Does A Man for All Seasons portray St. Thomas More accurately?

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By Thomas V. Mirus. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this episode originally from Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast, Thomas asks attorney and scholar Louis Karlin whether Robert Bolt’s play and film A Man for All Seasons accurately depict St. Thomas More’s views on the rights of conscience, and his motives for martyrdom.

More’s involvement in the prosecution of heretics is also examined: even if More was a martyr of conscience, is it accurate to call him a champion of religious freedom? One thing is certain: the portrayal by Hilary Mantel and others of More as a torturer of heretics is false.

Links

The Center for Thomas More Studies https://thomasmorestudies.org/

Lecture by Richard Rex critiquing the historical fiction of Hilary Mantel, “More the villain and Cromwell the hero?” https://ionainstitute.ie/thomas-more-thomas-cromwell-and-wolf-hall/

William Marshner, “Dignitatis Humanae and Traditional Teaching on Church and State” https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=8778

Thomas Pink, “Conscience and Coercion” https://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/08/conscience-and-coercion

Louis W. Karlin and David R. Oakley, Inside the Mind of Thomas More: The Witness of His Writings https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Mind-Thomas-More-Writings/dp/1594173133

Karlin, Wegemer and Kelly, Thomas More’s Trial by Jury: A Procedural Legal Review with a Collection of Documents https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Mores-Trial-Jury-Procedural/dp/1843838737/

Stephen Smith (ed.), For All Seasons: Selected Letters of Thomas More https://www.amazon.com/All-Seasons-Selected-Letters-Thomas/dp/1594171637

Wegemer and Smith (ed.), The Essential Works of Thomas More https://www.amazon.com/Essential-Works-Thomas-More/dp/0300223374/

St. Thomas More, The Sadness of Christ https://www.amazon.com/Sadness-Christ-Thomas-More/dp/1849020558

The Yale Edition of the Complete Works of St. Thomas More, Vol. 14, De Tristitia Christi https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Works-Thomas-Tristitia-Christi/dp/0300017936

Other podcasts on St. Thomas More

Criteria film discussion https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/man-for-all-seasons-1966/

Audiobook of More’s Dialogue on Conscience https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/st-thomas-more-dialogue-on-conscience/

Music is The Duskwhales, “Take It Back”, used with permission.

92 episodes