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Published in Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, eds, D. R. Finch and M. Hillar, Vol. 10, 2002, pp. 31-56.

Marian Hillar


Castellio versus Calvin

   Opposition to the death of Servetus executed in Geneva on October 27, 1553, by the decree of the Geneva Council which was instigated by Calvin himself, was extended from Switzerland to Lithuania and from Germany to Italy.  Of all the men who took the side of Servetus, not with his doctrine but with the concept of freedom of religion and conscience and with the idea that it was not right to kill people because they err in doctrinal interpretation, nobody was more influential and effective than Sebastian Castellio.  He was the first one who developed a concept of freedom of conscience and thus deserves a place with Servetus in the annals of Western history. Perhaps some of Castellio's opposition was due to his personal experience with Calvin's autocratic methods. Nevertheless Castellio's influence continued even after he himself was forgotten. 

   The idea of punishing "heretics" was so pervasive in the society that it did not occur even to most thinking Protestants that the whole concept of repression of thought was evil and against the spirit, and the letter, of the gospels. No Protestant religious leader was against the punishment of heretics in general.  Very few people among the clergy or laymen opposed the death penalty for heretics and the opponents were mostly against the abuse and indiscriminate use of such a punishment. They fell into the same trap of contradictions that Calvin did.  Even Sebastian Castellio, recognized champion of rational tolerance and a precursor of the French Revolution and the Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme, could not avoid these contradictions. Only later did he develop, through the experience of the fraternal religious war in France, the concept of mutual toleration and freedom of conscience based on a rational, humanistic and natural moral principle. The trap of contradictions and theocratic mentality were so pervading that even in the eighteenth century Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote in 1762 in his Contrat social, that in the future ideal state, one who did not believe in the religious truths decreed by the legislature should be banished from the state or even, one who, after having recognized them, would cease to believe should be punished by death.[i]

   In defense of his position vis-à-vis Servetus and prescribing killing of the so called heretics, Calvin published in February of 1554 his treatise entitled  Defensio orthodoxae fidei de sacra Trinitate (Defense of the orthodox faith in the sacred Trinity). In this treatise Calvin defined his doctrine of the persecution for divergence from his or approved doctrines. A month after the publication of Calvin's Defensio there appeared in Basel an anonymous, eloquent pamphlet against intolerance entitled De haereticis, an sint persequend, etc. (Gregorium Rausche, Magdeburg, 1554, mense Martio) (Whether heretics should be persecuted).[ii]  A few weeks later there appeared a French translation of this treatise entitled Tracté des hérétiques, a savoir, si on les doit persecuter, etc. This treatise was later translated into German and Dutch (1620, 1663). The publisher of the work was a wealthy Italian refugee, Bernardino Bonifazio, the Marquis d'Oria; Johannes Oporinus was the printer, well known in Basel.[iii] The book contained extracts promoting toleration taken from the writings of some twenty five Christian writers, ancient and modern, including Luther and Calvin himself. The preface was signed by a Martinus Bellius. An important part of the book was the dedication of the work to Duke Christoph of Württemberg, also by Martinus Bellius, and a refutation by a Basil Monfort of the reasons usually given for the persecution. De Bèze, close collaborator of Calvin and later his successor, who was teaching at Lausanne, recognized Basel under the Magdeburg cover and suspected it was Castellio who wrote under the alias of Bellius. As other authors of the book he suspected Laelius Socinus and Celio Secondo Curione (Latinized name Coelius Secundus Curio).[iv] They may in some way have collaborated in the work, but it was demonstrated that Castellio, disguised as "Bellius," "Monfort," and as "Georg Kleinberg" was the actual author of the work. 

Castellio, Scholar and Thinker

   Among the early Antitrinitarians, Castellio occupies a very special place.  He was born in 1515 at Saint-Martin-du-Fresne, (or Châtillon-les-Dombes) the village of Bresse in Dauphiné, 35 miles from Geneva. His native French name was Châteillon, Châtillon, or Châtaillon, and under the Savoy rule Castelione or Castiglione, but because of his often-forced change of residence and polemics with foreigners, his name was written in various forms: Castalión, Castallón, Castellión. The most frequently used name, however, is the Latinized version, Castellio. His name was almost forgotten during the following centuries and his work that could have greatly influenced the movement for religious freedom remained silenced. Only in the nineteenth century his figure was brought out from oblivion by a monograph published by Ferdinand Buisson.[v]  Castellio's enemies took care to prevent the spread of his ideas and his sympathizers were paralyzed by fear and persecution.

   He was educated at the University of Lyon where he learned Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. At home he learned Italian and later also German. His education was indeed very vast so that he was recognized by humanists and theologians as the most learned man of his epoch. After establishing himself as a classical scholar he found interest in the disputes and problems of the day. After all, in everyday life there were more disputes about the church and religious ideals than about Aristotle or Plato. Moreover, these problems had their immediate repercussions on the social and political life which were structured on religious doctrines. Like many before and after him, young Castellio watched with horror, the burning of the "heretics" at Lyon. He was deeply shaken by the immorality and cruelty of the Catholic Inquisition and by the supreme courage and conviction of the victims. New ideas of the Reformation spreading since 1517 offered a glimpse of hope for change so he decided to fight for the new doctrine of liberty. In a society where religious doctrines are used by the state to actively repress freedom of thought, he had three options: he could become a martyr by openly resisting the reign of terror; he could hide behind the pretense of scholarship concealing or disguising his private opinions; or he could seek refuge in a country where freedom would be permitted, at least to a degree, and he could write and continue to fight for his cause.

   Castellio left Lyon in 1540 and went to Strassburg where he adopted the reformed religion. The force attracting him to Strassburg was the growing reputation of Calvin as a reformer and champion of freedom, who was exiled there at this time. Calvin was the famed author of the Institutio christianae religionis in which he challenged King François I to introduce religious toleration and freedom of belief. Castellio remained in Strassburg for a week in a student hostel organized by Calvin's wife and made a great impression on Calvin.  After Calvin was recalled to Geneva in 1541, he offered Castellio the position of teacher and rector at the newly organized academy of Geneva. He was also commissioned as a preacher at a church in Vandoeuvres, a suburb of Geneva.

   As an exercise for teaching Latin, Castellio reworked the Old and New Testament into a dialogue in Latin and French. This small book was widely read throughout Europe and had about forty seven editions.[vi] At the same time Castellio undertook the more ambitious task of translating the entire Bible into French and Latin. He found, however, resistance among the printers in Geneva to produce the first part of his Latin translation. No printer would do it in Geneva without express approval of Calvin. Calvin's reaction when Castellio called on him was negative. He had already authorized another French translation for which he wrote a preface and felt threatened by the independent mind of Castellio. In a letter to Viret, he wrote: "Just listen to Sebastian's preposterous scheme, which makes me smile and at the same time angers me. Three days ago he called on me, to ask permission for the publication of his translation of the New Testament."[vii]  Calvin refused permission unless he reviewed the translation and made corrections he deemed appropriate. In the Geneva theocracy Calvin's opinions were infallible and final.  Castellio, though independently minded, never claimed infallibility.  He wrote in the preface to his later published translation that his translation is not without flaws as he himself could not understand many passages in the scripture and that the reader should use his own judgment.[viii]  He was, however, ready to profit from Calvin's advice and offered to read his manuscript to and discuss it with Calvin. Calvin sensed in Castellio an independent spirit who would not bend to his commands and decided to drive Castellio away from Geneva. He did not have to wait long for the occasion.

