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The German Enlightenment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Thomas Ahnert
  • Elisabeth Décultot
  • Simon Grote
  • Iwan Michelangelo-D'Aprile
  • Avi Lifschitz

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    Rights statement: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in German History following peer review. The version of record The German Enlightenment. (2017). German History. doi:10.1093/gerhis/ghx104 is available online at: https://academic.oup.com/gh/article-abstract/doi/10.1093/gerhis/ghx104/4222694/The-German-Enlightenment.

    Accepted author manuscript, 520 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Article numberghx104
Pages (from-to)588–602
JournalGerman history
Issue number4
Early online date26 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


The term Enlightenment (or Aufklärung) remains heavily contested. Even when historians delimit the remit of the concept, assigning it to a particular historical period rather than to an intellectual or moral programme, the public resonance of the Enlightenment remains high and problematic—especially when equated in an essentialist manner with modernity or some core values of ‘the West’. This Forum has been convened to discuss recent research on the Enlightenment in Germany, different views of the term and its ideological use in public discourse outside academia (and sometimes within it).

    Research areas

  • Enlightenment, Aufklärung, historiography, eighteenth century

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