Michel de Montaigne was a French writer who lived in the 16th century. He was the originator of a new literary form: the essay. The essay is a short exercise on a certain topic and is designed to get across one or two points to the reader. A reader will be more likely to finish … Continue reading Would I read any more of Montaigne’s essays?
John Foxe wrote a huge work named Actes and Monuments; popularly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. He wrote it in a reaction to the persecution of Protestant Christians under Mary I of England. He also wrote it to support her successor Elizabeth I, who was the head of both the state and the church in … Continue reading Is the language of Foxe still compelling today?
In his work Utopia, Sir Thomas More wrote about a mythical island which had a near-perfect society. In Utopia, the government holds all things in common and there is no private property. Everyone has to work, but due to Utopia’s productivity the total work day is only six hours. The cities of Utopia do not … Continue reading Was More risking persecution by the church because of Utopia?
In Sir Thomas More’s book Utopia, we encounter a world traveler named Raphael Hythloday. Raphael tells a few listeners about the island of Utopia, a place where everything seems perfect. Raphael says he returned to Europe to tell people about this amazing place. Raphael doesn’t care for riches or power and is therefore presented as … Continue reading Why does More present the Traveler as a Sensible Reformer early in Book I of Utopia, but not later?
In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenburg. These theses were propositions, written in Latin, that Luther would be prepared to debate with anyone who was willing to debate with him. In these theses Luther targeted the practice of indulgences as well as those who promoted … Continue reading Did Martin Luther think the Pope didn’t know what the preachers of indulgences were saying?