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Socinian Precursors of the

American Constitutional Separation

of Church and State

Part I: Development of the Socinian Church

Marian Hillar

Houston, Texas

 

The Reformation, established in Poland relatively late, ca 1550, inspired the most advanced legislature in Europe of its time as regards to freedom of conscience and equality of religious denominations. However, it did not last for long since it was met with the fierce Counter Reformation organized by the Catholic Church that succeeded in destroying the Protestant churches and eliminating religious freedoms. Poland has the dubious distinction for expelling some of its best sons and daughters, a group known under various names as the Polish Brethren, Antitrinitarians, Arians, Unitarians, or abroad as Socinians. This was justified to support King John Casimir's religious vow to the Holy Virgin to avenge the denial of the Divine Trinity by "heretics," an act deemed most blasphemous according to Catholic ideology.

The doctrines of the Polish Brethren represented a humanistic reaction to a medieval theology based on submission to the Church's authority. Though they retained the scripture as something supra rationem, they analyzed it rationally and believed that nothing should be accepted contra rationem. Their social and political thought underwent a significant evolutionary process from the very utopian trend condemning participation in war and holding public and judicial office to a moderate and realistic stand based on mutual love, support of the secular power of the state, active participation in social and political life, and defense of social equality. They spoke out against the enserfment of peasants, a recurring issue in Poland not solved until the XXth century. They were the first to postulate the complete separation of religion and state, an idea never before discussed in Christian societies. Their spirit of absolute religious freedom expressed in their practice and writings, "determined, more or less immediately, all the subsequent revolutions in favor of religious liberty." [1] Their rationality set the trend for the philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment and determined future development of all modern intellectual endeavors. After expulsion they were forced into oblivion for three centuries, forgotten in a country that continued to be dominated by the Catholic Church.

 

Arrival of the Reformation to Poland

 

The first attempt at reform by the burghers in Gdańsk in 1526 was bloodily suppressed by King Zygmunt August I (1508-1548); another by the Anabaptists failed due to an edict issued by the King on September 27, 1535, expelling them from Poland. The Senate (the second chamber of the Parliament) urged the King to issue the edict because the Anabaptist doctrines "undermine the obedience of serfs to their masters." They were labeled a "godless sect" and "monsters." [2]

The situation in Poland became ripe in the 1540s for reform. In contrast to the situation in Germany, the Reformation in Poland was an affair of the gentry, and as in France, it coincided with the opposition of the feudal lords to the centralization of the monarchy. Strong feelings prevailed among the gentry against the moral degeneracy of the clergy and hypocrisy of the Church. The Sejms (sessions of the Diet, lower chamber of

the Parliament) of 1501 and 1505 attempted to curtail ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the nobility by preventing the loss of civil rights and property, which followed whenever a nobleman was excommunicated by the ecclesiastical court. Nobility studying abroad brought religious news from the West and introduced many theological and social issues that needed to be discussed publicly. The most educated gentry saw in the Reformation a weapon against the accumulation of extreme wealth and estates by the clergy, against their totalitarian power, against the domination of a foreign sovereign, the Pope, over the country, and on the theological level, against the distorted interpretation of the scripture.  

The King, Zygmunt August II (1548-1572), was initially vividly interested in reforming the Church and in religious movements. He sent messengers to the West in order to collect books for his library on various forms of religion. With his advisor, Francesco Lismanino (an Italian brought up in Poland, confessor of Queen Bona Sforza), they read Calvin's Institutes. In the years 1555-1556 together with John Łaski and Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski, prominent Polish reformers, he considered calling a national synod in order to establish a uniform national church. [3]

