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p. 372. The secularization of consciencelocked

  • Paul Strohm

Abstract

Conscience was emancipated from institutional religion during the era of the Enlightenment and it is often thought this was due to secularization during that time. Paradoxically, it could be said that it was the consequence of 16th- and 17th-century evangelical fervour. The relationship between conscience and organized religion did not end then altogether. It enjoys considerable support in institutionalized Christianity. The divine presence still exists quite strongly in the notion of conscience. ‘The secularization of conscience’ examines how conscience drifted from its strong Christian ties, became ‘unchurched’, and was adopted by 18th-century philosophers. Enlightenment philosophers rejected a narrow conception of conscience and opened its deliberations to larger horizons of social consensus.

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