Dark Enlightenment| 46mins
Director: James Burge | Producer: James Burge
Focus Years: 2006 | Country: United Kingdom
As we question ourselves on how the modern world came about, it is essential to take a closer look at the period of the Enlightenment. This was the time when humanity found the confidence to assert the primacy of rational thought. It was a bold move that displaced religion from its central role in European culture, - the white light of reason finally overcame the darkness of superstition. Hence, according to this narrative the Enlightenment served an important purpose.
However, historian Michael Burleigh has a different point of view. He believes that by ousting religious faith, the Enlightenment created a monster. Uprooting the natural human impulse for faith and leaving people without common social ground, the time served as a loose cannon in the Western psyche. People became capable of latching onto almost any belief system that was offered. As the saying goes, "Once a man ceases to believe in God, he doesnâ€™t start believing in nothing; he believes in anything."