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The Age of Enlightenment

The Age of Enlightenment began in Europe in the 17th century and fully developed in the 18th. In this exciting, formative period, also known as the Age of Reason, thinkers, writers, scientists, economists and philosophers developed a new profound optimism about the world and the future of mankind. Their fervent idealism, which recognized no limits on human potential, was considered naive, misguided and even dangerous by many of their contemporaries and by some historians to this day. But the philosophers prevailed, and their ideas and visions are reflected not only in American laws and institutions but throughout the modern world. This class will introduce the major philosophers, their views and beliefs, as well as the Enlightened Despots who adopted some of their proposals for reform. We will also discuss both their short and long-term impact.

Instructor: Louise Loe, Professor Emerita, James Madison University, taught in the History Department for 39 years. Her fields of specialty include Russian History, European History, Modern Human Rights.


Payment Information: Payment is due at time of registration and must be made by credit card (AMEX, MasterCard, Visa and Discover.) There is a $5 credit card convenience fee assessed at the time of payment. You will be redirected to the payment web site after clicking submit. Please have your credit card ready. Once payment is successfully completed, you will receive a payment receipt and a registration confirmation by email.

Withdrawal/Refund Policy: You may cancel your registration up to one week before the class start date, and receive a full refund (minus any credit card processing fees.) After that date, no refunds will be given.

For registration questions, please contact Lifelong Learning Institute at or 540/568.2923.

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