Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow.
“The Enlightenment was an eighteenth-century movement of ideas and practices that made the secular world its [main focus]. It did not necessarily deny the meaning or emotional hold of religion, but it gradually shifted attention away from religious questions toward secular ones. By seeking answers in secular terms – even to many religious questions – it vastly expanded the sphere of the secular, making it, for increasing numbers of educated people, a primary frame of reference.
In the Western world, art, music, science, politics, and even the categories of space and time had undergone a gradual process of secularization in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; the Enlightenment built on this process and made it into an international intellectual cause.
Attachment to the world – the here and now – to a life lived without constant reference to God, became increasingly commonplace and the source of an explosion of innovative thinking about society, government, and the economy, to mention but a few areas of inquiry.”
Margaret Jacob, historian, The Secular Enlightenment, 2019
Answer the following two questions in complete sentences.
- Describe the main argument the author makes about the Enlightenment in the passage.
- Explain how one piece of evidence not in the passage supports the author’s claims regarding the Enlightenment.