Intellectual trends and prominent personalities from abroad shaped the Polish Reformation. German influence dominated in Greater Poland where it introduced Lutheranism. This influence was strengthened by events in Prussia where Albert Hohenzollern embraced Lutheranism in 1525 forming a secular state on the ruins of the Teutonic dominion. Königsberg became the center for diffusion of Lutheran doctrines. The Italian influence brought to Poland literature of Humanism and the Renaissance creating an intellectual environment from which the ideas of Reformation could grow. Several Italians participated in the development of Antitrinitarianism at its very early stage [4]—Francesco Stancaro, Giorgio Blandrata, Gianpaolo Alciati, Valentino Gentile, Bernardino Ochino. However, other Italians coming from the center of the Catholic Church structure, such as Nuncios A. Lippomano and F. Commendone, fought fiercely for the cause of Rome. The third influence was that of the Bohemian Brethren who after being severely persecuted and expelled by King Ferdinand emigrated, to Poland. The French influence was mediated through Pierre Statorius, who after studying at Lausanne with Théodore de Bčze, was nominated first rector of the Calvinist college at Cracow in 1551. He introduced books published in Paris, Lyons, and Geneva. Switzerland influenced Poland primarily through Polish young noblemen who studied in Geneva, Zürich, and Basel. 

The most important factor in the introduction of Church reform was the formation of a society, initially secret, of Catholic scholars in Cracow whose purpose was to study theological subjects. One of the leaders of this group was Francesco Lismanino, noted above, who openly embraced Protestantism during his stay in Geneva, and Zürich. Their aim was to reform the Church without affecting its orthodoxy. Members of this society recommended reading and discussing the Gospels and attacked the Church's tenets that did not have scriptural justification, such as the mystery of the Trinity (they studied books of Michael Servetus), [5] and the idolatry and worship of saints. Under the reign of the tolerant King Zygmunt August II, specific denominations evolved: Calvinist with its first synod in Słomniki in 1554, prevailing among the nobility; Lutheran, predominating among burghers in the towns of Royal Prussia which was granted full freedom in 1557-1558 by the King; Bohemian Brethren who arrived in Poland in 1548 with their views on social issues too advanced for the times. They were the remnants of the Hussite branch of Taborites who ca 1456 organized their own separate congregations.

Once the Reformation took root in Poland, the Church hierarchy unleashed a strong campaign excommunicating many clergy and noblemen, condemning them to death and confiscating their property for heresy. Encyclicals from the Pope ordered the extirpation of heresy. The first martyr of the Counter Reformation was a priest, Nicholaus, rector of Kurów, who was starved to death in prison. The intentions of the Church were often thwarted by the refusal of a magistrate to carry out the decrees of the ecclesiastical tribunals. But many murders were committed clandestinely in convents. [6] The laws in Poland allowed for absolute jurisdiction of ecclesiastical courts over the inhabitants.

The nobility, horrified by the attempts of the clergy, openly questioned the extent of the bishops' authority at the Sejm of 1550. The Sejm decided that "no one but the monarch had the right to judge citizens [i.e., nobility], and to condemn them to any penalty whatsoever." During the elections to the Sejm in 1552, the nobility demanded abolishing the ecclesiastical jurisdiction altogether. Consequently the King issued a decree stating that the clergy would retain the right to issue condemnation of and judge heresy, but had no power to inflict civil or criminal penalties. Further, that the clergy could decide only matters of religion and that such decisions would have no consequence on civil or political life. Angered by this decision, the bishops, members of the Senate, left the hall. This thus established de jure freedom of conscience in Poland. Moreover the Sejm of 1556 enacted a law guaranteeing everyone the right to worship in one's house as one wished. These laws were reconfirmed subsequently in 1563 and in 1565. [7]

After the death of heirless King Zygmunt August II in 1572, the Polish throne became a target of machinations of foreign powers and the Catholic Church. The papal Nuncio Francesco Commendone was especially active in intrigue to install a Catholic candidate on the throne. At the Sejm of Convocation, the so-called Warsaw Confederation that met in Warsaw on January 6, 1573, the nobility, aware of the religious wars in Germany, were anxious to safeguard the guarantees of internal peace and equality of religious confessions based on the Treaty of Augsburg of 1555. They enacted the pax dissidentium on January 28, 1573, which contained the term dissidentes designating all groups, including Catholics, that differ in religion. Thus Protestants in Poland now gained not only freedom but also complete legal equality with the Catholic Church. However, even here a special stipulation guaranteed the nobles authority over their subjects in religious matters as well. Thus Catholics preserved their domination over the serfs and could prevent the spread of reform.

