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How does the society in Sir Thomas More's Utopia contain social and religious conflict?

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chasingrainbo... | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 29, 2008 at 3:21 AM via web

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How does the society in Sir Thomas More's Utopia contain social and religious conflict?

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ecofan74 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted July 3, 2010 at 11:31 AM (Answer #1)

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In Sir Thomas More's Utopia, the society he outlines embodies many of the ideas associated with socialist systems.  Everyone in society has a defined role within the society.  Furthermore, no one person holds unchallenged and lasting control over the population, as members of the population hold control over the society and transfer that control at certain intervals to other members.  As long as an individual serves a role in society, they participate in the governing process.  in a larger sense, fundamental to this idea is a social structure that allows for the participation of the people.  By extension, the people can express their opinions, although in a somewhat limited sense.

The fact that the population itself participates in the government of the society as a whole opens the door for conflict in the population.  Social conflict stems from the idea that one person's views are not privileged above those of another person.  The people can disagree on the direction society takes - and they do just that.  Religious conflict, too, often takes on this form.  Rather than argue concerning articles of faith, the population argues the role religion plays in the society, including how religion will be practiced, how religion will relate to the government of the state, and the like.  The relative openness of the society More creates in Utopia allows for the exchange of ideas on which conflict is founded.

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