SERVETUS, Michael (Miguel) (1511-1553)

Michael Servetus was a Spanish physician who questioned the Trinity and believed that God is unitary. In Geneva while in flight from persecution in Italy, Servetus was captured and, on orders of John Calvin,* burned at the stake for heresy.
Servetus trained as a physician in Paris, though his many activities included studying theology and being a jurist. During his many travels throughout Eu­rope, Servetus met many religious reformers in Germany and Switzerland. These contacts fueled Servetus's own theological questionings, the result of which was his book De trinitatis erroribus (On the Errors of the Trinity, 1531). This book sparked much expected criticism from both Roman Catholics and Protestants. By questioning the Trinity, Servetus immediately brought upon himself the spec­ter of being a heretic. In 1540 Servetus became the first person to describe the pulmonary transit of blood. In 1553 he returned to his theological pursuits and published his main work, Chrisitianismi restitutio (Restitution of Christianity, 1553). Although the book was published under the pseudonym Michel de Vil­leneuve, it was common knowledge that Servetus was the actual author. Servetus was quickly condemned from all sides for his Antitrinitarian heresies, and in 1553 he was arrested in Geneva and, on orders of John Calvin, burned at the stake for his heretical views.
Servetus is cited as a founding figure within Unitarianism. Although Servetus did not himself establish Unitarianism as a separate sect, Unitarians have largely accepted his criticisms of the Trinity. Moreover, Unitariansm continue to accept a diversity of religious views, and they do so largely because they believe that Servetus was wrongly executed for questioning the dogmas of the day. Unitar­ians, Quakers, and others within the tradition of free, liberal religions find in Servetus a source of inspiration.
Bibliography
R. Bainton, Hunted Heretic: The Life and Death of Michael Servetus, 1511-1553, 1953.
Jeffrey A. Bell

Renaissance and Reformation 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary. . 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Servetus,Michael — Ser·ve·tus (sər vēʹtəs), Michael. Originally Miguel Serveto. 1511 1553. Spanish born theologian and physician who described the circulation of blood. His denial of the doctrine of the Trinity led to his execution for heresy. * * * …   Universalium

  • Servetus, Michael — orig. Miguel Servet born 1511?, Villanueva or Tudela, Spain died Oct. 27, 1553, Champel, Switz. Spanish physician and theologian. His views alienated both Roman Catholics and Protestants, beginning with the publication of his first book, De… …   Universalium

  • Miguel Servet — Michael Servetus (eigentlich Miguel Serveto y Reves; * 1511 in Villanueva de Sigena (Huesca); † 27. Oktober 1553 in Genf) war ein spanischer Arzt, Gelehrter, Humanist, Theologe, Freidenker und Antitrinitarier. Er wird häufig auch als Servet… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Miguel Serveto — Michael Servetus (eigentlich Miguel Serveto y Reves; * 1511 in Villanueva de Sigena (Huesca); † 27. Oktober 1553 in Genf) war ein spanischer Arzt, Gelehrter, Humanist, Theologe, Freidenker und Antitrinitarier. Er wird häufig auch als Servet… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Michael Servet — Michael Servetus (eigentlich Miguel Serveto y Reves; * 1511 in Villanueva de Sigena (Huesca); † 27. Oktober 1553 in Genf) war ein spanischer Arzt, Gelehrter, Humanist, Theologe, Freidenker und Antitrinitarier. Er wird häufig auch als Servet… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Servetus — Michael Servetus (eigentlich Miguel Serveto y Reves; * 1511 in Villanueva de Sigena (Huesca); † 27. Oktober 1553 in Genf) war ein spanischer Arzt, Gelehrter, Humanist, Theologe, Freidenker und Antitrinitarier. Er wird häufig auch als Servet… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Michael Servetus — Michael Servet: Stich aus den 17. Jahrhundert Michael Servetus auch Michel Servet (eigentlich Miguel Serveto y Reves; * 1511 in Villanueva de Sigena (Huesca) in Aragón; † 27. Oktober 1553 in Genf; hingerichtet) war ein spanischer Arzt, Gelehrter …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Michael Servetus — Not to be confused with Servatius (disambiguation). Michael Servetus Era Renaissance Born 29 September 1511(1511 09 29) …   Wikipedia

  • Miguel Servet de Villanueva de Aragon — Michel Servet Michel Servet (Miguel Servet y Reves en espagnol), né le 29 septembre 1511 en Aragon et exécuté le 27 octobre 1553 à Genève, est un théologien et médecin d origine espagnole qui découvrit la façon dont le sang passe dans les poumons …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Servetus — biographical name Michael 1511? 1553 Spanish Miguel Serveto Spanish theologian & physician …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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