These Statutes were vehemently opposed by Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius, and all bishops except Franciszek Krasiński of Cracow, but they were approved by majority vote of both chambers of the Sejm and became fundamental law in Poland, the most liberal in Europe. But this law was censured and opposed vigorously by Rome. It was a product of Protestant philosophical thought and the Polish Catholic Church has never recognized it. [8] Prince Henri de Valois was elected the next King, but only after taking an oath in the Cathedral of Notre Dame on September 10, 1573, which included the support of religious liberty. [9] The Prince had to retake the oath at his coronation. The Warsaw Statutes of 1573 were reaffirmed every time a king swore to respect these so-called Henrician Articles and again by the senators and deputies to the Sejm in 1607, 1609, and in 1632.

 

The Development and Establishment of Antitrinitarianism

 

At the roots of Polish Antitrinitarianism are the theological ideas transplanted from Italy and social ideas borrowed initially from the Anabaptists and Moravian Brethren. Discussions at the meetings of the secret society of Catholic scholars in Cracow since 1546 included the works of Michael Servetus. In 1551 Leo Sozzini visited Poland and propagated similar doctrines. About the middle of the XVIth century a variety of Antitrinitarian sects emerged. They called themselves Christians or Brethren, hence Polish Brethren, also Minor Reformed Church. Their opponents labeled them after the old heresies as Sabellians, Samosatinians, Ebionites, Unitarians, and finally Arians. They were also known abroad as Socinians, after the Italian Faustus Socinus (Fausto Sozzini, nephew of Lelio Sozzini) who at the end of the XVIth century became a prominent figure in the Cracow congregation for systematizing the doctrines of the Polish Brethren.

Peter of Goniądz, (Peter Gonesius, Piotr Giezek z Goniądza), a Calvinist minister, is credited as being the founder of the group. He, like many Poles of his time studied abroad. In Wittenberg he abandoned Catholicism; in Switzerland and in Padua he was introduced by his professor Matteo Gribaldi to the writings of Michael Servetus and embraced the Italian Antitrinitarian doctrines, eventually himself becoming a professor of logic at Padua University. Upon returning to Poland he initially joined the Helvetian Church. At the Helvetian synod in Secemin, on January 24, 1556, he delivered a speech about his theological beliefs: a critique of the Athanasian credo and rejection of the Trinity as a human invention. At another Calvinist synod at Brest on December 15, 1558, he presented his complete doctrine including his treatise against the baptism of infants. This synod silenced him in order to avoid a schism, threatening him with excommunication. Peter, however, refused to obey, found many followers (e.g. John Kiszka, Hetman [Marshal] of Lithuania) and established an Antitrinitarian church with its own printing office, becoming a minister at Węgrów (in Podlasie). His social doctrines were borrowed from the Anabaptists whom he visited in Moravia. They were characterized by a pacifist attitude, belief in communal property and refusal to use arms or hold civil office.

The issue of the Trinity was subsequently hotly debated at the synods and soon several opinions about the meaning of the Trinity appeared. Several foreigners made contributions to the discussion. An Italian physician Giorgio Biandrata (1515-1588) became a superintendent of the Helvetian Churches in Poland. In 1563 he was forced to move to Transylvania as a physician of the prince, John Sigismundus Zapolya. After the prince's death he returned to Poland as physician to King Stefan Batory. One of the most prominent promoters of Antitrinitarianism was Italian Francesco Stancaro (1501-1574), first professor of Hebrew in Poland, who arrived in Poland in 1558 and launched a discussion against Calvinists claiming that their doctrine represented Christ as an inferior God. He proposed to solve the theological problem by assuming that the expiatory mediating work of Christ took place according to his human nature. Pierre Statorius, a Frenchman who arrived to Poland in 1559, became a naturalized citizen and assumed the name of Stoiński. He was the author of the first Polish grammar. Nobleman Oleśnicki in Pińczów converted a Roman Catholic parish into a Protestant one and the group published its Antitrinitarian confession in 1560 and in 1561.