Finding his salary insufficient to support his family, Castellio sought a position of pastor, the experience for which he already had at Vandoeuvres.  He made a formal application and was unanimously accepted by the Council on December 15, 1543. Calvin, as could be expected, entered a protest without reason. He wrote later to Farel:  "There are important reasons against this appointment. To the Council I merely hinted of these reasons, without expressing them openly. At the same time to avert erroneous suspicion, I was careful to make no attack on his reputation, being desirous to protect him." Calvin intended to create an atmosphere of ambiguity and suspicion around Castellio. He never confronted his opponent in the open or on an equal footing.

   The reason Calvin stated for his treatment of Castellio was ostensibly a difference in the interpretations of two passages from the scripture:  Castellio could not accept the Song of Solomon as a sacred text, but only as a profane poem, a sort of love poem, devoid of a metaphorical allusion to the church; and Castellio had a different explanation of Christ's descent into hell. For Calvin there was no room for any interpretative deviation, independent thought or refusal of his supremacy. However, Castellio treasured freedom of conscience for which he was ready to pay any price so that in the end he was not admitted to the ministry.  He was called before the Council and charged by Calvin with "undermining the prestige of the clergy."

   The Council was highly reluctant and unwilling to charge one of its most respected and valued citizens so Castellio was only censored and his duties as a preacher were suspended until a further decision could be made.  Castellio in turn asked the Council to be dismissed from his duties and left Geneva for Basel disappointed and resentful against Calvin and his clergy.  Before he left, however, in order to avoid any misunderstanding that he lost his office for misconduct he asked for a written statement about the affair, which Calvin reluctantly signed:

That no one may form a false idea of the reasons for the departure of Sebastian Castellio, we all declare that he has voluntarily resigned his position as rector of the college, and until now performed his duties in such a way that we regarded him worthy to become one of our preachers.  If in the end, the affair was not thus arranged, this is not because any fault has been found in Castellio's conduct, but merely for the reasons previously indicated.[ix]

These reasons were, as mentioned before a minor difference in interpretation of the scripture.

   Calvin initially pretended to take a patronizing attitude toward Castellio, but when Castellio continued speaking out about Calvin's totalitarianism, Calvin changed his tone. The man once worthy of the office of pastor became a "beast."  Castellio had to endure hardship and extreme poverty because he was ostracized as someone who opposed the most powerful reformer. He spent about eight years trying to support his family as a proofreader at the printing houses of Oporin in Basel, a translator and manual laborer.  Finally he became a lecturer on Greek at the University.

  From a historical perspective of Servetus' sacrifice ten years later, the flight of Castellio from Geneva is completely justified.  All his free time he devoted to his opus magnum – the translation of the Bible from the original languages into Latin and French. He hoped to make it accessible to educated people by rendering the Bible into Latin and to the common people by translating it into the French vernacular.  His contribution to France was similar to that of Luther to Germany.  In 1553 he became professor of Greek at the University of Basel and was popular among the students. De Bèze and Calvin, however, pressed the University authorities to regard him as a dangerous enemy of religion. In 1561 they almost succeeded and he contemplated seeking refuge in Poland.  The persecution he suffered affected his health and he died in 1563 at the age of 48.  He was buried in the tomb of the illustrious Grynaeus family of Münster. His enemies filled with hate and fanaticism exhumed his body and dispersed the ashes. Three young Polish noblemen, his students, erected a commemorative monument in the Münster cathedral. The monument was later damaged accidentally. Only the epitaph is preserved today.

   In the National Library in Paris there are two volumes preserved of Castellio's manuscripts. Volume 1 contains: Veritatis impedimentis; De Praedestinatione; De Justificatione; De Haereticis.  The second volume contains a work entitled Michael Servetus whose first chapter is an extract from De Trinitatis erroribus, and two folios on the baptism of infants.

Whether Heretics Should be Persecuted?


   The Reformation which brought new ideas and independent thinking was met with furious repression from the church. Physical force was used to suppress it through the instrument of the civil authority. The Counter-Reformation, guided by the Inquisition, committed atrocities in Spain and France, massacres in the Vaudois valleys, and mass executions in the Low Countries. The early reformers suffered too much to be willing to approve these methods, so even Luther and Calvin at first condemned them. The Anabaptists represented a special target for persecution by both Catholics and Protestants since they were a political threat. The case of Servetus became, however, a test of their sincerity which they failed by approving of his death.

   There was, however, a small minority of thinking people that stood on the principle that no one should be persecuted for his religious conviction and that conscience should not be subject to force. Before publication of Castellio's De Haereticis an sint persequendi (1554) and of Calvin's Defensio, Castellio attached to his Latin translation of the Bible of 1551 a preface with a dedication to Edward VI, the young Protestant king of England. It is considered the first manifesto in favor of toleration.  Castellio wrote in his preface that religions make slow progress – people engage in endless disputes, condemn those who differ and pretend to do it in the name of Christ. Yet Christians are inclined to tolerate the Turks and the Jews. This was in contrast to what Calvin wrote in 1548 urging the Duke of Somerset to an opposite policy against the enemies of the Reformation: that those who contribute to the confusion or those who remain obstinately attached to the superstitions of the Antichrist of Rome deserve to be repressed by the sword.

  Castellio's French translation of the Bible was published in Basel in 1555 and was dedicated to King Henri de Valois II of France. The dedication is dated January 1, 1555, but the preface was written in 1553, and was circulated in manuscript form.[x]  Castellio indicates to the king that the world is troubled by great disturbances in the question of religion. There are so many contrary judgments and good and evil are so confused in the matter of religion that to disentangle the differences "there is danger lest the wheat be rooted out with the tares."  He writes that the world made so many mistakes putting the prophets, the apostles, thousands of martyrs and even the Son of God to death under the banner of religion, and he urges:  "An account must be given for all this blood by those who have been striking at random in the night of darkness .... Believe me, your Majesty, the world today is neither better nor wiser nor more enlightened than formerly." 

   The dedication in De Haereticis addressed to the Duke Christoph of Württemberg is in itself a short treatise in defense of toleration.[xi]  Castellio begins with a story which is modeled on the situation of the biblical Jesus: Suppose that the Duke announced a visit to his subjects at an unspecified time and ordered them to put on a white garment, whenever he should arrive. Upon arrival of the Duke, the subjects ignored donning the white garment, but instead started quarrelling about the person of the Duke:  some would say he is in Spain, some in France; some would say he would arrive on a horse, others in a chariot, etc. But the controversy would go so far that they would stab and kill each other, all in the name of the Duke. Then Castellio asks the Duke whether or not he would consider this conduct, which describes the actual situation in the Christian world, as deserving punishment.

