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socinians denied Christ's deity and existence before his birth as a man, holding, however, that his birth was miraculous and that he possessed divine qualities. Used, particularly in the 17th and 18th cents. as a term of abuse against any suspected of unorthodox views of the trinity, it in fact describes a stage of unitarianism and underlines its international development, deriving from the Italians Lelio Sozzini (Socinus) and his nephew Fausto. The former (1525–62), developing protestant views c.1546, and received by Melanchthon and Calvin, was challenged in Geneva about the Trinity, but settled undisturbed in Zurich. His nephew (1539–1604), who published a denial of Christ's deity in 1562, lived in Poland from 1579, where the minor (reformed) church encapsulated his views in the Racovian catechism (1605).

Clyde Binfield

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