After Biandrata left for Transylvania, Gregorius Pauli (Grzegorz Paweł) (born in Poland but not of Italian descent, d. 1591) became the leader of the movement. He rejected the Nicene creed, reduced Jesus to a human being and claimed that death does not separate the body from the soul, thus both will have common resurrection. The Antitrinitarian doctrines assigned to Christianity a human not divine origin thus threatening Catholic, Helvetian and Bohemian Churches. Calvinist synods at Pińczów (1561) and at Cracow (1562) admonished the Antitrinitarian reformers and rejected the doctrines of Biandrata, Lismanino, and Stancaro.

Both sides appealed to Italian minister and former general of the Capuchin Order (self exiled in Zürich), Bernardino Ochino (1487-1563), for mediation. [10] Ochino, however, did not take side and in a dialogue on the Trinity included in his book, Trenta Dialoghi, gave explanation of the Trinity based on the Augustinian interpretation. The Trinity remained for him a mystery but it was a necessary consequence of autodispiegamiento di Dio, or bonum diffusivum sui. To the second problem which was stirred by Stancaro's inquiry into the nature of Christ's atonement - human or divine, Ochino answered that there was no need for atonement since God does not become angry. Such a reaction of God would be incompatible with his impassibility and love. If the death of Jesus had any expiatory character, it was only because God consented to consider it as an act of expiation. But this was not the integral part of the salvation plan. And Christ came not in order to change God, but in order to change us. Such a theory found its final place in the Catechism of Raków published in 1605.

Catholics as well as Protestants were indignant at the influence of the Antitrinitarians and the agitation they caused. When King Zygmunt August II considered expelling them, Cardinal Hosius convinced him that this would amount to approval of the other sects. The King resolved the problem by issuing a decree in 1563 expelling all non-Catholic foreigners. The decree expressly excepted the Bohemian Brethren and since all other foreign groups were already well settled and naturalized, only the Italians were affected by this decree.

During the Calvinist synod at Piotrków in 1564, a final separation of the Antitrinitarians took place. Pauli presided over the congregation in Raków until his death in 1591. The Antitrinitarian synod at Węgrów on December 25, 1565, united 45 ministers who rejected the baptism of infants and agreed on the principal tenets of the faith formulated in the first catechism of 1574, Catechesis et confessio fidei coetus per Poloniam congregati in nomine Jesu Christi. The Antitrinitarian Church was spread over several congregations established under the protection of various noblemen. The main center that gained recognition was established by Nicholas Sienieński on his estate in Raków. Initially the group did not have any uniform religious system. At the Antitrinitarian synod at Skrzynna in 1567, several divisions were visible but all parties adopted a resolution maintaining an external union based on a unitarian doctrine. According to Stanislas Kot, the theological leader of the group who initially set the theological and social doctrines was a Dominican Greek monk, Jacob Palaeologus, who escaped from a convent in Rome and found refuge in Cracow. During the years 1571-1574 we find him in Kolozsvar (modern Cluj) in Transylvania. He accepted and propagated the theological unitarian doctrine but rejected the original utopian social ideas of Peter of Goniądz and Gregorius Pauli. He was eventually captured in Moravia in 1582 by order of the Hapsburgs and brought to Rome to be burned at the stake by the Catholic Inquisition in 1585. His manuscripts are kept in the Vatican library but are not available for study. His ideas are known from a collection of excerpts entitled: Contra Calvinum pro Serveto. He was opposed by a faction of Antitrinitarians who advocated the divinity of Jesus Christ. Among the opposition was Giorgio Biandrata who actually brought Italian Faustus Socinus to Transylvania from Basel in 1579.

