Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology, published in three parts from 1794, was a best seller in America, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. Promoting a creator-God while advocating reason in the place of revelation, Paine’s controversial pamphlet caused his native British audience, fearing the results of the French Revolution, to receive it with more hostility than their American counterparts.
"Amazed by the energy, originality & bravery"
The Age of Reason Begins brings together a fascinating network of stories in the discussion of the bumpy road toward the Enlightenment. This is the age of great monarchs and greater artists - on the one hand, Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and Henry IV of France; on the other, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Montaigne, and Rembrandt. It also encompasses the heyday of Francis Bacon, Galileo, Giordano Bruno, and Descartes, the fathers of modern science and philosophy.
"Mostly 30 Years of War, but Reason bests War"
Today we tend to separate questions of logic from questions of belief, philosophy from religion, reason from faith. But for 1,000 years during a pivotal era of Western thought, reason and faith went hand-in-hand in the search for answers to the most profound issues investigated by Christianity's most committed scholars.
"Professor Williams Blends Reason with History"
In The Dark Side of the Enlightenment, John V. Fleming shows how the impulses of the European Enlightenment - generally associated with great strides in the liberation of human thought from superstition and traditional religion - were challenged by tenacious religious ideas or channeled into the "darker" pursuits of the esoteric and the occult.
"Tangled and excruciating"
Cultural and familial fireworks flare when the headstrong teenage daughter of a wealthy New Yorker falls passionately in love with a young man from New Orleans, and from a very different background indeed. What makes this story sizzle and soar are its time and place - the United States during the Civil War and Victorian England - and a couple of key facts about the protagonists.
Miss Arabella Leeds, the teenage daughter of a prominent New York family, and Aubrey Paxton, the pampered "high-yellow" house servant of wealthy New Orleans slaveholders, are destined to meet and fall in love. But before their paths can cross, and their romance commence in London, each must forsake complacency and comfort, the familial and familiar, for a journey toward self-discovery and the allure of the forbidden. Arabella must abandon the gentlewoman's prescribed path and redefine her convictions - particularly those regarding her own sexuality.