(Zenit) John Boyle on Thomas More’s Utopia and Achieving the ideal Society

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The religion of Utopia is not unlike that of the Roman Empire, in that there is a state religion. "No one is forced to belong to it," Dr. Boyle explains, "but in Utopia – where everyone is reasonable and rational – most people do because it is a reasonable and rational religion in accord with nature and philosophy." All other religions, while tolerated and permitted, are considered to be superstitious. The only requirement is that all people must hold to the immortality of the soul, and to a final judgment of some kind. This is so as to motivate moral behavior. "It's not a religious claim. It's a social claim."

"It's very interesting when they talk about worship in Utopian religion," Dr. Boyle notes, "They have very little to say about the object of that worship; they practice confession in Utopia, and the one person who is not confessed to is God. Children confess to their parents, wives confess to their husbands: nobody confesses to God."

There is, however, an ironic application of the way Utopia enforces freedom of religion, as recounted by the character of Raphael Hythloday. "He tells the story of bringing Christianity to Utopia, and many Utopians apparently converted. But one convert's apparently an obnoxious, overzealous convert, because he insists on the exclusive character of Christianity. He's banished from Utopia on the grounds of the principle which is that no one should suffer for his religion."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksPhilosophy* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments Posted April 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

To comment on this article: To article and comments

<< Back to main page

The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/42553/

© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

For original material from Titusonenine (such as articles and commentary by Dr. Harmon) permission to copy and distribute free of charge is granted, provided this notice, the logo, and the web site address are visible on all copies. For permission for use in for-profit publications, please email KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com