Antitrinitarianism was developed eventually into a uniform religious system – the Antitrinitarian Church, by Faustus Socinus (1539-1604) who arrived in Poland in 1580 and established his influence during the Antitrinitarian synods of 1584 and 1588. He removed the differences among the various groups and codified the doctrines. He did not develop the final catechism, which was written by Valentinus Smalcius (1572-1622) and Hieronymus Moskorzowski (d. 1625) in 1605. For about twenty years Socinus was not admitted to the ecclesiastic community by the Polish Brethren as they did not agree with some of his tenets, e.g., he rejected the practice of baptism by immersion which was introduced by the Anabaptists, he overemphasized the role of Christ as the Son of God, and his social views were too radical. Finally in 1600 he was asked to come to Raków where he attained a position of high authority and provided the printing press with a stream of manuscripts. Since works were disseminated throughout the Western World, the Polish Brethren became known in the West as Socinians. Samuel Przypkowski wrote his biography. [11] Polish Antitrinitarianism reached its mature state in the beginning of the XVIIth century under the leadership of Jan Crell, Jonasz Szlichtyng, Samuel Przypkowski, Martin Ruarus, Andreas Wiszowaty, grandson of Socinus, Valentinus Smalcius, Johannes Völkel, Hieronymus Moskorzowski, et al.

In the Socinian theological system, revelation was accepted since human reason alone is deemed insufficient to work out salvation. Jesus was on earth a mortal man by the power of the Holy Ghost, and on that account he was the only begotten Son. He became God by his martyrdom and resurrection and as such he is to be worshipped. The Holy Ghost is a gift of God bestowed on the faithful. Christ was not the Logos by which all things were created but was the founder of a new religion, and by redeeming mankind he became the creator of a new world. However, he did not atone for the sins of mankind. He only showed the manner in which divine mercy was to be obtained. The social doctrines of Socinus, the doctrines of social passivity, were eventually rejected by the Antitrinitarian synods of 1596, 1597, 1598, and changed to active participation in society. They strongly defended social equality. Jan Ludwik Wolzogen (1599-1661), an Austrian baron who settled with the Polish Brethren in Gdańsk, wrote about serfdom: "I doubt, however, whether one may be a Christian and such a master as the Poles who hold serfs, not only because they load their serfs with excessive labor and do not set them free every seven years as God commanded, but also because they allow them no appeal from their masters, nor any refuge or right to complain of grievances." [12]

The most brilliant period for the Polish Brethren was between 1585 and 1638 with the center at Raków which won the honorable name of the Sarmatian Athens. They founded a world-renowned school in 1602. Its rector until 1621, Jan Crell, codified the ethical system of the Brethren. Their famous printing press filled Europe with treatises written in Polish, Latin, Dutch, and German. They were well praised and read by people like John Locke, John Stuart Mill, and Isaac Newton. They represented a small number but held high ethical values. The Polish Brethren lasted in Poland for about 100 years from the time when Peter of Goniądz delivered his credo at the Calvinist synod in Secemin on January 22, 1556, to the death of Samuel Przypkowski in 1670. But they made an outstanding contribution to Polish literature and had the most advanced and pioneering ideas in social, political, and religious fields. They left about 500 treatises largely unexplored and still waiting to be examined. They were inspired by a sincere application of original Christianity to personal, social and political relations. Their ideology was characterized from the beginning by:

1. propagating freedom of religious thought;

2. the principle of applying reason to the interpretation of the scriptures, the revelation, and theological matters in general;

3. absolute tolerance of all creeds;

4. the struggle for social equality among people.

