by Thomas More
Utopia Religion Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Book.Page) based on the 1989 Cambridge University Press edition
[The Utopians] never discuss happiness without joining to their philosophical rationalism certain principles of religion. Without these religious principles, they think that reason is bound to prove weak and defective in its efforts to investigate true happiness. (2.68)
Aha. So in Utopia, religion and philosophy think about the same questions. We're wondering if Hythloday sees this as a model for Europe as well.
The religious principles [the Utopians] invoke are of this nature: that the soul of man is immortal, and by God's goodness born for happiness; and that after this life, rewards are appointed for our virtues and good deeds, punishments for our sins. (2.68)
This religion does sounds a bit familiar. How much does it overlap with Christianity, the religion of More's time? In what ways is it different?
But after [the Utopians] heard from us the name of Christ, and learned of his teachings, his life, his miracles, and the no less marvelous devotion of the many martyrs whose blood, freely shed, had drawn nations far and near into the Christian fellowship, you would not believe how they were impressed. (2.97)
This moment in Hythloday's story would have sounded very familiar. After all, religious conversation was a huge reality of New World encounters. Of course, most real life encounters were less successful than the Utopian reception of Christianity depicted here.