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More's Utopia as a Guideline for Renaissance Clergy

  • Date Submitted: 03/27/2010 11:59 AM
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Survey of English Literature I
January 4, 2010
      More's Utopia as a Guideline for Renaissance Clergy

      More’s Utopia represents one of the responses to the discovery of the New World. Throughout a simple composition, More introduces readers with idealistic society. Utopia, as a fiction, “does not have much to offer in terms of dramatic events or actions, except the brief travel of More the dratmtis persona to meet the reporter Hythlodaeus and that of Hythlodaeus to the land of king Utopus”(Sawada, par. 5). However, what matters is the place and its society. The geography of Utopia, slaves, customs and treasure are some of plenty of other topics that More deals with in Utopia. Very interesting and maybe the most discussable topics are those about religions. The view on religion in Utopia is completely different from the sixteenth century one. Utopians are more tolerant on that matter. Furthermore, through Utopia More is trying to show importance of Christian humanism and educated priests. He describes Utopian ethic as hedonistic, and fully dedicated for the good of society.

      At first, when More talks about religions it is inevitable to notice that Utopians are very religiously tolerant society, and the only thing that is not tolerated is atheism, which is considered to be immoral and unacceptable. “Such toleration (defended not only in Utopia but in some of More's later writings) would apparently place More years (if not centuries) ahead of his time” (Peters par.16). All Utopians worship and believe in a single god, and only what differ each from another is its nature. “Some worship as a god the sun, others the moon, still others one of the planets” (More 447). According to More, they all have an opportunity and freedom to choose what they will believe in. On the other hand, it “seems completely out of character with Catholic "orthodoxy" as then understood - and for that matter, from More's own later practice. It cannot, however, be brushed...

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