Preparing your PDF for download...
There was a problem with your download, please contact the server administrator.
The book considers Thomas More’s early life-choices. An early letter is cited by biographers but most miss More’s reference to the market place. More’s great-grandson, Cresacre, a Londoner, understood it correctly, and that gives reason to trust him on other aspects of More’s youth.
This study is based on early testimonies, those of Erasmus, Roper, Harpsfield, Stapleton and Cresacre More, as well as More’s early writings, the Pageant Verses, and his additions / omissions to the Life of Pico; evidence drawn from authors he recommended, like Hilton and Gerson; and finally, his epitaph. Attention is given to his lectures on St Augustine’s City of God, and to St John Chrysostom. It is argued More studied Chrysostom’s Homilies on the Gospel of St Matthew from a Greek manuscript. Chrysostom, in the introductory homily, spoke of the city and the market place, as the setting in which Christians practice the teaching of Christ.
More practiced law and taught it. He was attracted to becoming a Christian humanist alongside Grocyn, Colet, Linacre, and Lily. With them he studied Greek, the classics and Fathers of the Church. Helped by them he became a man of prayer, aware of the need to seek holiness in the midst of the world as a layman. Faced with the dilemma of the humanist in choosing between the contemplative life of the philosopher and an active life of engagement with the world, he deliberately chose the active life in service to society, and the contemplative life of the Christian as a married man. This awareness and choice is what is called vocation, implying determination to persevere throughout life: More saw his life as a pilgrimage towards heaven as described in the last chapter focusing on More’s last work, De tristitia, tedio, pavore, et oratione christi ante captionem eius.
Frank Mitjans is an architect in London who has written a number of scholarly articles about Thomas More.
"In this rigorously researched book, Mitjans offers us an excellent and fascinating study. More was a lawyer, scholar, statesman, and husband, but Mitjans persuasively argues that More’s early life defined his greater goals of combining a contemplative Christian life as a married layman with the active life of service to others, of revitalizing Christendom, and of seeking the fulfilment of his true vocation beyond the grave. This is an invaluable addition to scholarship and will appeal to anyone interested in one of the greatest of Renaissance humanists."~Jonathan Arnold, Director of Communities and Partnerships, Diocese of Canterbury and Honorary Research Fellow, University of Kent
"Frank Mitjans carefully uncovers Thomas More’s sense of ‘vocation’ in terms of contemplative prayer and civic commitment and shows how a ‘mixed life’ remains More’s most defining characteristic. This is an outstanding book that supplements and expands upon previous biographical portraits of More."~Travis Curtright, author of The One Thomas More and editor of Moreana: Thomas More and Renaissance Studies
" Thomas More’s Vocation is a detailed, deep and illuminating study of More’s formative years and the decisions that shaped him. Frank Mitjans shows a deep familiarity not only with More’s wide-ranging corpus but also with the myriad of texts that influenced him. This is a must-read for anyone wanting a more penetrating understanding of Thomas More, written by one of the world’s leading authorities on his work."~Joanne Paul, author of Thomas More (Classic Thinkers)
"Mitjans has a firm command of More’s life and his theological and philosophical outlook as well as a remarkable command of details from geographical to bibliographic that bear in very significant and new ways that challenge current and past interpretations of More."~Gerald Wegemer, editor of A Thomas More Source Book