Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Mortal ThoughtsReligion, Secularity, & Identity in Shakespeare and Early Modern Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Brian Cummings

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199677719

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199677719.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 September 2020

The Reformed Conscience

The Reformed Conscience

(p.67) 2 The Reformed Conscience
Mortal Thoughts

Thomas More

Oxford University Press

Thomas More is a central figure in the modern construction of political conscience as a fundamental principle in Western liberal idealism and in the history of political subjectivity. Yet historians have disputed this connection, pointing out that More is attached to an older, Catholic idea of ‘conscience’ at odds with modernity. This chapter reconsiders the ‘invention’ of conscience in the early modern period. Scholastic concepts such as synderesis (in Aquinas and others) are analysed in relation to the complex theological, political and legal changes of the early sixteenth century, including the writing of Luther, Christopher St German, and Tyndale. The chapter shows how ideas of conscience in the post-Reformation period are more complex than we have realized, while also proving no less radical in that uncertainty.

Keywords:   conscience, synderesis, freedom, law, subjectivity

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .