Frieze of Prophets, detail of Isaiah Sargent’s Triumph of Religion illustrates one version of an Enlightenment idea: that Western civilization’s progress into modernity would mean radical changes in the fortunes of religion. Many predicted that religion would disappear, replaced by a scientific “disenchantment” of the universe. Sargent, and the experts he consulted, believed that the external forms of religion (creeds, dogma, institutions) would decline and pass away, while religion itself would survive and even triumph through private, individual, subjective spiritualities.
Frieze of Prophets, detail of Isaiah
(1999 photo)
The Triumph of Religion