   After such an introduction Castellio proceeds to describe the world in which people spend their lives "in every manner of sin" and dispute not about the manner by which they may achieve their heavenly reward, but about the "state and office of Christ" – the theoretical, theological issues (e.g., the Trinity, predestination, free will, the nature of God, of angels, the state of souls after life, etc.) which are absolutely not necessary for salvation. All this knowledge and false knowledge, he says, leads only to pride, cruelty, persecution, imprisonment, stakes and gallows, because no one wants to tolerate a differing opinion. All sects condemn each other and claim the truth for themselves only. If someone, however, tries to prepare "the white robe" by living justly, all others who differ with him in any opinion decry him as a heretic and ascribe to him unheard of crimes. But they commit a still higher offense when they justify their conduct according to the wish and in the name of Christ. At the same time they have no scruples against all moral offenses – so they have everything à rebours: "they hate good and love evil." These differences in opinion concerning articles of religion such as the question of baptism or any other have no relevance to moral conduct.  Castellio admonishes Christians to look into their own souls and examine themselves, to search their own conscience and restrain themselves from the condemnation of others. But on the contrary, says Castellio, we see reigning a license of judgment and wrongful shedding of blood: "I mean the blood of those who are called heretics, which name has become today so infamous, detestable, and horrible that there is no quicker way to dispose of an enemy than to accuse him of heresy. The mere word stimulates such horror that when it is pronounced men shut their ears to the victim's defense, and furiously persecute not merely the man himself, but also those who dare to open their mouth on his behalf; by which rage it has come to pass that many have been destroyed before their cause was really understood."

   Castellio, though a Renaissance man, was not yet a man of the Enlightenment who would return to the humanistic, natural moral ancient principles. He still admits that he "hated heretics."  His quarrel is with the method of punishment and the arbitrary designation of who is a "heretic." He sees two dangers associated with designating someone a heretic: 1. The wrong man may be accused as happened with Jesus and is still worse in the situation today; 2. The other is that the heretic may be punished "more severely or in a manner other than required by Christian discipline." He mentions that in the ancient times Christians wrote against the pagans. Since he does not say anything about their persecution by Christians we have to assume that Castellio approved the persecution of pagans as just. But Christians started persecuting Christians once they themselves were no longer threatened and if someone's "conduct were irreproachable they would cavil at his doctrine of which the common man could not judge so easily as of conduct." So the work of Castellio is a collection of opinions of various people, especially contemporary, about persecution.      He warns that many have changed their views:  "for often it happens that when men first embrace the Gospel they think and judge well of religion so long as they are poor and afflicted, because poverty and affliction are peculiarly capable of the truth of Christ, who was himself poor and afflicted. But these same men, when elevated to riches and power, degenerate, and those who before defended Christ, now defend Mars and convert true religion into force and violence."

   Castellio next praises the Duke and his advisor John Brenz. The Duke took a tolerant position with respect to heretics and even submitted to the Council of Trent on January 24, 1552, his own confession which was written by John Brenz.  If others would have done as the Duke, says Castellio, "we should not have seen so many fires, so many swords dripping with the blood of the innocent .... O princes, open your eyes and make not so cheap the blood of men that you shed it thus lightly, especially for the sake of religion."

   Castellio thinks it is necessary to explain who the heretics are in accordance with the word of God, in order to better understand how they should be treated.  In the time of Paul this term did not have such a connotation as it has today.  Only today they are considered worse than the avaricious or hypocrites, or the scurrilous or flatterers. But, he says, "Today no one is put to death for avarice, hypocrisy, scurrility, or flattery, of which it is often easy to judge, but for heresy, which it is not so simple to judge, yet so many are executed." After a careful examination Castellio discovers that "we regard those as heretics with whom we disagree." And this is evidenced by the fact that there are many sects and each of them considers the others heretics.  One can be orthodox in one city or region and held as heretic in another.

Who is a heretic?

   Next Castellio looks to the Bible for the definition of who the "heretic" is and finds the term used once in the Epistle of Paul to Titus (3:10, 11) in the form of a hereticos anthropos (= a divisive man) who discusses and "fights about the law" [obviously Mosaic].  Paul advises to have nothing to do with such people after two admonitions, as they are sinful and self-condemned. The same, according to Castellio, is the advice given by Christ in Matt. 18:15-17.  (However, this last passage talks about the sinning of one church member against another and not about theological disputes.)  Nevertheless, if the one who was the offender does not listen to the whole congregation then he should be shunned. Castellio concludes that "The heretic is an obstinate man who does not obey after due admonition." Thus heretic = obstinate man and Castellio uses these terms interchangeably.

   He then differentiates between two kinds of heretics:  those who are obstinate in their moral conduct and the other, properly called heretics, who are "obstinate in spiritual matters and in doctrine." There is no controversy about the judgment of moral matters because the Christians and the infidels agree on them – we all "have the law written in our hearts" (Rom. 2:15 with slight modification). In matters of religion, he writes, all agree only that there is one God, those who deny him are infidels and atheists and are deservedly to be abhorred. "And just as the Turks disagree with the Christians as to the person of Christ, and the Jews with both the Turks and the Christians, and the one condemns the other and holds him for a heretic, so Christians disagree with Christians on many points with regard to the teaching of Christ, and condemn one another and hold each other for heretics." The reason for these dissensions is ignorance of the truth.

   So what is the solution?  Castellio advises mutual toleration and persuasion and not condemnation as a method of convincing others about our truth:  "Let us who are Christians not condemn one another, but, if we are wiser than they are, let us also be better and more merciful." Castellio's principle of toleration is based on being merciful toward those who do not know the truth. In this respect he deviates from the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas. He advises further mutual love and peace in disagreement with one another on matters of faith.  But when Christians strive to hate and persecute each other they inspire the heathen with detestation for the gospel:

We degenerate into Turks and Jews rather than convert them into Christians. Who would wish to be a Christian, when he sees that those who confessed the name of Christ were destroyed by Christians themselves with fire, water and the sword without mercy and were more cruelly treated than brigands and murderers?  Who would not think Christ a Moloch, or some such god, if he wished that men should be immolated to him and burned alive?  Who would wish to serve Christ on condition that a difference of opinion on a controversial point with those in authority be punished by burning alive at the command of Christ himself more cruelly than in the bull of Phalaris, even though from the midst of the flames he should call with a loud voice upon Christ, and should cry out that he believed in Him? Imagine Christ, the judge of all, present.  Imagine Him pronouncing the sentence and applying the torch.  Who would not hold Christ for Satan?  What more could Satan do than burn those who call upon the name of Christ? O Creator and King of the world, dost Thou see these things? Art Thou become so changed, so cruel, so contrary to Thyself? When Thou wast on earth none was more mild, more clement, more patient of injury.  As a sheep before the shearer Thou wast dumb. When scourged, spat upon, mocked, crowned with thorns, and crucified shamefully among thieves, Thou didst pray for them who did thee this wrong.  Art Thou now so changed? I beg Thee in the name of Thy Father, dost Thou now command that those who do not understand Thy precepts as the mighty demand, be drowned in water, cut with lashes to the entrails, sprinkled with salt, dismembered by the sword, burned at a slow fire, and otherwise tortured in every manner and as long as possible?  Dost Thou, O Christ, command and approve of these things? Are they Thy vicars who make these sacrifices?  Art Thou present when they summon Thee and dost Thou eat human flesh? If Thou, Christ, dost these things or if Thou commandest that they be done, what has Thou left for the devil?  Dost Thou the very same things as Satan? O blasphemies and shameful audacity of men, who dare to attribute to Christ that which they do by the command and at the instigation of Satan!

