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Moral Imagination of King Henry VIII

            The history of King Henry VIII and his marriages are a timeless discussion that explores the morality of the king and his people at the time of his reign. King Henry the VIII was born into the Tudor line of monarch's in England and Wales. In William Walker's, "Henry VIII", Walker explains, "During his early years, Prince Henry was overshadowed by his older brother, Arthur, who was his father's heir". Henry's outshining brother Arthur was to wed Catherine of Aragon. "In April, 1502, Prince Arthur, earlier married to Catherine of Aragon, died in Wales from tuberculosis at the age of fifteen. Suddenly, the overlooked second son became the heir to the throne and the focus of great attention and interest" (Walker). Henry was a boy that had been overlooked his whole life up until the age of adolescence when his brother had died. The divinity of kingship was suddenly bestowed upon a boy that was eclipsed by his older brother through his childhood. With the title of king there is a sense of leadership and holiness that was expected from a boy that was not trained for this role. Henry was a boy that would soon grow up to be a man that would change the history of Catholicism in the English realm for centuries to come. The choices in Henry VIII's martial life were influenced by the morality of the Catholic Church at the time of his marriages. Henry the VIII used moral imagination when he reformed the Church of England because of his decision to choose divorce and or death as a means of ending his marriages.
             In Mark Johnson's, Moral Imagination: Implications of Cognitive Science for Ethics, Johnson explains the definition of morality through use of the Moral Law folk theory. "According to the Moral Law folk theory, morality is a massive, ongoing power struggle between the forces of reason and the forces of passion"(Johnson pg. 17). Henry's actions that led him to grant the divorces and death of his wives were often chosen because of his lust of women and struggle with political prowess.

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