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    Thomas More in Montreal
    Renaissance Society of America (RSA) Conference

     
    2 Moreana panels, March 24-26, 2011

         Seymour B. House was the organizer of the Thomas More panels for the RSA annual conference, in Montreal on 24-26 March 2011.  He proposed two sessions on Thomas More on the threshold between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  Five scholars responded to his call and studied this particular aspect of More: an author fully conscious of entering a new era, while building on the tradition.  Gabriela Schmidt showed how More, through his translations proved a transitional figure, "thoroughly aware of the trends and traditions in late medieval and early vernacular humanist literature as he was closely involved with the new humanist learning brought into England in the wake of Erasmus and his circle".  Kevin Iaam studied how the Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation, "like many works of its era, sits at the threshold of classical and Christian traditions, mapping the classical topoi of comfort onto Christian narratives of salvation through suffering".


         Romuald Lakowski examined More’s achievement in creating a new genre with Utopia, "by combining elements from several existing genres including the classical best commonwealth exercise and the medieval travel romance".  Hélène Suzanne looked at the “similarities in views of faith and death in the works of Thomas More and Jerome Bosch” and showed how both were “tormented by the changes” taking place in Christianity.  In his address entitled  “Sowing the fields of the Lord: Thomas More and clerical education”, Seymour House  showed that More, like many of his contemporaries was “a vocal critic of the clergy” and defended the need for a better education of priests, a plea which would be voiced after his death by the Council of Trent.
         The December 2011 issue of Moreana hopes to publish these 5 essays. Meanwhile, you can find the abstracts in the file below.


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