These words do not need a commentary. They are the most passionate, the truest and the most bitter accusations of the whole post-Nicaean Christianity as could ever have been written.

Reaction from De Bèze

  The significance of the challenge by Castellio did not go unnoticed. Castellio together with other liberal Christians differentiated among the postulates of the faith certain fundamentals, essential beliefs and other matters that could be interpreted in different ways allowing certain flexibility. The goal was to eliminate as many as possible of these religious assertions from the sphere of controversy and constraint. Théodore de Bèze was outraged at the list of non-essentials suggested by Castellio and complained that if one allows freedom of religious thought, nothing would be left of the Christian doctrine. What was left of the Christian religion – the doctrines of the role of Christ, the Trinity, the Lord's Supper, baptism, justification, free will, the state of souls after death – were either useless or at least not necessary for salvation. Moreover, no one would be condemned as a heretic. He decided to defend Calvin in a work De haereticis a civili magistratu puniendis libellus etc. (On the punishemnt of heretics by the civil magistrate) (Geneva 1554).  The book was later translated into French by Nicolas Colladon. De Bèze felt that Servetus was "of all men that have ever lived the most wicked and blasphemous," and those who condemned his death were "emissaries of Satan." The burning of a heretic he compared to the killing of a wolf. He condemned liberty of conscience for which Castellio was pleading, as a "diabolical doctrine," arguing that, on historical and scriptural grounds, heretics are to be punished by the civil magistrate and in extreme cases to be put to death. The chief aim of society, according to him, is to maintain religion. Belief is central to salvation and society must defend itself from blasphemy which leads souls to eternal death. Thus de Bèze only supported those Catholics who in their policy of exterminating the Protestants reached a culminating point in the St. Bartholomew's day massacre in France.[xii]

Against the Book of Calvin which Calls for Coercion of Heretics by the Sword

   Only a small minority opposed these views. Among them were those who escaped persecution in Italy and France and now were disillusioned that a Protestant Inquisition was threatening to replace the Catholic one. Calvin saw in Castellio a beast as poisonous as he was wild and stubborn. In turn Castellio responded to Calvin's Defensio with Contra libellum Calvini in quo ostendere conatur haereticos jure gladii coercendos esse (Against the book of Calvin which calls for coercion of heretics by the sword).  Appended to this was a brief Historia de morte Serveti (On the death of Servetus).[xiii]  The book was circulated in anonymous manuscripts, but the authorship was established by the discovery of the last sheet of the unpublished original manuscript in Castellio's hand in the Library at the University of Basel.  Calvin suspected Martin Cellarius, professor of the Old Testament at the University of Basel as the author of the book.[xiv] All three pamphlets are recognized by scholars as written by Castellio.[xv] The book was first published in 1612 in Holland as part of the struggle for toleration by the Arminians or Remonstrants (from the name of its leader Dutch theologian, Jacobus Arminius, 1560-1609) against the Calvinists in Holland. It had on its front page a typographical error suggesting the date as either 1562 or 1612, though it was actually written in 1554. This publication appeared in 1612 apparently to counteract the Dutch translation of de Bèze's De Haereticis published in 1601. The author states that he is not a disciple of Servetus and does not defend the doctrine of Servetus, but attacks Calvinists and Calvin, describing him as bloodthirsty.  The book was written in the form of a dialogue/commentary between a Calvinus and Vaticanus.  Vaticanus speaks:

To kill a man is not to protect a doctrine, but it is to kill a man.  When the Genevans killed Servetus, they did not defend a doctrine, they killed a man. To protect a doctrine is not the magistrate's affair (what has the sword to do with doctrine?) but the teacher's. But it is the magistrate's affair to protect the teacher, as it is to protect the farmer and the smith, and the physician and others against injury. Thus if Servetus had wished to kill Calvin, the magistrate would properly have defended Calvin. But when Servetus fought with reasons and writings, he should have been repulsed by reasons and writings.[xvi]

Castellio replies to Calvin's assumption that God put the sword in the hand of the magistrate to defend the doctrine:

Paul calls sound doctrine that which renders men sound, i.e., endowed with charity, unfeigned faith and a good conscience; but unsound, that which renders them meddlesome, quarrelsome, insolent, ungodly, unholy, profane, murderers of fathers, etc. (1 Tim. 1:5,9), and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.  But they observe the law, for they take for sound those who agree with them about Baptism, about the Supper, about Predestination, etc. Such men, though they be covetous, envious, slanderers, hypocrites, liars, buffoons, usurers, and whatever else opposed to sound doctrine, are easily endured, nor is anyone killed for men's vices, unless one has committed murder or theft or some atrocious crime of this sort, or has displeased the preachers, for this with them is just like a sin against the Holy Spirit, as is now said in a proverb everywhere common. But if one disagrees with them about Baptism, or the Supper, Justification, faith, etc., he is a Heretic, he is a Devil, he must be opposed by all men on land and sea, as an eternal enemy of the Church, and a wicked destroyer of sound doctrine, even though his life be otherwise blameless, yea gentle, patient, kind, merciful, generous, and indeed religious and god-fearing, so that in his conduct neither friends nor enemies have anything to complain of.  All these virtues and this innocence of life (which Paul did not think it unseemly to approve in himself) cannot with them protect a man from being regarded as wicked and blasphemous, if he disagrees with them in any point of religion.[xvii]

