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

Aug 7, 2020

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/

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