Between Utopia and Dystopia

Between Utopia and Dystopia : Erasmus, Thomas More, and the Humanist Republic of Letters

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Between Utopia and Dystopia offers a new interpretation of Erasmian humanism. It argues that Erasmian humanism created the identity of the universal and critical intellectual, but that this identity undermined the fundamental premises of humanist discourse. It closely reads several works of Erasmus and Thomas More, employing an interdisciplinary approach to the study of intellectual history, and adopting theoretical insights and methodological procedures from various disciplines.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 544.31g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073913647X
  • 9780739136478
  • 2,111,386

Review quote

Elegantly written, passionate, and informed by a wide learning in Renaissance studies, HananYoran's book explores the origins of the modern figure of the 'intellectual' in the philosophical theories and life-stories of Erasmus of Rotterdam and Thomas More. He shows how these two Christian humanists turned the critical methodologies of their predecessors, the Italian humanists, into a new and much more radical ideology of modern humanity, based on some classical and early Christian conceptions of civic morality. Inasmuch as they dared to challenge the ecclesiastical and political authorities of their time and to create an independent Republic of Letters, they set a compelling example of intellectual nonconformity that is still relevant today. -- Joseph Mali, Tel Aviv University This study should prompt readers to think carefully about the early sixteenth-century humanist movement from a fresh perspective. Renaissance Quarterly Recommended. CHOICE Readers who resist Yoran's characterization of the autonomous universal intellectual for being tendentious will miss some of the more provocative insights this approach yields...Yoran's bold and insightful investigation solves old problems and raises new questions, and specialists in Northern humanism generally, as well as interpreters of the two focal figures [Erasmus and More], will be instructed and stimulated by this comparative study. Erasmus Of Rotterdam Society Indeed, the whole book is redolent of deep immersion in its subject, and of a passionate desire to make Milton's masque speak to contemporary society. Milton Quarterly Between Utopia and Dystopia will be of considerable interest to those concerned with the history of ideas for its exploration of oppositions in humanist texts. Sixteenth Century Journalshow more

About Hanan Yoran

Hanan Yoran is lecturer in the department of history at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.show more

Table of contents

Introduction Part I. The Erasmian Republic of Letters Chapter 1. Humanism as Form Chapter 2. The Construction of the Erasmian Republic of Letters Chapter 3. Erasmian Humanism: The Reform Program of the Universal Intellectual Part II. The Erasmian Republic and Its Discontents Chapter 4. The Politics of a Disembodied Humanist Chapter 5. More's Richard III: The Fragility of Humanist Discourse Chapter 6. Utopia and the No-place of the Erasmian Republic Conclusionshow more

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