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Seminar 6:
Thomas More on Heresy and True Religion

Thomas More, a saint of the Roman Catholic Church since 1935, holds an ambiguous position for Anglicans, who wish to claim his religious integrity whilst eschewing his fervour and the manner of his death.

In this seminar, Craig D'Alton explores More's religious views, outlined both in his writings against Luther and early English evangelicals, and in his devotional treatises. More's polemical and apologetic theological writings are sometimes strident, and always insistent in the absolute nature of Catholic truth. They appear to stand in marked contrast to the devotional works, where piety takes the place of polemic, and the tone is more pastoral than doctrinaire.

Yet the differences are not as great as they might first appear. At the level of literary form, key works in both fields employ the form of a dialogue – in 1528 the Dialogue concerning heresies, in 1534 the Dialogue of comfort. Moreover, his exposition of the Passion of Christ, whilst perhaps not as exhaustive as his refutations of Tyndale or Simon Fish, is, like these polemics, arranged in a systematic, step-by-step form.

Some scholars have argued for there being at least "two Thomas Mores" – the unbalanced, strident polemicist and the calm, pious devotional writer. Here, however, it will be suggested that the polemical works and the devotional ones are of a piece, advocating a strict but thoughtful Catholicism in which truth and the communion of Saints loom large.

Date Tuesday 5 June
Time 7.30 - 9.30 pm
Venue St Peter's, Eastern Hill
Cost $15 (concession: $12)
Conductors Rev'd Dr Craig D'Alton,
is Assistant Priest at St Peter's, Eastern Hill, and lectures in Reformation History and ministry formation at Trinity College Theological School. He has published a number of articles on Thomas More.

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