The Enlightenment

Ref: C2341105

The period from the last years of the seventeenth century until the end of the eighteenth century is known the Age of the Enlightenment. During these years many individuals put all the ideas of society, government, and thought under close and critical examination. The range of ideas were centred on reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy and came to advance ideals like liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government and separation of church and state. The central doctrines of the Enlightenment philosophers were individual liberty and religious tolerance, in opposition to an absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. The Enlightenment was marked by an emphasis on the scientific method and reductionism, along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy. We will look at the various ways in which Society adopted the ideas of the Philosophers and applied them to the structure of the contemporary State and Church.

Course aim

To examine the ways in which ideas which had been universally accepted were examined and reshaped, and the ways in which this process affected State and Society.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Examine the ways in which the ideas of the leading thinkers could become dispersed throughout Society
  • Discuss the origins of the modern State
  • Understand the ways in which these ideas are still relevant to present-day society

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • A note book and one might be advantageous

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

The Enlightenment

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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