Erasmus, Utopia, and the Jesuits: Essays on the Outreach of Humanism

By John C. Olin | Go to book overview

With Matthew Arnold it is assumed that education can make him so, that is, that education, the right education, can develop our full potential and render us "perfect." The other four utopias are already inhabited by good people, or in the case of Swift by good quadrupeds. The question that arises in these cases is "What has made them good?" or more universally "What makes people good?" The answer to this query, I think, will take us to the essential problem, the very crux of the utopian idea. I shall leave the thought for you to wrestle with.

My other observation is related, I believe. It is that the utopian phenomenon is linked to a transcendent vision, that is, to our religious consciousness. I mentioned this earlier when I was discussing Rabelais' Abbey of Thélème. But it seems fairly obvious in that case. 10 In the others, I would say, it springs from even a deeper source, from that striving for perfection which arises naturally from the depths of the human heart. And in one idiom or another we all pray "Thy kingdom come" and in our innermost being desire that realization.


NOTES
1.
I explain this more fully in chap. 4 above, " Erasmus' Adagia and More Utopia."
2.
The History of Gargantua and Pantagruel, trans. J. M. Cohen ( Baltimore, 1955), pp. 149-60.
3.
In The Essential Montaigne, trans. Serge Hughes ( New York, 1970), pp. 264-76.
4.
( London, 1985), Part IV.
5.
Candide, or Optimism, trans. Richard Aldington, ed. Norman L. Torrey ( New York, 1946), pp. 52-61.
6.
Ed. J. Dover Wilson ( Cambridge, 1960).

-83-

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Erasmus, Utopia, and the Jesuits: Essays on the Outreach of Humanism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Notes xvii
  • 1 - Erasmus and Saint Jerome: The Close Bond and Its Significance 1
  • Notes 22
  • 2 - Erasmus and His Edition of Saint Hilary 27
  • Notes 34
  • 3 - Erasmus and Aldus Manutius 39
  • Notes 55
  • 4 - Erasmus' Adagia and More's Utopia 57
  • Notes 67
  • 5 - More, Montaigne, and Matthew Arnold: Thoughts on the Utopian Vision 71
  • Notes 83
  • 6 - The Jesuits, Humanism, and History 85
  • Notes 104
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