   Castellio, because of his position of toleration, was justly heralded by his supporters in modern times as the precursor of Pierre Bayle and Voltaire who would reclaim "this toleration or rather this freedom of conscience" later.[xviii]  It was emphasized that he used modern arguments and was the first "who established the true principles of religious tolerance and freedom of conscience."[xix]  But he was not completely free of the intolerance that marked the Christianity of his era. He based his skepticism on the obscurity of the Bible: "One has to understand that there are many difficulties in the Bible, some are related to the words, some to the sense and still others to both."[xx]  And further he adds: "When I write that I do not understand a certain passage or other, I do not want, however, to give the impression that I understand well all the others ...."[xxi] Castellio continues stating that all sects base their doctrines on the word of God and declare that their religion is the only true one. So did Calvin who declared that others were in error. Calvin wanted to be the judge as do the leaders of other sects. Castellio believed that the intention and secret counsel of God are revealed only to "the believers, humble, devout, believing in God and illuminated by the Holy Spirit."[xxii] Castellio relied on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for revelation of the profound sense of the scripture and this inspiration is for him fused with the conscience.[xxiii] But he admits two fundamental and obligatory confessions of belief:  belief in God and in Jesus Christ, the Savior. He is indifferent to other religious doctrines and consequently tolerant with respect to the doctrines he does not admit as necessary for salvation. Thus he does not reject the concept of the "heretic." Castellio makes a digression in the text of his Contra libellum after paragraph 129 entitled "Who is a heretic and how should he be treated." He differentiates here, as did Calvin, three types of sects:  pious, impious and middle. The class of the impious is not different from the same class differentiated by Calvin: "The impious are the contemptors of God, blasphemers, enemies and mockers of all religion, who do not believe the Holy Scripture any more than the profane writings; they are avaricious men, licentious, and great sectarians of voluptuosity. The majority of them are apostates who at first believed the Gospel and then became atheists."  For comparison this was the description of the third class of heretics by Calvin:  "But since there are those who attempt to undermine religion at its foundations, and who profess execrable blasphemies against God and by impious and poisonous dogmas they drag the soul to ruin, in sum – those who attempt to revolt the public from the unique God and his doctrine, it is necessary to have a recourse to the extreme measure in order to prevent further spreading of the mortal poison. Such a rule which Moses received from the mouth of God he himself had followed faithfully."[xxiv]

   Now, in an attempt to deal with heretics Castellio falls into the same trap of contradictions as Calvin did:  "It is easy to judge which sect is the best from its fruits:  it is the one whose members believe in Christ, obey him and imitate his life, regardless of their name – Papists, Lutherans, Zwinglians, Anabaptists or any other. For the truth is not founded in the name but in the acts."  So far so good – one has to judge people by their action. However, having said this Castellio continues:  "But if they deny God, if they blaspheme, if they overtly speak ill of the holy doctrine of the Christians, if they detest the holy life of the pious, I abandon them to the magistrates for punishment not because of their religion, which they do not have, but because of their irreligion."  This is exactly the same position as Calvin's. The difference between Calvin and Castellio, however, is in the definition of the true religion, hence; those who for Calvin are "heretics", are not "heretics" for Castellio.  For Castellio wrote:  "Calvin described for us such a monster [i.e., Calvin's definition of a "heretic"] which I would be far from willing to defend and agree that they should rightly perish who openly teach abandonment of the unique God.  But I do not believe that such are those who dissent with Calvin and whom Calvin holds as heretics. For instance, there are many Zwinglians, Lutherans, Anabaptists, and Papists who differ in most important matters, but who venerate one God and teach that He should be venerated.  Moreover, I do not believe that even Servetus himself (whom Calvin has wanted to describe here as such) belonged to them."[xxv]  Thus in principle Castellio  agrees with Calvin that if the heretic acts as described by Calvin, he should be punished by death.

Response of Castellio and Coornhert to De Bèze treatise

   Though Castellio's book, Contra libellum Calvini was published only in 1612 in Holland as a reply to the Dutch translation of de Bèze's De haereticis it was generally assumed until 1938 that Castellio was refuted by de Bèze without reply.  In 1938 a Dutch professor Bruno Becker discovered in the library of the Remonstrant community in Rotterdam two manuscripts – one in Latin and one in French.[xxvi]  The title in Latin corresponded to that of the title of the treatise by de Bèze:  De haereticis a civili magistratu non puniendis, pro Martini Bellii farragine, adversus Theodori Bezae libellus.  Authore Basilio Montfortio (On Non Punishing of the Heretics by the Civil Magistrate).[xxvii]  It was written by Castellio (finished in March 11, 1555) under the pseudonym of Basilius Montfortius – thus de Bèze was indeed refuted by Castellio. The book repeats most of the previous arguments and its principal thesis is that the magistrate has no right to punish heretics.

   Castellio, however, is more explicit on the limitations of toleration. The magistrate can punish transgressions against the natural religion which is imprinted in all men. For the first time Castellio uses here the term "natural religion."  "If someone denies the existence of God, his power and his goodness, as well as the obligation to adore him, if someone blasphemes God openly, we are far from preventing the magistrate to punish such a man. For he sins against the natural law (la loi de nature) which by the visible things teaches all peoples about the eternal power and divinity of God. Such people should then be punished not because of their religion, for they do not have any, but because of their irreligion." The same attitude takes Castellio against the apostates:  "If a Christian would renounce the confession of faith, if he would reject entirely the Bible and teach his error to others – I would not protest should the magistrate punish such a man." The treatise ends with a conclusion in which Castellio prophetically warns the Calvinists and the Swiss churches, because they are the authors of the Servetus sentence: 

You see clearly what is the mood in the present times. Princes are eager to shed blood under any pretext more than you would wish for them to do. In Italy, in France, in Germany, in Spain, and in England blood of God-fearing people is diligently shed under the name of 'heretics.'  Those in Locarno, your brothers and neighbors are banished against your wish. Among you (and here I take as witness your own conscience) reigns enmity, hatred and dissension secret as well as manifest. Between you and the Lutherans there is major discord.  Among yourselves, charity is decreased which you do not deny.  You see with your own eyes how from one day to another your religion and your work is crumbling. Your magistrates do not love you any more, and among themselves they complain because of your audacity and malice which you use against your adversaries.  People hate you too. You set yourselves one against the other.  All the time you are in quarrel and debate. You are more eager to harm each other than to offer help and support. Briefly, your entire edifice is in ruin. And you have the audacity in these times to publish your law ordering to put to death the heretics? Oh people deprived of any sense, consider a little the prudence of a physician and learn from it your lesson.

   How prophetic were these words when during the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 the Catholic church used the arguments of de Bèze and Calvin against the Calvinists in France.[xxviii]    

    There is also another refutation of the de Bèze treatise written in 1590 independently of Castellio's response. It was written in Holland by a Dutch Catholic, Thierry Coornhert Procès contre le supplice des hérétiques et contre la contrainte de la conscience (Tractate against the Torment of Heretics and Coercion of Conscience).[xxix]  Coornhert knew very well the works of Castellio – he translated three of them into Dutch. Like Castellio he believed in "the truth all-powerful and always triumphant."  And Castellio did not doubt in the victory of the truth:  "And you want to subdue the truth by your eloquence?  Don't you know that God himself surpasses the sages in their wisdom?  Don't you know that the cunning of those who used it before you is now by the light of God put into the open? Climb to the tops of mountains and try to prevent the day from breaking out – it will break out anyway.  Your finesse will be uncovered by the light of the truth .... No calumny, no eloquence, no prudence, shortly no power or force will protect you from being exposed as you have exposed others."

