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Servetus, Michael (1511-1553)
Servetus, or Miguel Serveto, was a Christian theologian. He was born
in Spain, studied at Saragossa, Toulouse, and Paris. He turned from medicine,
which he practiced intermittently during his life. During his travels he
met Bucer and possibly other Anabaptist
leaders. In this connection his theological interest led him to produce
De Trinitatis Erroribus (1531, On the Erroneous Understanding of
the Trinity), in which he argued that the Son and Holy
Spirit are modes through which God manifests himself in creation, redemption,
and sanctification, and that the Trinity is not composed of "persons."
He reiterated these arguments in his Christianisimi Restitutio (1546,
The Restoration of Christianity), by which time he also argued against predestination
and infant baptism. Initially he was arrested by the Inquisition, then when
escaping to Geneva by the Protestants. He was convicted and burnt to death.
His death provoked debate concerning tolerance. A.G.H.
Bowker, John. ed. The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions.
New York. Oxford University Press. 1997. p. 877