Friday, July 6, 2012

Berglar's More

Stephanie Mann reviews Peter Berglar's Thomas More: A Lonely Voice Against the Power of the State, saying:
This is an effective overview of More's life and works, with an interesting organizing pattern, and the reminder, especially highlighted in the epilogue, of the integrity of St. Thomas More's life. He thoroughly integrated his spiritual and professional life, his religious and personal life, so that there is no division or compartmentalization. Berglar notes when More may have failed in this effort (as when he followed Wolsey too closely) and does not ignore the difficulties and balance More had to work to achieve.

This book was translated from the German and the author notes in the epilogue the scarcity of German translations of More's works. Even though it is meant for a German audience, to bring St. Thomas More's example of responding to the crisis of the State attacking the Church, it's a good reminder for English and American audiences too, especially when discussing the distinctions between More and St. John Fisher:
The difference between them was the difference between layman and priest. Fisher was obliged to resist the regime's aberrations directly. In this sense, his position was easier than More's. Priests who come into conflict with the state and wish to remain faithful to the Church will invoke St. John Fisher as their patron; whereas perplexed Christians entangled in the complexities and intrigues of the social apparatus and in need of an example and intercessor, will turn to St. Thomas More. (Read entire post.)

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