Religious Variations of “Utopia” and “the Faerie Queene”

William B. Bertelson
Jennie Hensarling
LITR210 English Literature: Beowulf to 18th Century
11 May 2010
Religious Variations of “Utopia” and “The Faerie Queene”
      The theme (in many cases the themes) of a story is the main discussion within the story, for example: love, truth, or justice. In the case of our two books there is a whole slew of themes discussed as the authors utilized their artful talent to express dissent or concurrence with the accepted or prevalent viewpoints of sensitive topics. For the purposes of this paper I will briefly explore the topic of religious tolerance from “Utopia,” and Book I of “The Faerie Queene;” providing a contrast between the fictional world and the realities of religious intolerance from the real world.
      In More’s “Utopia,” More attempts to paint us a picture of the perfect civilization ruled by few laws. One set of these laws governs issues of religion, a most controversial topic during More’s time. In More’s “perfect nation” all citizens believe in one god, supreme being, or maker (More, 579). Since this god could go by many names the citizens experienced an unprecedented amount of religious tolerance; essentially the citizens of Utopia could practice any monotheistic religion, which has been the basis for oppression and conflict over centuries.
      Although the Utopian religion was very diverse a law was also established requiring all citizens to would worship in the local churches, led by the ordained priest.   If a citizen’s beliefs required other rituals and worshipping practices be conducted they are free to do so separately from the public service. If the additional services had the possibility of offending a neighbor then they had to be conducted privately.   This tolerance came from the Utopus’ belief that regardless of the name of the god a person worships, all citizens are praising the same god. The various names and practices are God’s delight in diversity (More, 584-588).
      The Utopus believed...