13:08 PM

Dr. Dominic A. Aquila Pens “The Church and the Age of Enlightenment (1648-1848)”

Church and Age of EnlightenmentCatholics – religious and laity – made significant contributions to science, the arts, and the betterment of human life during the Enlightenment, the innovation period between the Reformations and the modern world. 

Exploring the significant role the Catholic Church played during the Enlightenment in his new book on the subject, “The Church and the Age of Enlightenment (1648-1848),” is University of St. Thomas-Houston Professor of History Dr. Dominic Aquila. In this publication, Aquila covers faith, science and the challenge of secularism.

Aquila’s book is the seventh and final book in Ave Maria’s 7-part Reclaiming Catholic History Series. Ave Maria Press will release the publication on Nov. 25. The book will also be available as an e-book.

The Reclaiming Catholic History Series:

Saints and sinners, popes and kings, peace and war, miracles and heresy are all part of the true story of the Catholic Church. But that history has often been clouded by myth, misinformation, and missing pieces. Today there is a renewed interest in correcting the record and understanding the Church’s true history. Books in the Reclaiming Catholic History series, edited by Mike Aquilina and written by leading authors and historians, bring Church history to life, debunking the myths one era at a time.

Dr. Dominic AquilaThe Church and the Age of Enlightenment (1648–1848)

In “The Church and the Age of Enlightenment (1648–1848),” Aquila begins by looking back at the work of important figures such as Copernicus, Francis Bacon, and Galileo, who died before 1648. Aquila bookends the Enlightenment era with wars due to dynastic rivalries and social change—beginning with Europe’s Thirty Years’ War, which prompted a rethinking of religious and political practices and ending with the Napoleonic Wars.

Aquila also highlights vital works of visual arts and music from the period, including Giovanni Bellini’s Frari Triptych, the world-renowned Oberammergau Passion Play, and George Frederic Handel’s Messiah.

In the book, you will learn:

• The Church has been western civilization’s primary patron of art and science for centuries.

• Blaise Pascal believed that the Biblical revelation of God is the story of God’s action in human history.

• Isaac Newton was unique among the Enlightenment elite because he believed in God.

• How Catholic thinkers influenced the separation of Church and state.

• Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson embodied Enlightenment ideals in the American colonies

• One of the most enduring outcomes of the Enlightenment is the heartfelt desire for continual improvement of life for more people. 

About the Author, Dr. Dominic Aquila

Dominic A. Aquila is a professor of history and director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment at the University of St. Thomas, where he was the founding dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. He also served as provost, vice president for Academic Affairs, and dean of Graduate Studies.

Aquila served as a mentor to organizations competing in Our Sunday Visitor Foundation’s 2021 Challenge for Catholic Innovators.

Before his career in higher education, Aquila was a professional musician in New York City and held administrative positions in the American Symphony Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, and Garth Fagan’s Dance Theater. He has an Ed.D in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University, an MBA in Marketing from New York University, and a Bachelor of Music, Percussion from the Julliard School. Aquila has 35 years of experience in public and private higher education. Music, culture, and higher education administration are his areas of research. As a faculty member at several colleges and universities, he taught various disciplines, including art history, business ethics, great books, history, humanities, management, marketing, music, political science, and theatre.

Aquila has published more than 40 articles, books, scholarly papers, and reviews in liberal arts education, political theory, the arts, and American culture.


Dominic A Aquila’s book is the seventh and final book in Ave Maria’s 7-part Reclaiming Catholic History Series. Ave Maria Press will release the publication on Nov. 25.