print Culture (2007): 723-64. Print.
During the enlightenment, the idea of thought developed massively. The people of the day started to think about more things and think about the way they think about things. They went deeper then the surface and analyzed everything they did and everything around them. This was a time that showed the power and nature of the mind and the decline in religion.
During this time people started to abuse the power of religion and find loopholes to manipulate others. An example of this was the “Irish stroker” who “visited London in 1666, found loopholes to prove the theological correctness of his assertion that his powers to heal came from God: "God may, to abate the pride of the Papists (that make miracles the undeniable Manifesto of the truth of their Church) make use of a Protestant to do such strange thing” This made the world think of everything more objectively and Scientifically investigate the new world in a different way.
The idea of separation of church and reason is well document throughout the era. Milton, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mary Shelley needed to imagine a new society to think in this foreign way. Everything they had been taught was through faith rather than reason. They were forced to break norms that began since the beginning of man. The thinkers of the time would read religious texts with the rational ideas of science and consumer culture in mind.
The enlightenment period created a consumer society. With developments in thought and the loosened power of religion over people. They bought things in excess because they could and there was no reason they couldn’t. That is a thought that was developed during this time.” If you can do it, why not?” Religion restricted people from things they wanted to do because it was seen as morally incorrect, or it said somewhere that they couldn’t. With reason and rational thought this was a changed idea.
The enlightenment period presented many new ideas to the world. It changed the way the world operated. It changed the way all people thought. The intellectuals of the time challenged all previous notions of thought and came up with their own ideas. The used reason to prove they were right rather than god. They were rejected at first but with time, people realized how rational thought made more sense then things they were told to believe.Britain during the Enlightenment
Britain's elite society went to coffehouses and talked about anything from religion to politics, to education. Because their beliefs shifted so dramatically, that religion started to take on many different forms, than just one. Britains were also in general becoming more literate. Many journals started to get published on various theories of science and philosophy. Groups much like the debating societies, met to discuss science and philosophy once enough people were interested. Newspapers were being distributed like crazy, and publishing books was becoming more and more popular as well.
Click on this site to see a timeline of the enlightenment.