Unitarianism


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Unitarianism,

in general, the form of Christianity that denies the doctrine of the TrinityTrinity
[Lat.,=threefoldness], fundamental doctrine in Christianity, by which God is considered as existing in three persons. While the doctrine is not explicitly taught in the New Testament, early Christian communities testified to a perception that Jesus was God in the flesh;
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, believing that God exists only in one person. While there were previous antitrinitarian movements in the early Christian Church, like Arianism and Monarchianism, modern Unitarianism originated in the period of the Protestant Reformation. In Geneva, Michael 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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 was burned at the stake (1553) for his antitrinitarian views. Under 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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 a strong center of Unitarian belief developed in Poland. In Transylvania, Francis Dávid laid the foundation (c.1560) for the Unitarian Church there. In the 17th and 18th cent. Socinian ideas took root in England, especially under the influence of John BiddleBiddle, John,
1615–62, founder of English Unitarianism. From his examination of the Scriptures he lost belief in the doctrine of the Trinity and stated his conclusions in Twelve Arguments Drawn Out of Scripture.
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, called the father of English Unitarianism. The development of a separate Unitarian body came about gradually through the efforts of such men as Joseph Priestley and Thomas Belsham. Originally a scripturally oriented movement, in the mid-19th cent. Unitarianism became a religion of reason under the leadership of James Martineau in England and Ralph Waldo Emerson and Theodore Parker in the United States. Reason and conscience were considered the only guides to religious truth; complete religious toleration, innate human goodness, and universal salvation were preached. Unitarianism took hold in the liberal wing of the Congregational churches of New England. At King's Chapel, Boston, in 1785, trinitarian doctrines were removed from the liturgy. In 1796, Priestley, who had fled to America to escape persecution, established a Unitarian church in Philadelphia. Liberal Congregationalists in New England gradually formed themselves into a new denomination, to which the name Unitarian was given (c.1815) by their conservative opponents. The final separation from Congregationalism was hastened by the choice of Henry WareWare, Henry,
1764–1845, American clergyman, instrumental in the founding of Unitarianism in the United States, b. Sherborn, Mass., grad. Harvard, 1785. As pastor (1787–1805) of the First Church, Hingham, Mass., he became known for his liberal inclinations.
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 (1764–1845), a liberal, as Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard in 1805 and by the ordination sermon defending the liberals preached (1819) by William Ellery ChanningChanning, William Ellery,
1780–1842, American Unitarian minister and author, b. Newport, R.I. At 23 he was ordained minister of the Federal St. Congregational Church in Boston, where he served until his death.
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 in Baltimore. Channing's statement of Unitarian beliefs became the platform of the denomination. The American Unitarian Association was formed in 1825, and in 1865 a national conference was organized. A congregational form of government prevails in the Unitarian churches, each congregation having control of its own affairs. Neither ministers nor members are required to make profession of any particular doctrine, and no creed has been adopted by the church. The covenant in general use is simply, "In the love of truth, and in the spirit of Jesus, we unite for worship of God and the service of man." In 1961 the Universalist Church of America merged with the American Unitarian Association to form the Unitarian Universalist AssociationUnitarian Universalist Association,
Protestant church in the United States formed in 1961 by the merger of the American Unitarian Association (see Unitarianism) and the Universalist Church of America.
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.

Bibliography

See J. F. Clarke, Manual of Unitarian Belief (20th ed. rev. 1924); D. W. Howe, The Unitarian Conscience (1970); S. E. Almstrom and J. S. Carey, ed., An American Reformation: A Documentary History of Unitarian Christianity (1984); D. Robinson, The Unitarians and the Universalists (1985).

References in periodicals archive ?
Mann explains that "Superstition" refers both to the Church of England and to atheistic materialism as extremes standing on either side of the true religion of Unitarianism, which is founded equally on reason and revelation.
Members of each group now identified with counterparts in the other, as the early partnership between Reform Judaism and Unitarianism had generated a surprisingly cordial relationship between traditionalist Jews and leading Protestants.
ancient heresy, and rationalism, Unitarianism informed the lives of the
Following Jerome McGann's influential study of 1983 and the work of historicist critics such as Marjorie Levinson and Alan Liu, many readers of romantic poetry have seen this rejection of the particular in favor of the universal as a defining moment of "Romantic Ideology," the celebration of the private, internal, and ideal and, conversely, the repression of the public, external, and material.(9) The paradigm of the romantic poet is thus shaped by the disinterested aesthetic judgment of Kant's third critique, and Coleridge's growth away from his early associationism, Unitarianism, and radicalism comes to represent the triumph of romantic ideology over the material interests and political particularities of late-eighteenth-century life.
Wherever or whenever that binary opposition occurs in his work, he resolves the argument, always unambiguously, in favour of federalism, recommending it forcefully and repeatedly to Nigeria as 'ona' and always pointing at unitarianism as what - 'igbo'.
As the nineteenth century progressed, the question of conversion was increasingly shaped by the blurry boundaries between radical Reform Judaism and liberal Christianity, especially Episcopalianism and Unitarianism.
Broadly speaking, Qur'an teaches Tauheed (Unitarianism) and stresses on the rights and privileges of people linking them with God and achievable through noble deeds.
Bulleh Shah was initiated in the Shattari Qadri order of Sufis who believed in syncretism in a bold, composite and inclusive sense, combining the Krishna cult with Islamic Unitarianism. Dara Shikoh belonged to that dissenting group of Sufism which sought synthesis.
'In contrast to unitarianism, federalism is not just delegation of powers but equitable distribution of the powers of government between the federal government and the governments of the constituent regions.'
'The antidote is federalism because the essence of federalism is non-concentration of powers, in contrast to unitarianism,' he said.

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