At their first synod, the Polish Brethren settled the matter of freedom of conscience: "Everyone has the right not to do things which he feels to be contrary to the word of God. Moreover, all may write according to their conscience, if they do not offend anybody by it." [13] Protestant and Catholic reaction termed freedom of conscience and tolerance propagated by the Socinians as "that Socinian dogma, the most dangerous of the dogmas of the Socinian sect." [14]

 

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1. F. Ruffini quoted in Anson Phelps Stokes Church and State in the United States, introduction Ralph Henry Gabriel (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1950), Vol. 1, p. 115.

2. Stanislas Kot Socinianism in Poland. The Social and Political ideas of the Polish Antitrinitarians in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, translated from the Polish by Earl Morse Wilbur, (Beacon Hill, Boston: Starr King Press, 1957), p. 11. The first Polish edition in 1932.

3.Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski (1503-1572), one of the most prominent Polish philosophers, promulgated advanced ideas for the reformation of the Catholic Church which were the basis of demands submitted by the naďve King and the Sejm to Pope Paul IV in 1556. These demands were very modest: mass to be performed in the national language; communion to include bread and wine; marriage of priests; abolition of the Annates (a special Church tax for the crusades still in force); convocation of the national council for the reform of abuses in the Church and the union of the different sects. The honest King hoped to unite all Christians and establish a reformed Church, a hope shared by John Łaski (or John Alasco, 1499-1560). The Pope suspected the King of heresy, rejected all proposals and wrote orders to the King and the Sejm demanding restoration of absolute Church supremacy and abolishing all previously introduced laws of religious freedom. Moreover he threatened the King with excommunication. But alarmed, the Pope decided to deceive the King promising to convene the national synod and at the same time sent his Nuncio Aloysius Lippomano (1500-1559) to organize a conspiracy and combat any reforms. Łukasz Kurdybacha, Ideologia Frycza Modrzewskiego (Warsaw: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy), 1953; Valerian Krasinski Historical Sketch of the Rise, Progress, and Decline of the Reformation in Poland, and of the Influence which the Scriptural Doctrines have Exercised on That Country in Literary, Moral, and Political Aspects (London: Murray et al.), Vol 1, 1838, Vol. 2 1840. Vol. 1. p. 216 & ff.

4. For details on the early Antitrinitarianism see George Huntston Williams The Radical Reformation (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1962), pp. 615-669, 685-707, 733-763.

5.Michael Servetus (1511-1553), Spanish physician and theologian, during his stay in Italy became disappointed and distressed by papal pomp and its wordly domination. He moved to France, matriculated in medicine at Paris in 1538  and finally settled in Vienne under the protection of Archbishop Palmier as Dr. Villanovanus. He developed his own theological ideas and communicated them to the Italians who visited Europe, e.g. Lelio Sozzini, Bernardino Ochino, Matteo Gribaldi, Giorgio Blandrata. His major works: De Trinitate erroribus libri VII, Dialogorum de Trinitate libri II, Declaratio­nis Jesu Christi filii Dei libri V, Biblia sacra ex Santis Pagnini translatione, and Christianismi Restitutio. In the last work he also published his discovery of pulmonary circulation. Servetus attempted to separate church and state and return to the theological formulations of original Christianity. He was tried by the Inquisition in France, escaped from prison, but was seized again in Geneva and tried now as a "heretic" by John Calvin. He was condemned and burned alive at Champel on Oct. 27, 1553, for his denial of the Trinity, his belief in the celestial flesh of Christ, and rejection of infant baptism.

6.Krasinski, op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 177.

