chapter  1
On Utopias
ByWilliam Petersen
Pages 5

Sir Thomas More, an English statesman, diplomat, and noted humanist, refused to subscribe to the Act of Supremacy, the law by which Henry VIII - in order to validate his successive marriages - substituted his own religious authority for that of the Pope. More was charged with treason, imprisoned, and eventually beheaded. In memory of his martyrdom the Roman Catholic Church canonized him in 1935. Though he was a man of many talents, Thomas More is remembered today mainly as the author of Utopia. All sorts of communities have been defined as models, with accompanying directions about the route to the realization of each version of perfection. One common type of literary utopias is an eden from which mankind was expelled. Not only utopians but residents of the real world, whether engaged in business, government, or any other activity, try to predict how the conditions of their work will change over the coming years.