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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DA069-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved November 28, 2021, from

Article Summary

Socinianism was both the name for a sixteenth- and seventeenth-century theological movement which was a forerunner of modern unitarianism, and, much less precisely, a polemic term of abuse suggesting positions in common with that ‘heretical’ movement. Socinianism was explicitly undogmatic but centred on disbelief in the Trinity, original sin, the satisfaction, and the natural immortality of the soul. Some Socinians were materialists. Socinians focused on moralism and Christ’s prophetic role; the elevation of reason in interpreting Scripture against creeds, traditions and church authority; and support for religious toleration. The term was used polemically against many theorists, including Hugo Grotius, William Chillingworth, the Latitudinarians, and John Locke, who emphasized free will, moralism, the role and capacity of reason, and that Christianity included only a very few fundamental doctrines necessary for salvation.

Citing this article:
Marshall, John. Socinianism, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DA069-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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