Advice to France

   In October of 1562 Castellio wrote another book, Conseil à la France  désolée. Auquel est monstré la cause de la guerre présente, et le remède qui y pourrait estre mis; et principalement est avisé si on doit forcer les consciences (Advise to France etc),[xxx] in defense of tolerance and freedom of conscience. After the death of Henri II in 1559, the government of France showed some tendency toward reconciliation, but from the time of the regency of Catherine de Médécis who was influenced by the chancellor, Michel de l'Hopital, France entered a period of a fraternal religious war.  Castellio addressed all warring parties, Catholics on the one side and Evangelicals on the other, in order to bring them to peace. Conseil is his most mature and personal work in which he develops the principle of tolerance and freedom of conscience based on a rational, humanistic and naturalistic principle of morals.

   In Conseil at first Castellio deplores the current state of France torn by fraternal religious war and describes as the general cause of this "disease" the constraint of conscience. The conflict was triggered by three important historical events listed by Castellio: the conspiracy of Amboise, the Edict of January 1562, and the Massacre of Wassy.

   The conspiracy of Amboise was a reaction of Protestant nobility to the bloody persecution during the reign of Henri II. It was an attempt to prevent the new king,  François II, who was influenced by the Catholic side, from repeating the same atrocities. The attempt failed and almost all of the conspirators were massacred by hanging from the balconies of the château in Amboise.

   The Edict of January 1562 allowed a small measure of tolerance by allowing some religious Protestant services outside the towns and private practice in the families. These concessions were not recognized by the Catholic party which unleashed an armed reaction forcing the Protestants to arm themselves.

   An incident occurring in Wassy is considered the trigger for starting the fraternal war. On March 1, 1562, Duke François de Guise, accompanied by an armed escort traveled through the small village of Wassy in Champagne and spotted a small Protestant group attending a service in a barn led by their pastor. The soldiers of the duke broke into the barn and massacred all of the of men and women.  As a reaction to this event hostilities erupted in several places in France.  Atrocities were committed by both parties, Catholic and Protestant.  Protestants suffered for a long time at the hands of Catholics and Catholics were exasperated by the growth in number of and the vandalism committed by the iconoclastic Protestants.

   Castellio's book was a passionate and personal resonse to this madness, a pacifist manifesto.  Castellio tries to be objective and, in order not to insult any party, avoids terms like Papists or Huguenots.  Next he indicates to both parties the false remedy to the problem they are using in the form of war. Addressing each of the parties Castellio reminds the Catholics how they treated the Evangelicals: "You have pursued and imprisoned them and left them to be consumed by lice and to rot in foul dungeons in hideous darkness and the shadow of death, and then you have roasted them alive at a slow fire to prolong their torture."  Their "crime" was that they did not believe in the pope, Mass, purgatory and other things which are not found in the scripture.  Castellio appeals to their rational and humanistic moral sense asking,  "Would you wish this be done unto you?" and indicates to them that they will have to answer for their cruelty on the judgment day.  Addressing the Evangelicals, Castellio points out how they changed – after suffering persecution and enduring it with patience they became aggressive and took to arms. They even "force brothers to take arms against brothers and those of their own religion contrary to conscience." They employ the same means as their enemies: they shed blood, they force conscience and they condemn as infidels those who do not agree with their doctrine. Thus they do to others what they would not have done unto themselves.

   Next, Castellio exhorts both sides putting forward his arguments for freedom of conscience based on reason and humanistic moral principles. To be sure, he quotes the scripture,  especially the natural, humanistic moral rule of Tobit (4:15). To support his thesis Castellio presents an analysis of the scripture and finds no indication there for the constraint of conscience, except for the Law of Moses which had no application to Christians and which was applied under very restricted conditions. Constraint of conscience produces many abominable results:  by killing others, Christians become murderers; they make their souls perish:  "De telle mesure que vous mesuré, il vous sera remesuré;" they scandalize all true Christians; they discredit in the eyes of the Turks and Jews the name of Jesus and his doctrine – the Jews and Turks see only carnage, blood and war; they produce only enmity, rancor and violence among Christians; being a Christian should be a voluntary act -- forced Christians are not good Christians.  As an example of an erroneous use of force Castellio cites the fate of Zwingli, who was successful in evangelizing as long as he used words, when he took up arms he lost the central cantons in Switzerland to the Catholics and he himself fell at the battle of Kappel with Emperor Charles V on October 11, 1531. 

   As the only solution to the problem and as a prevention of perpetual wars, fraternal extermination and the destruction of France, Castellio proposes that both religions be free and be allowed to flourish. He makes reference to a little book Exhortation aux princes et seigneurs du conseil privé du Roy (Exhortation to the Princes and Lords of the Private Council of the King) which was published anonymously, but was authored by Estienne Pasquier, a Catholic partisan of moderation. Pasquier gave the same advice: permit both churches to function in France. Castellio then discusses the meaning of the term "heretic."  This term, he says, is not used in its etymological meaning as a "sect," a philosophical or religious group, or a group of monks – it means now "a bad sect."  He reminds both parties that the laws concerning the killing of "heretics" were derived from the wrong interpretation of the Old Testament to which they both adhere and which was abolished by Christ. Moreover, the Mosaic law was applicable only to those who were considered "false prophets" and "blasphemers" who consciously reviled God. Moreover, certain conditions applied to them:  they had to predict a sign or a miracle; the sign or miracle had to come to be; they must have taught people to adore strange gods.  These laws cannot be, without committing a sin, extended to cover those who err in their opinions. In the Gospel there is nothing against heretics except advice to avoid them.  Castellio advises only excommunication as the only weapon used against "heretics," and this should be used only after several admonitions, never killing. Moreover, excommunication is the prerogative of the church and not of the magistrate. The magistrate should leave the heretics alone and should ask the theologians:  "Show us the law by which God would command and we will follow it."

   Castellio follows this advice now and dispels the arguments against toleration from possible inconveniences which could be produced: troubles and sedition, and spreading of false doctrines.  Sedition he claims does not come from heresy but from tyranny and persecution. Tyranny is a greater evil than a heresy since it kills the soul and the body of the tyrant, and it creates a reaction of "force by force."  The remedy to the spreading of the heresy should not be a worse evil and more damaging than the evil is to the remedy. One should resist heretics by good and proper methods. One should combat them by truth which is always more powerful than lies. Castellio admits that people should be forbidden to listen to the heretics. Those listening should be admonished and held for disobeying.  Even Anabaptists who, according to Castellio, are in the greatest error, should be allowed to maintain their own church. If they are able to maintain their church against all the words of the learned theologians, how much more should the true doctors be able to maintain the true church?

   The book ends with special personal appeals. To the preachers Castellio quotes the Old Testament (Lamentations, 4:12) that preachers who incite killing are murderers. To the princes he advises them to be wise and to follow the pacifist doctrine so that they should not fall into the "pit of perdition."  Finally in an appeal to the private citizens he advises:

Do not be so ready to follow those who push you to take arms and kill your brothers and to gain nothing else except God's condemnation.  For certainly those who lead you beguile you and make you do things for which they truly will have to answer for you, but for which you yourselves will not be exonerated.  For both the one who gives bad advice and the one who follows it, will be punished.  May the Lord give you the grace to come to your good senses later rather than never, and should this happen I would praise the Lord.  Should it not, at least I would have done my duty and hope that someone will learn something and recognize that I said the truth.  Should it be only one person, my trouble would not have been lost in vain.

