Lead: Out of the intellectual ferment of the Eighteenth Century Enlightenment emerged a rush of devout pietism. The Great Awakening helped transform American religious life.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The wars of religion that convulsed Europe following the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Revival in the 1500s and 1600s provoked a growing revulsion among Europe’s intellectual elite against intolerance and sectarian violence. This, combined with the spreading awareness of the previous century’s scientific discoveries and progress, shaped a new way of thinking about the world. Less religious in its orientation with more emphasis on the accomplishments of man, the Enlightenment, through its major spokesmen, Frenchmen Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu and their many followers in western Europe and North America, stressed the importance of individual achievement, rational thought, happiness in this world not salvation in the next, and liberty.