Another look at Enlightenment Criticism

The views in the previous post represent an attempt to show the connection of Enlightenment ideas to civil religion.  Enlightenment criticism and analyses of the Reformation usually convey a sense of loss. This is understandable because the Reformation ended the universal influence of the Catholic Church and its institutions, which had been completely integrated into society. These were traumatic events and represent a painful, confusing period of history. Subsequent analyses tend to be extreme, alternating between fearful regret and maniacal positivism. Bellah’s theory of American Civil Religion seems to represent a complete acceptance of Enlightenment principles. These posts have been an attempt to put his theory in a larger context.