7.It is interesting that Stanislaus Orzechowski (1513-1566), a nobleman and priest, who oscillated between Protestantism and Catholicism, was the most instrumental in the enactment of these laws. He was a very colorful and talented character, but an opportunist without principles. His views on the popes and bishops were expounded in Repudium Romae. He denounced the  bishops as traitors of Poland since they were senators, and at the same time, took an oath of fidelity to the Roman See. Most bishops were devoid completely of patriotic feelings and protected only their wealth. One of the bishops is quoted as saying: "Let rather the whole kingdom perish than the treasury of the Church, being the heritage of the Pope and not of the king, should give one single penny to the wants of the public." Quoted in Krasinski, op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 196. In De primatu papae (1558) he wrote: "It is necessary to enact a law which would preserve to the clergy only their spiritual duties, and deprive them of political government. Let them baptize and preach, but not direct the affairs of the country. If, however, they risk to retain senatorial dignity, let them renounce the allegiance to Rome." Quoted in Krasinski, op. cit., Vol. 1, p. 197.

8. Jan  Sachs  (1641‑1671)  wrote in De Scopo reipublicae polonicae published  in 1665: "...though the clergy during the successive interregna made every effort and were ready to move hell to destroy the peace awarded to religious dissidents, thanks to God's grace, peace was preserved..." In Ogonowski, op. cit., part 1, p. 587.

9. These conditions are known as the Henrician Articles: Pacem inter dissidentes de religione tuebor, nec quenquam offendi opprimique causa religionis permittam. And Nec ullo modo vel iurisdictione nostra, vel officiorum nostrorum et statuum quorumvis authoritate quenquam affici, opprimique causa religionis permittam, nec ipse afficiam, nec opprimam.

10. Lismanino wrote to his friend expressing his wish that Ochino explain the views on the Trinity: "Vorrei che il chiarissimo Bernardino Ochino in breve ti spiegasse l'opinione degli scholastici circa la trinitŕ e l'unitŕ di Dio; e dovresti domandargli anche se la dottrina promulgata dagli scrittori del nostro tempo č conforme, o no, alla dottrina degli antichi ortodossi e a quella degli scholastici." In Roland H. Bainton Bernardino Ochino Esule e Riformatore Senense de Cinquecento 1487-1563. Versione del manoscritto Inglese di Elio Gianturco (Firenze: G.C. Sansoni - Editore, 1940). p. 158.

11. Samuelis Przipcovius Vita Fausti Socini Senensis, Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum, (Eleuthropoli: 1692), Vol. 9, pp. 417-425.

12. In Stanislas Kot, op. cit., p. 175.

13. In Stanislas Kot, op. cit., p. XXII.

14. Jurieu, Protestant professor of theology at Rotterdam, cited by H. John McLachlan Socinianism in Seventeenth-Century England, (Oxford: Oxford Uni­versity Press, 1951), p. 9. Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet (1627-1704), bishop of Meaux, called the universal tolerance "cette théologie de l'impiété des sociniens." Oeuvres Complčtes de Bossuet, ed. F. Lachat (Paris: Librairie de Louis Vivčs, 1862-1863), Vol. XVI, p. 151.

 

About the author: 

Marian Hillar, M.D., Ph.D., earned his degrees at the University Medical School of Danzig and studied at the Jagiellonian University and at Sorbonne. He did research and taught in Europe at the University Medical School of Danzig and Universitŕ degli studi di Camerino, and in the USA at Baylor College of Medicine and Ponce School of Medicine. He is currently professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Philosophy and Socinian Studies. He is a contributing editor and frequently publishes in the Humanist cultural and philosophical monthly published in Warsaw Bez Dogmatu (Without Dogma). He has written four books and published 110 papers and abstracts. He has several discoveries in the biochemical sciences. His other specialties are modern and classical languages and history of philosophy and religions. His studies were focused on the ancient Greek philosophy, moral issues in religion and philosophy, and the development of religions. He wrote on the theory of ethics of Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant, on the Liberation Theology, and on Aristotelian psychology. He is a world expert on the development and ideas of the Socinian movement in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the precursor of the Enlightenment and American democracy. He is listed in "Who's Who In Theology and Science" and is active in the Humanist movement serving as an editor of a yearly anthology of essays in philosophy published by the Humanists of Houston.

 


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