Socinus, Laelius

Socinus, Laelius

(lē`lēəs sōsī`nəs) or

Lelio Sozzini

(lā`lyō), 1525–62, Italian religious reformer. After becoming interested in Protestantism, Socinus left Italy in 1544 for the Swiss cantons to escape the newly established Inquisition. He had been attracted by the writings of Martin LutherLuther, Martin,
1483–1546, German leader of the Protestant Reformation, b. Eisleben, Saxony, of a family of small, but free, landholders. Early Life and Spiritual Crisis

Luther was educated at the cathedral school at Eisenach and at the Univ.
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, and during his wide travels he met many leaders of the Reformation. In Switzerland, Heinrich BullingerBullinger, Heinrich
, 1504–75, Swiss Protestant reformer. After the death of Ulrich Zwingli in 1531, Bullinger became pastor of the principal church in Zürich and a leader of the reformed party in Switzerland.
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 became his good friend. John CalvinCalvin, John,
1509–64, French Protestant theologian of the Reformation, b. Noyon, Picardy. Early Life

Calvin early prepared for an ecclesiastical career; from 1523 to 1528 he studied in Paris.
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, however, suspected Socinus of doctrinal differences, and to allay these suspicions Socinus signed a confession of faith in 1555. However, there seems reason to believe that the burning of the anti-Trinitarian ServetusServetus, Michael
, 1511–53, Spanish theologian and physician. His name in Spanish was Miguel Serveto. In his early years he came in contact with some of the leading reformers in Germany and Switzerland—Johannes Oecolampadius, Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Fabricius Capito,
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 in 1553 and Socinus's friendship with Bernardino OchinoOchino, Bernardino
, 1487–1564, Italian religious reformer. Ochino was a Capuchin friar, a popular preacher, and vicar general of the Capuchins in 1538 and 1541. Influenced by Juan de Valdés and his circle in Naples, Ochino turned to belief in justification by faith
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 had led him to entertain private anti-Trinitarian views. The writings of Socinus, left to his nephew Faustus SocinusSocinus, Faustus
or Fausto Sozzini
, 1539–1604, Italian religious reformer, founder of Socinianism. Socinus left the Roman Catholic Church when, influenced by the writings of his uncle, Laelius Socinus, he came to deny the Trinity and other traditional doctrines.
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, were used in the development of SocinianismSocinianism
, anti-Trinitarian religious movement organized in Poland in the 16th cent. by Faustus Socinus. Antecedents of the movement were such Italian humanist reformers as Bernardino Ochino, Georgio Blandrata, and Laelius Socinus, who fled to Poland from persecution first in
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.
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