The Religion & Culture Web Forum
by Michael Allen Gillespie (Duke University)
In the sixteenth century, the anti-Trinitarian thinker Michael Servetus was "hated and hunted by Catholics and Protestants alike, forced to live in disguise ... until he was finally betrayed, imprisoned, tried, and slowly burned to death." Nonetheless, Michael Allen Gillespie argues, "it was the anti-Trinitarianism that he defended that ultimately provided the answer to the intolerance and fanaticism at the heart of the Reformation conflict." Servetus' thought, "transmuted and transmitted by Italian humanists to Transylvania and Poland ... came to play a decisive role in the development of a more liberal outlook in Holland, Britain, and America. ... Michael Servetus was the unacknowledged father or at least forefather of liberalism."
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