A Confucian Perspective on the Enlightenment and Religion

  • Shan Chun


The Enlightenment of the modern west is indicative of reason in criticizing the intellectual obscurities inflicted on Europeans by religious dogmatism and political despotism in the ideology of King’s power by God’s Covenant. Such intellectual movement had not only greatly enlightened human mentality but also positively motivated the French and Americans in their social revolutions. In a due course, people in the west had accomplished a drastically new approach toward religion and religious institutions also had attained their domestic improvement, a triad being more convincing among civilians that philosophy seeks truth, religion goodness, and art beauty. Within the domain of reason we have therefore the role of philosophy or science and in a contrastive frame the role of religion has been agreeably limited within the domain of pure reason, being activated by human free will.


Eighteenth Century Religious Experience Morality Cultivation Moral Knowledge Pure Reason 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Confucian StudiesChina University of Political Science and LawBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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