Literary Movements: The Beginner’s Guide to The Enlightment



The Enlightment was an intellectual and philosophical movement which dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 18th century

Characteristics of the Movement, its authors and works

  1. The Enlightment era is known as the age of reason.
  2. Reason was seen as the primary source for authority.
  3. The targets of examination was the government and religious figures.
  4. Many prominent writers duing this period were deists.
  5. The Enlightment Era is also known as the Golden Age of Satire.
  6. There is an emphasis on the scientific method and along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy
  7. Enlightment Authors promote advance ideals such as the separation of the church and state  and a constitutional government.
  8. The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Church.
  9. Many Enlightenment writers and thinkers had backgrounds in the sciences.
  10. Enlightenment scholars sought to curtail the political power of organized religion and thereby prevent another age of intolerant religious war.



Voltaire was a deist, he  held mixed views of the Abrahamic religions but had a favourable view of Hinduism, he wrote  the Dictionnaire philosophique (1764) and Questions sur les Miracles (1765)


David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism. He is the author of  The Natural History of Religion (1757) and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779)


Jean-Jacques Rousseauwas a Francophone Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century. His political philosophy influenced the Enlightenment in France and across Europe


Rene Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist


John Locke was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the “Father of Liberalism

Literary Works




One thought on “Literary Movements: The Beginner’s Guide to The Enlightment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s