The Enlightenment is a term used to describe a philosophical and cultural movement of the 18th century that emphasized the use of reason to solve social, political, and intellectual problems.
One important aspect of the Enlightenment was religious. It emphasized religious tolerance. Many Enlightenment thinkers were atheists, agnostics, or deists and all were opposed to excessive sectarianism and enthusiasm in religion. Bishop Butler, a leading Anglican theological, expressed this attitude when he said to John Wesley that “Enthusiasm is a horrid thing, Mr Wesley, a most horrid thing.’
Another important aspect of the Enlightenment was its attempt to find rational scientific cures to social and political problems. The science of political economy is a typical example.