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p. 936. Reform and Enlightenment (1500–1900)locked

  • Charles L. Cohen

Abstract

“Reform and Enlightenment (1500–1900)” begins in the year 1500 as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam started to define themselves within spaces shaped by the global expansion of the, mostly Christian, European empires, growing skepticism of revealed religion, and the emergence of nation-states. Since 1500, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have defined themselves within spaces shaped by the global expansion of (Christian) European empires, growing skepticism of revealed religion, and the emergence of nation-states. These changes unsettled the familiar ways in which Jews, Christians, and Muslims understood their traditions, spurring reform and renewal. The Reformation divided the Western Church, further complicating Christian identity. The Enlightenment elevated reason and empirical evidence over revelation and received wisdom as the preeminent means for knowing the world, challenging religion’s stature. As European power and influence expanded, Muslims sought to preserve Islam’s fundamentals. The Jewish Enlightenment birthed a movement that challenged some of Judaism’s long-standing foundations.

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