College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
BA (Bachelor of Arts)
Session and Year of Graduation
Honors Major Advisor
Colleen K Kelley
In the centuries after his death, the perceptions of Sir Thomas More have changed over 500 years. In works spanning from the seventeenth century to the twentieth century, the perception of More have shifted from ones of overwhelming praise to increasingly critical of his actions. This thesis seeks to explore how the perceptions of More have changed over time, especially within the 1980s due to new scholarship and new ways of interpreting More’s character. Events within the twentieth century, which include the canonization of Thomas More as a saint in 1935, the creation of the peer-reviewed journal Moreana in 1963, and the creation of the St. Thomas More Project at Yale in 1958, caused an explosion of works about More as well as new views on him. This thesis will then explore views on Thomas More that took place before the events mentioned previously, with biographies and fictional works about the man. Then the work will explore the lasting effects his canonization, the project at Yale, and the creation of the Moreana had on scholarship about Thomas More. Lastly, works published in the 1980s will be examined that shed a critical light and new point of view on More’s character. I believe the study of Thomas More has changed over time due to scholars taking a closer look at his life and works and realizing the works about him by close friends and family provided a biased point of view, making it difficult to discern who the “real” Thomas More really was.
Thomas More, Catholicism, canonization, religion, saint, twentieth century
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