This conference intends to scrutinize the unexamined legacies of the Enlightenment from a global perspective. The long-eighteenth century (1680 to 1820) was once understood as the historical era during which the West became secular—intellectual, cultural and political institutions liberated from Christianity. But over the past two decades, scholars have radically redefined Enlightenment both as concept and epoch. The Enlightenment is no longer a term reserved for assessments of Western history and civilization; the secularization of politics and culture is no longer an adequate or accurate account of what happened around the world. Our “Global Enlightenment” project seeks to advance the terms of this critical intervention by bringing the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific regions, and India into conversation with American and European perspectives. We aim to refocus the attention of Enlightenment studies on the ongoing impacts of religion across the globe; on conflicts within Christianity and other major world religions; on the emergence of difference and diversity both within and as a result of global Enlightenment movements. We focus on understanding both religious conflict and global exchange as defining aspects of how modernity gets constructed during the Enlightenment period and beyond — including our contemporary global present.
Find more information and register online at https://globalenlightenment.princeton.edu/.