Divulging Utopia: Radical Humanism in Sixteenth-century England

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Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1999 - History - 221 pages
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A study in intellectual history and the history of the book, this work examines the humanist movement in sixteenth-century England and traces the reception of a single work, Sir Thomas More's Utopia (1516), in relation to that movement. Scrutinizing translations, popularizations, "anti-Utopias," and theological debates, David Weil Baker makes the case that the humanists of the English Renaissance were themselves reading More's Utopia, Erasmus's Praise of Folly, and other works of Continental humanism in far more politically radical ways than scholars have generally recognized. In particular, during the Reformation and the later controversies to which it gave rise, "Utopia" became a code word for the goals of Protestant extremists, including the dreaded Anabaptists. More broadly, the communism of More's imagined society became associated with the Protestant use of the printing press to disseminate vernacular editions of the Bible and other crucial religious texts and to make this formerly restricted "interpretive property" available to a broader readership.

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Page 34 - Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

About the author (1999)

David Weil Baker is assistant professor of English, Rutgers University, Newark.

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