Pooh’s Think

… with comments

Dr. Nick Gier on Ancient Muslim Violence & Servetus

All From Vision 2020 today:

Here’s the advertisement on Ancient Muslim Non-Violence:


I will be giving a sermon version of my paper “From Mongols to Mughals: Religious Violence in 9th-18th Century India” at the Unitarian Universalist Church tomorrow at 9:30 and 11:00. The church is located at Second and Van Buren in Moscow.

The research I did for this was eye opening. As I have said on this list several times before, Islam took root in India and Indonesia primarily by peaceful missionary efforts rather than mililatry conquest. In fact, those places were the Muslims tried to force conversion correspond almost exactly to those places where the fewest Indian Muslims live today.

We are an open and welcoming noncreedal congregation.

Nick Gier

And here’s an interesting account of John Calvin and Servetus:


As we have seen from a recent post, there are some in the Kirk who wish to exonerate John Calvin from any association with Unitarian Michael Servetus’ martyrdom in 1553. All that he did, according to this revisionist history, is testify about Servetus’ heresy at his trial.

The fact is that Calvin had been gunning for Servetus ever since Servetus had refused to show up for a debate in Paris. After the publication of his book “On the Errors of the Trinity,” Servetus had taken on an assumed name and had done wonders working as a doctor. (Servetus discovered pulmonary circulation before Harvey did.) Calvin discovered his disguise and turned him in to French authorities, but they initially failed to act. When they finally did, Servetus managed to escape.

Here is a direct quote from a letter that Calvin sent to Jerome Bolsec: “Servetus desires to come hither [to Geneva], on my invitation; but I will not plight my faith to him; for I have determined, did he come, that I would never suffer him to go away alive.”

Appearing to have a death wish, Servetus did go through Geneva on his way to Italy. Only Calvin knew his face, and he happened to be a church in Geneva where Servetus had stopped to pray.

No one else in Geneva would have recognized him, and no one else in the world wanted Servetus dead more than John Calvin. As the highest theological authority in Geneva, Calvin made sure that Servetus did not leave Geneva alive.

Those interested in my own debate on the Trinity with the Kirk can read the entire exchange at http://www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/trinity.htm. Happily, there have been no burnings at the stake in Friendship Square–not yet anyway!

Nick Gier, Proud Unitarian,
but friend to many good Trinitarians without a Serrated Edge


November 27, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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