By Michael Servetus. Translated by Christopher A. Hoffman and Marian Hillar. Notes by Marian Hillar. With a preface by Alicia McNary Forsey.
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Title:Michael Servetus een Spangiard Amsterdam, Shelfmark: JZ Around his waist were tied a large bundle of manuscript and a thick octavo printed book. These were the last words of Michael Servetus, physician and theologian, condemned to death in after being branded a heretic. Servetus was born in in Tudela, Spain. From a young age he developed radical ideas concerning key Christian doctrines. He set out on a path as an intrepid reformer of the Christian faith, making more enemies than friends in the process.
At the mere age of nineteen he was publically accused of heresy after publishing On the Errors of the Trinity The title speaks for itself. Calvin: From an Original Engraving by C. With the Spanish Inquisition now on his tail, he fled to France where he took a new name; Michael Villanovanus. For the next twenty years he lived under this new name largely without detection, moving around France but spending most of his time in Paris followed by Lyons.
He became a physician and, for the most part, his life was quiet, aside from being placed on trial for heresy in Paris in On this occasion it was due to his views on astrology. Servetus, however, succeeded in talking his way out of prosecution by drawing on the works of Plato, Aristotle, Hippocrates and Galen in his defence with great aplomb. Nonetheless, his reputation was again tarnished and he was removed from his position as lecturer, moving to practice medicine in Lyons as a result.
Years later, Servetus, seemingly discontented with state of the reformation of Christianity, once again began to express his views on the matter freely. He opened a correspondence with Calvin, sending him manuscripts that would later become part of Christianismi Restitutio.
The two men had reportedly arranged to meet around this time but it is of no surprise that Servetus did not appear. He was arrested in Vienne but escaped. His effigy was then burned along with five hundred copies of the book. After escaping his initial arrest in Vienne, Servetus was captured some three months later in Geneva as he made his way to Italy.
For some reason he had attended a church service on a Sunday where he was recognised and reported to Calvin. The tactic of hiding in plain sight had failed him. The way in which Servetus was treated by both the member of the church and the Inquistion was condemned by many religious worshippers of the day and arguably bolstered the growth of Unitarian beliefs. He will be remembered as having been utterly fearless in his beliefs. The University of Edinburgh copy is of particular interest because the first sixteen pages have been removed.
The sixteen pages have been reconstructed in manuscript style, possibly under the instruction of Calvin himself. Michael Servetus : humanist and martyr. Your email address will not be published. Leave this field empty. Home About Us. Mar 30 Leave a comment. Chrisitanissmi Restitutio, f.
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It rejected the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and the concept of predestination , which had both been considered fundamental to Christianity since the time of St. Servetus argued that God condemns no one who does not condemn himself through thought, word or deed. It also contained, incidentally and by way of illustration, groundbreaking views on pulmonary circulation based on the discoveries of Arab Muslim physician Ibn Al Nafis , that challenged the incorrect teachings of Galen. After sending an early draft of Christianismi Restitutio to the theologian John Calvin , Servetus was arrested by the Inquisition in Vienne , but he managed to escape from imprisonment. However, he was later captured in Geneva and found guilty of spreading heresies. On October 27, , he was burned at the stake in Geneva. Servetus' discussion of the pulmonary circulation in Christianismi Restitutio in the middle of the 16th century is often falsely recognized as the most accurate and complete description at that time.