Enlightened and Romntic Views of God
Essay I During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in Europe, change was always constant, and two different movements that were brought about by this change were the Enlightenment and the Romantic movements. These two different schools of thought had both things in common as well as differing opinions. An example of how this is applied is when the matter of God and religion is discussed.
These two different views encompass a lot of similarities with regards to theological matters, but the main difference between the Enlightened and Romantic views of God is that Enlightenment does not put as much focus and emphasis on such matters as Romantic thinking does. The Enlightenment era was brought about during the time of scientific inquisition and governmental criticism. During this time, philosophers were writing sociological doctrines about how man is best governed, and scientists were pushing the boundaries and frontiers of their respective fields even farther.
During this time, which also included such events as the French Revolution, religious affairs took a back seat to issues that were of a secular nature. As opposed to times before, where religious persecution was encouraged, thinkers of the Enlightenment period highly promoted religious toleration, and it was a more common policy during the Enlightenment than any time before that. There was a higher abundance of different religions and denominations because religion was not seen as imperative as it was before because there were many new things to learn that did not involve the church.
One similarity between romanticism and the enlightenment is that each movement held an unconventional way of seeing God. Each movement valued an individual relationship with God, rather than the conventional way of congregationalism. Each movement was disdainful towards formal church groupings and the imposition of religious doctrines upon the individual. The Romantic Movement was similar to the Enlightenment in several ways. They were both influential events that were quite impactful, and they stressed unconventional methodology.
These movements differed as well, and a main difference was that the enlightenment emphasized things that were within rationality, reason, and could be proved. Romanticism tended not to focus on such things, because it investigated the realms of human emotion, while the enlightenment was based on intellectual and logical principles. Hence, Romanticism held more of an interest of the relationship between God and the individual, because it had a lot to do with human emotion and things that were considered to be beyond human comprehension and reason.
The enlightenment shied away from religious topics in order to focus on such fields as science and government. The Enlightenment and Romanticism both held things in common as well as significantly differed. The enlightened mind was more inclined to think about science, and the romantic mind was more prone to theological thoughts. Each were similar in the fact that they believed in the individual discovering the truth about God rather than blindly listening to a group’s opinion. In general, each movement saw God in a similar way with different details.