Michael Servetus

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Related to Michael Servetus: William Harvey
Michael Servetus
BirthplaceVillanueva de Sijena, Kingdom of Aragon in Spain
Theologian, Physician, Cartographer, Translator
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Servetus, Michael


(Miguel Serveto). Born 1509 or 1511; died Oct. 27, 1553, in Geneva. Spanish thinker, physician, and scholar.

Servetus studied mathematics, geography, law, and medicine in Zaragoza, Toulouse, and Paris. He published Ptolemy’s Geography with commentaries. He discovered the pulmonary circulation of the blood.

Servetus sharply criticized the Christian dogma of the trinity from the standpoint of pantheism. He rejected the doctrines of predestination and “salvation by faith,” criticized the papacy, and engaged in sharp polemics on theological questions with Calvin. He was persecuted by both the Catholics and the Cal-vinists. Servetus expounded his views on philosophy and natural science in The Restoration of Christianity (Restitutio Christianismi), published anonymously in 1553.

Denounced by Calvin, Servetus was arrested by the Inquisition in 1553 in Vienne (Dauphiné). He managed to escape, but on his way to Italy he was seized in Geneva and accused of heresy by the Calvinists. After refusing to renounce his views, he was burned to death. In 1903 the Calvinist church erected a monument in his honor in Geneva.


Budrin, E. M. Servet i ego vremia. Kazan, 1878.
Mikhailovskii, V. Servet i Kal’vin. Moscow, 1883.
Autour de M. Servet et de S. Castellion: Recueil publié, sous la dir. de B. Becker. Haarlem, 1953.
Bainton, R. H. Hunted Heretic: The Life and Death of M. Servetus, 1511–1553. Boston. 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Michael Servetus and Giordano Bruno each became ensnared in controversies over the meaning of the Bible.
For a brief discussion of Servetus's theological views see: Jerome Friedmann, "Michael Servetus: Advocate of Total Heresy," in Profiles of Radical Performers, ed.
Castellio's Concerning Heretics, occasioned in 1553 by the author's revulsion at the burning of the heretic Michael Servetus earlier that year in Geneva, argued passionately against the notion of heresy and persecution, and proposed that toleration was beneficial to a society.
In 1553, the physician Michael Servetus, who discovered the pulmonary circulation of blood, was burned alive in John Calvin's Geneva for doubting the Trinity.
In what has been called |the sixteenth century's most courageous and most noble plea for tolerance' Castellio protested when dissenter Michael Servetus was burned at the stake in 1553 by John Calvin.
Dibb (theology, Academy of the New Church Theological School) looks to theologians Michael Servetus (1509-53) and Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) to explain who the God is that Christian worship, why they understand him to be the God they think he is, and how they know that their own personal and denominational interpretation of the Bible is accurate and true.
Michael Servetus: Intellectual Giant, Humanist, and Martyr.
As for the Unitarian Michael Servetus, executed in Calvin's Geneva, Old asserts but that his "errors" were as "detestable" to Protestants in the seventeenth century as they were in the sixteenth century (422).
I pray the ways of Jesus Christ will overcome the philosophies of John Calvin (the man who sanctioned the killing of Michael Servetus by burning but, in the end, settled instead for his beheading).
Saturday at Michael Servetus Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4505 E.
1553 Michael Servetus burned at stake by John Calvin for founding Unitarianism