   In 1563 Conseil found its way to Geneva where the members of the Geneva Consistory of Pastors found the book "full of error" and ordered it to be destroyed.[xxxi] Today there are only four copies of the original edition preserved. Thus Castellio overcame his earlier reservations and recognized the right of almost everyone to have a free conscience and not to be bound by a dogmatic religious principle – because such a principle sooner or later must lead to intolerance and persecution. But, he would not agree yet to award the same right to the atheists, apostates and nonbelievers nor would he separate church and state. One had to wait for such ideas for Pierre Bayle (1647-1704) and for the Socinians a century later. But then these Bayle’s ideas were not founded either on the scripture or any religion but on the principles of reason and a religion truly concerned with morals has to accept them.  

The Role of Sebastian Castellio

   In 1555 there appeared in Basel another eloquent defense of Servetus entitled Apology for Servetus under the name of Alphonso Lincurius of Tarragona.[xxxii]  It was later appended to Libri quinque Declarationis Iesu Christi filii Dei, sive de unico Deo et unico filio eius published in the collection Bibliotheca Anti-Trinitariorum by Sandius in Amsterdam in 1685. There is a manuscript of the Apologia in the library of Basel corrected by the handwriting of Curione.  It is generally accepted now that the text of the apology was written by Celio Secondo Curione, an Italian refugee and professor of classics at the University of Basel. The treatise Liber quinque Declarationis is the work of Servetus and is preceded by a preface also written by Curione.[xxxiii]

   Coelius Secundus Curione (b. in Moncaglieri in the province of Turin in 1503 - d. in Basel in 1569), the youngest of twenty three children, entered the monastery where he read the Bible he inherited from his father and decided against being a monk. After several narrow escapes from the Inquisition in Italy, he fled to Switzerland via the Grisons where he met with Camillo Renato, an Antitrinitarian, and became rector of the newly founded University of Lausanne in 1542.  In 1546 he went to Basel where he taught ancient classics at the University until his death. He gained a wide reputation, attracted many students coming from foreign countries including Poland.  He declined invitations by the Pope to Rome, by the Duke of Savoy to Turin, from the Emperor to the University in Vienna, and from the prince of Transylvania to the new college established at Alba Julia. He was not a confessed theologian, nevertheless he wrote a treatise Christianae religionis institutio, published in 1549, from which he omitted any mention of the Trinity or the deity of Christ as a doctrine necessary for salvation.  In 1550, he attended the Anabaptist Council at Venice and in 1554 wrote a work dedicated to the Polish king, Sigismundus Augustus, De amplitudine beati regni Dei, in which he opposed Calvin's doctrine of predestination.  He was accused by Vergerio of Strassburg in 1559 of heresy, but was exonerated by the University of Basel. Curione was very careful not to commit himself to any compromising doctrinal position, nevertheless his writings and his association with Castellio, Ochino and Laelius Socinus make him one of the precursors of the Unitarian-Socinian movement.

     The views of Castellio gradually spread.  In 1557 or 1558, an Italian scholar, Acontius (Aconzio, Contio), no longer safe in Italy crossed the  Alps and appeared in Basel where he published his first work.  He was acquainted with Castellio's writings and upon returning to Basel from England in 1564, published a fresh manifesto, Satanae stratagemata, in favor of liberty of conscience and tolerance in the spirit of Castellio's work. The French translation appeared in 1565 and an English translation in 1940 by Charles D. O'Malley. The struggle for freedom of conscience reached a culmination in the Grisons at Chur in 1571 in the form of a debate between Egli and Gantner, two ministers. The issue involved the question of punishing "heretics."  They drew their materials from the works of Castellio and de Bèze's De Haereticis.

   The figure of Servetus stands out at the beginning of the movement for freedom of conscience. In the later phase Castellio deserves more ample recognition than he received.  He is entitled even more than Servetus to be considered the real founder of liberal Christianity. He was unequaled in his thought and the first and the most important is the principle of absolute tolerance of differing views. This is an outgrowth of an entirely new concept of religion as centered not in dogma but in life and character. It is the very essence of this kind of religion to regard freedom and reason not as incidental but as fundamental conditions of a thoroughly wholesome existence of religion.  At a time of extreme dogmatism, Castellio was the first to emphasize and lay down a firm and enduring foundation for the principle of tolerance.

   The movement for tolerance grew out of the influence of Castellio and his associates in Basel. Many who disapproved of Servetus' doctrine, disapproved of his being put to death. His execution stood as a symbol of religious persecution, his name became a symbol for martyrdom for freedom of conscience.  Servetus gave an indirect stimulus to the rise of religious toleration as a general policy, as a moral principle. It took a long time before the idea was gradually and slowly accepted in various parts of the world.  Heresy was punished as capital crime in England until 1612, in Geneva until 1687, in Scotland until 1697, in Poland until 1776 with an interval between 1552 and 1660 when some freedom was allowed. Only the Anabaptists and Socinians defended toleration on the basis of principle and without any restrictions.

   After a delay of four centuries, Castellio's ideas of religious freedom and tolerance were grudgingly adopted by the Catholic church at the Vatican II Council.

   Castellio, like Servetus, was a precursor of rationalism that was first propounded by Montaigne (1533-1592) and later by René Descartes (1596-1650).  One has to look for the principles that inspired Castellio to Greek stoicism and to Ramón de Sabunde's (d. 1436) work Theologia naturalis (1431).  Castellio emphasized that reason is the fundamental faculty of the human being. Man and human reason are what counted for him i.e. humanism and rationalism.  Man, according to Castellio, will follow his nature the "effects of which are corrected by the culture that follows the natural way." Castellio rose in defense of Servetus by his work, though anonymously, but even this required courage. His work, De haereticis, was translated into Dutch in 1620 and again in 1663.  To the fact that Castellio was read in Holland, R.H. Bainton attributes the establishment there of religious freedom.[xxxiv] But this was not done without struggle.  Six years after the publication of Castellio's work, a synod at Delft sanctioned a priest, Dirk Boon, for having translated the work.[xxxv]  In 1954 a facsimile edition of the original publication from Basel was published in 176 pages. The work was translated into English by Bainton in 1935 and the French translation was edited in 1913.[xxxvi]  The ideas of Castellio were introduced to England through the labor of pastor Haemstede who was in charge of the Dutch colony in London and eventually was expelled from England. The most conspicuous and developed expression of the ideas originally postulated by Castellio was formulated by the Socinians a century later in their treatises.

   In the eighteenth century a movement in the defense of Servetus rose again with the plea made by Voltaire against Calvin by publishing a detailed exposition of the trial.  The French Revolution brought a new vigor to the ideas of religious freedom and a number of writers condemned Calvin and wrote panegyrics on Servetus.   Protestant pastor Henri Tollin was especially active publishing some 76 works on Servetus.


