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Related to Socinians: Socinus, Faustus Socinus, Fausto Sozzini



representatives of the rationalist current in the later Polish Reformation, from the late 16th century to the first half of the 17th century.

The Socinians are named for one of their founders, the Italian F. Socinus (1539-1604), who emigrated to Poland in 1579. They gradually rose to predominance among the Polish Brethren, a religious community that was founded in 1569 in Rakow and that subsequently became the hub of Socinian activity. In the 1620’s, during the ascendancy of Socinianism, the Socinian school—the Academy—established here in 1602 attracted hundreds of students from many countries.

The fundamental beliefs of Socinianism were systematized by Socinus, J. L. Wolzogen, J. Crell, S. Przypkowski, J. Szlichtyng, and A. Wiszowaty. The Socinians, like all the Polish Brethren, were antitrinitarian in that they rejected the Trinity, regarding Christ not as god but as a man endowed with divine attributes—that is, the Socinians to some extent revived the early Christian heresy of Arianism. They also denied the doctrine of original sin. Unlike the early Polish Brethren, the Socinians were religious rationalists, recognizing the authority of the Holy Scriptures only “insofar as they do not contradict man’s reason.” They defended the principle of religious toleration and advocated freedom of conscience. They made a substantial contribution to the development of philosophical-religious thought. Some Socinians were in effect covert deists.

The Socinians devoted a great deal of attention to education and enlightenment and propagated the natural sciences and mathematics of their time. Their ideology, though rationalist and therefore philosophically progressive, was regressive in a socioeconomic sense, at least by comparison with the ideology of the radical plebeian current of Grzegorz Pawel- of Brzeziny, M. Czechowic, and other Polish Brethren of the 1560’s and 1570’s; that is, the Socinians represented the conserva- tive-szlachta wing of the Polish Brethren.

In 1658, with the onset of the Catholic reaction, the Sejm passed a resolution banishing the Socinians from the Rzeczpospolita (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). The Socinians emigrated mainly to Holland; there and elsewhere Socinianism gradually lost its identity among the other currents of Protestantism.


Pol’skie mysliteli epokhi Vozrozhdeniia. Moscow, 1960.
Ogonowski, Z. Socynianizmpolski. Warsaw, 1960.
References in periodicals archive ?
At a moment when Milton advocates tolerance for the many Protestant sects abounding in Restoration England, Milton identifies the importance of his understanding of satisfaction in Christ's atonement on the cross by marking his continuing disagreement with the Socinian position on atonement: "their other Opinions are of less Moment.
Locke specifically argued for toleration of Mennonites, Baptists, and Remonstrants, saying, "And if others are allowed assemblies, solemn meetings, celebrations of feast days, sermons, and public worship, all these should with equal right be allowed to Remonstrants, Anti-remonstrants, Lutherans, Anabaptists [that is, Mennonites and Baptists], or Socinians." Additionally, in the Postscriptum, Locke adds a general definition of the words "heresy" and "schism" to support the Remonstrant claim that they were neither heretical nor schismatic.
In 1695, the philosopher John Locke, a devout man of Puritan stock and a likely Socinian sympathizer, acknowledged that Islam came from the same root as Christianity.
(12.) Socinianism, the Unitarian theology of which Priestley became the champion during the early 1780s, stressed the complete humanity of Christ; Socinians believed in his divine mission but not in his divine nature.
Notwithstanding his "catholic spirit", Wesley, we are reminded, "refused his hand to Arians, semi-Arians, Socinians and Deists, for their heart was not right with his heart" (p.
As Adams put it in a letter to Jefferson: "Roman Catholics, English Episcopalians, Scotch and American Presbyterians, Methodists, Moravians, Anababtists [sic], German Lutherans, German Calvinists, Universalitists, Arians, Priestlyians, Socinians, Independents, Congregationalists, Horse Protestants and House Protestants, Deists and Atheists and Protestants qui ne croyent rien [who believe nothing] are ...
Since most eighteenth century British theologians were busy defending the faith against its detractors (free-thinkers atheists, Deists, and Socinians) and occasionally against each other, the study of their concepts, arguments and strategies in preparation for the upcoming apologetic task seems advantageous.
To effect the balance, he will throw Presbyterians into the scales - "and if this is not sufficient, we can add Independents, Anabaptists, Socinians, and what not, to make a dead weight upon occasion" and deny "the Prince a Prerogative" (p.
It was a group known under various names as the Polish Brethren, anti-Trinitarians, Arians, Unitarians, or abroad as Socinians that contributed most in this respect.
Brine's commitment to divine sovereignty and unconditional election led him to insist that "Justification from Eternity" was a clear "scriptural doctrine," thereby denying the belief in justification by faith as put forth by "the Arminians and Socinians." (39) For Brine, the source of justification--the entry point to a believers' church--was "Christ's righteousness alone" known to and willed by the Father and the Son from before the foundation of the world, and actualized in Christ's own death and resurrection.
These included the Great Tew group, Socinians, French Epicureans, English Quakers, and others.
Smith argues that Milton's foregrounding of the Son's role in the creation of the world supports his association with the English Socinians, an anti-Trinitarian sect, especially because God the Father and God the Son are distinctly different characters in the poem.

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