Reason, religion or both?

The utopias in this selection are isolated societies, set on remote islands or planets, and discovered by outsiders.

Thomas Campanella imagined a perfect society in which religion and reason work in total harmony.

H G Wells described a parallel earth upon which the rational and scientific are perfectly reconciled with spiritual discipline and belief.

Francis Bacon describes a remote utopian island governed entirely by reason and science.

Through encounters with a series of very different worlds, some of them the exact inverse of the other, Jonathan Swift exposes the inevitable prejudice and conflict within societies and between them.

  • Why is each of these worlds set apart from our world? Why is each discovered?
  • Can you imagine world without belief, based entirely on reason? Can you imagine its opposite?
  • Are conflict and prejudice inevitable in a world of mixed ideas and beliefs?

La città del sole - government

La città del sole - temple (text extract)

The New Atlantis - Solomon's house

The New Atlantis - perspective houses

A map of the Houyhnhnms Land

A Modern Utopia

Science in Modern Utopia (text extract)

Religion in Modern Utopia