Religion, the Enlightenment, and the New Global order

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Largely because of the cultural and political shift of the Enlightenment, Western societies emerged from sectarian conflict and embraced a more religiously moderate path. In nine original essays, leading scholars ask whether it is possible to export the Enlightenment solution abroad. Contributors begin by revisiting the Enlightenment's restructuring of the West, examining its past and future encounters with Protestant and Catholic Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. While strongly attuned to the difficulties of implementing the principles of the Enlightenment worldwide, these scholars ultimately believe its elements have a necessary place within the new global order. Their approach treats conflict as a means to cooperation and sees religious commitment as a bolster, instead of a detriment, to political civility. Ultimately, they collapse both the claim that the West's experience offers a ready-made template for the world to follow and the belief that the West's achievements are to be ignored, despised, or discarded.
Publication Date:
05 / 11 / 2010

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