Thomas More and New World Essay

Submitted By savannahklm
Words: 468
Pages: 2

Sir Thomas More wrote Utopia in 1516. The work was written in Latin and it was published in Louvain (present-day Belgium). Utopia is a work of satire, indirectly criticizing Europe's political corruption and religious hypocrisy. More was a Catholic Humanist. Alongside his close friend, the philosopher and writer Erasmus, More saw Humanism as a way to combine faith and reason. In depicting Utopia, More steps outside the bounds of orthodox Catholicism, but More's ultimate goal is to indicate areas of improvement for Christian society. Is an ideal state possible? Utopia means "no place" but sounds like "good place." At the very least, Utopia exposes the absurdities and evils of More's society by depicting an alternative.
As a satirist, More continues the tradition of Ancient Roman writers like Juvenal and Horace. As a philosopher brave enough to tackle the idea of the "ideal state," More leans away from Aristotle and towards Plato, author of The Republic. Sustaining the arguments of The Republic, Utopia fashions a society whose rulers are scholars (not unlike Plato's philosopher-king). Though Aristotle was opposed to the idea of common property and the abolition of private property, Aristotle's ideas of aesthetics, justice and harmony are present in the Utopian's philosophy.
A devout Catholic, More was beheaded as a martyr in 1535, standing opposed to the principle of the Anglican Church and the King of England's role as the head of the Church (replacing the Pope in Rome). In the 1530s, More wrote polemical tracts and essays attacking Lutheranism as heresy. All the same, More's Utopia implies that Utopians are better than some Christians. St. Augustine's City of God established the theme of the earthly city of God, reiterating the image of New Jerusalem presented din the Biblical Book of Revelations. Utopia is a type of New Jerusalem, a perfect place on earth. The Puritan experiments of the 1600s (in Britain and in North…