Painting: Salon of Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin by Lemonnier

A Tale of Two Enlightenments

The Enlightenment in Europe has often been cited as a foundation for modern humanism, human rights, and human liberation.  The Enlightenment is often lauded as the advent of the Age of Reason — and critiqued as the advent of pseudo-scientific ideas about the primary of the white race (or even the existence of biological race) and about the inferiority of women, of more efficient colonialism and genocide, and of worldwide economic exploitation. RYSEC Clergy Leader Jone Johnson Lewis will explore the two sides of the Enlightenment, how they were connected, and how, ironically, most serious progressive critiques of the worst of the Enlightenment use Enlightenment values in that critique.  Can we rescue what is good without perpetuating what has done great damage?

We begin the program promptly at 10:30 am ET, with gathering time from 10:15 on Zoom. We end about 11:30. The Zoom room will be open until noon for socializing.

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Image: Reading of Voltaire’s tragedy of the Orphan of China in the salon of Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin, by Lemonnier.


Apr 03 2022


America/New York
10:30 am


  • Jone Johnson Lewis
    Jone Johnson Lewis

    Jone Johnson Lewis serves the Society as Leader (clergyperson). She has been an Ethical Culture Leader since 1991, and has been at Riverdale-Yonkers since 2015. She speaks at the Society once or twice a month, bringing together current issues, personal challenges, and ethical ideas.


The Riverdale-Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture is located near the Fieldston Ethical Culture School campus in the Bronx. Click for a map to find directions:

Directions to the Ethical Society

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