Abstract

Abstract:

In his writings on the Eucharist, Thomas More defends the literal interpretation of scripture and berates Protestants for their inordinate allegorizing. While literal reading may seem more characteristic of a Protestant hermeneutic, More's writings suggest that, when it came to the Eucharist, literal reading was no less a Catholic practice, though differently motivated. In his discussion of the Eucharist, More embraces literal reading so as to reclaim the faith, mystery, and transcendence he believes Protestants had discarded when they relied too heavily on allegorical interpretations. The dangers and limitations he ascribes to allegory shape Utopia, a fictional text whose eponymous world is defined by the absence of restrictive figuration. Reading Utopia in this light reclaims More's theological writings as pertinent to his literary contributions. As such, his work helps us renegotiate the lines between literal and allegorical reading and demonstrates the vitality of the Eucharist in shaping early modern literature.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0383
Print ISSN
0039-3738
Pages
pp. 261-284
Launched on MUSE
2020-03-25
Open Access
No
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