Notes and Bibliography


           [i]. Jean Jacques Rousseau, Oeuvres immortelles du contrat social. Du ontrat social ou principes du droit politique. (Genève: Consant Bourquin, éditeur, 1947), 370.

           [ii]. Roland H Bainton, Concerning heretics; whether they are to be persecuted and how they are to be treated; a collection of the opinions of learned men, both ancient and modern; an anonymous work attributed to Sebastian Castellio now first done into English, together with excerpts from other works of Sebastian Castellio and David Joris on religious liberty by Roland H. Bainton. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1935).

[iii]. Ferdinand Buisson, Sébastien Castellion, sa vie et son oeuvre, 2 vols. (Paris: Hachette, 1882, reprinteed by B, de Graaf, Nieuwkoop, 1964), vol. 2, 2.

[iv]. Théodore De Bèze, in Ioannis Cal­vini opera quae super­sunt omnia. Ad fidem editionum princip­ium et au­thenticar­um ex parte etiam codicum neam scripto­rum additis proleg­om­enis literaris, annotat­ioni­bus criticis, anna­libus cal­vinia­nis indicib­usque novis et copiosissimis ediderunt Gul­ielmus Baum, Edu­ard­us Cu­nitz, Eduar­d­us Reuss theologi Argentoratens­es, volumen VIII, (Brunsvi­gae Apud C.A. Schwet­sch­ke et filium. M. Bruhn 1870. Reprint­ed by Johnson Reprint Corpo­ra­tion, New York, London, and Minerva G.m.b.H., Frankfurt a. M., 1964). vol. 15, 97, 166.

                    [v]. Buisson, Sébastien Castellion.

                    [vi]. Sebastian Castellio, Dialogorum sacrorum libri quatuor autore Sebastiano Castalione, qui nunc postremo opus recognouit; argumenta singulis dialogis praeposuit, & sententias subiecit: ex quibus pueri discant officium: hoc est, quid imitandum sit, aut declinandum. (Londini: apud Thomam Marsh, 1574).

[vii]. Stefan Zweig, Right to Heresy. Castellio against Calvin, Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1951), 79.

                    [viii]. Sebastian Castellio, Novum Jesu Christi Testamentum a Sebastiano Castalione Latine redditum (Londini: apud Sam. Mearne, 1682). Preface to the French translation in Calvini, Opera, vol. 14, 721-739.

[ix]. Zweig, Right to Heresy, 88.

                    [x]. La Bible nouvellement translatée, avec la suite de l'histoire depuis le temps d'Esdras iusqu'aux Maccabées: e depuis les Maccabées iusqu'a Christ. Item avec des Annotacions sur les passages difficiles. Par Sebastien Chateillon. A Bale. pour Iehan Heruage, l'an M.D.LV. Dedication to Henri II in Calvini, Opera, vol. 14, 586; The preface in Ibid. vol. 14, 727-739. Partial English translation in Bainton, Concerning Heretics, 257-258.

                    [xi]. English translation is given in Bainton, Concerning Heretics, 121-135.

[xii]. François Bayrou, Henri IV. Le roi libre, (Paris: Flammarion, 1994).

                    [xiii]. Sebastian Castellio, Contra libellum Calvini in quo ostendere conatur haereticos jure gladii coercendos esse. Anno Domini M.D.L.C.XII.

[xiv]. Calvini, Opera, vol. 15, 441.

[xv]. Émile Doumergue, Jean Calvin. Les hommes et les choses de son temps. (Lausanne, Paris: 1899-1927; Slatkine Reprints: Genè­ve, 196­9). vol. 1-7, vol.  5, 434.

                    [xvi]. Sebastian Castellio, Contra libellum, # 77, Vaticanus. Quotation in Wilbur's translation, Earl Morse Wilbur, A History of Unitarianism. Socinianism and its Antecedents, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1946, 1972), 203.

                    [xvii]. Castellio, Contra libellum, # 129, Vaticanus. Quotation in Wilbur's translation, in Wilbur, 203-204.

[xviii]. Buisson, vol. 1, 411-412.

                    [xix]. Paul Janet, Journal des Savants, 19. Quoted by Doumergue, Jean Calvin, vol. 6, 436.

                    [xx]. Castellio, Preface to the French translation of the Bible, in Calvini, Opera, vol. 14, 734.

[xxi]. Castellio, Ibidem, vol. 14, 737.

                    [xxii]. Castellio, Ibidem, vol. 14, 731.

[xxiii]. Buisson, vol. 1, 314.

[xxiv]. Calvini, Opera, vol. 8, 477.

[xxv]. Castellio, Contra libellum, # 123, Vaticanus.

                    [xxvi]. Bruno Becker, Un manuscrit inédit de Castellion,  in Roland H Bainton, Bruno Becker, Marius Valkhoff et Sape Van der Woude, eds. Castellioniana. Quatre études sur Sébastien Castellion et l'idée de la tolérance. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1951). 101-111.

                    [xxvii]. Sébastien Castellion, De l'Impunité des hérétiques. De haereticis non puniendis. Texte latin inédit publié par Bruno Becker. Texte français inédit publié par M. Valkhoff. (Genève: Librairie Droz, 1971).

                    [xxviii]. J. Jacquot,  L'Affaire de Servet dans les controverses sur la tolérance au temps de la Révocation de l'édit de Nantes, in Autour de Michel Servet et de Sébastien Castellion, Bruno Becker, ed. (Harlem, 1953), 116 & ff.  Janine Garrisson, L'Édit de Nantes et sa révocation. Histoire d'une intolérance. (Paris: Édition du Seuil, 1985). Elisabeth Labrousse, La révocation de l'édit de Nantes. Une foi, une loi, un roi?  (Paris: Éditions Labor et Fides, 1985, 1990).

                    [xxix]. Becker, in Castellioniana, 110. Buisson, vol. 2, 324-327.

                    [xxx]. Sébastien Castellio, Conseil à la France désolée par Sébastien Castellion. Nouvelle édition avec préface et notes explicatives par Marius F. Valkhoff. (Genève: Droz, 1967).

[xxxi]. Buisson, vol. 2, 225 & ff.

          [xxxii]. Alphonsi Lyncurii Tarraconensis Apologia pro M. Serveto. In Calvini, Opera, vol. 15, 52-63.

                    [xxxiii]. José Barón Fernández gives the transcription of the Curione's preface to the Servetus' Declaratio, in an appendix Miguel Servet (Miguel Serveto). Su Vida y Su Obra. Prólogo de Pedro Laín Entralgo. (Madrid: Espase-Calp­e, S.A., 1970), 319-321.

[xxxiv]. Bainton, Concerning Heretics.

                    [xxxv]. J. Lindeboom, La place de Castellion dans l'histoire de l'esprit.In Autour de Michel Servet, edited by Becker, 176.

                    [xxxvi]. Bainton, Sebastian Castellio. Concerning Heretics. Sébastien Castellion, Traité des hérétiques, À savoir si on les doit persécuter, Édition par A.O. Olivet avec préface par E. Choisy. (Genève: A. Julien, 1913).

Copyright © 2000  Marian Hillar.