- Polish Brethren
The "Minor Reformed Church of Poland", better known today as the Polish Brethren, was started on January 22, 1556, when Piotr Giezek, a Polish student (also known as
Piotr z Goniadzaor Peter Gonesius), attacked the doctrine of the Trinity during the general synod of the Reformed (Calvinist) churches of Poland held in the town of Secemin. [See Hewett, "Racovia", pp. 20-21.] A theological debate called by the Polish king himself in 1565 did not succeed in bringing both Protestant factions together again. Finally, the faction that had supported Giezek's arguments broke all ties with the Calvinists and organized their own synod in the town of Brzeziny on June 10, 1565. [Hewett, p. 24.] Originally, the Minor Church followed a non-trinitarian doctrine inspired by the writings of Michael Servetus. Later on, Socinianism, named for Italian theologian Laelius Socinus, became its main theological approach.
The Minor Church ended in Poland with the expulsion of Arians from Poland in 1658. The Brethren never participated in the
Sandomierz Agreementbetween different Polish Protestants. They advocated the separation of church and stateand taught the equality and brotherhood of all people; they opposed social privileges based on religious affiliation, and their adherents refused military service (they were known for carrying wooden swords instead of real almost obligatory szablas) and declined political office. They were against capital punishment, and did not believe in the traditional Christian doctrines of Hellor the Trinity.
Although never numerous, they had a significant impact on political thought in Poland. After being expelled from Poland, they emigrated to
England, East Prussiaand the Netherlands, where their works were widely published and influenced much of the thinking of later philosophers such as John Lockeand Pierre Bayle.
Their main ideologues were
Piotr z Goniadza( Gonesius), Grzegorz Paweł z Brzezin, although Johannes Crellius (originally from Germany), and Jan Ludwik Wolzogen(who came to Poland from Austria) were far better known outside Poland. Among the best known adherents of this fellowship are Mikołaj Sienicki, Jerzy Niemojewski, and writers and poets Zbigniew Morsztynand Wacław Potocki.
Their biggest cultural center were
Pińczówand Raków, site of the main Arian printing pressand the university " Akademia Rakowicka" ("Gymnasium Bonarum Artium") founded in 1602 and closed in 1638, which trained over 1000 students.
These men were exiled from Poland in 1658 after a series of 17th century wars known as The Deluge in which
protestant Swedeninvaded Poland, since they (as almost all non-Catholics) were commonly seen as Swedish collaborators. This expulsion is sometimes taken as the beginning of decline of famous Polish religious freedom, although the decline started earlier and ended later: the last non-Catholic deputy was removed from parliament in the beginning of the 18th century. Most of Polish Brethren moved to the Netherlands, where they greatly influenced European opinion, becoming precursors to Enlightenment. Through their connection to Enlightenment thinkers, their ideas also influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Second Polish Republic, 1937, priest Karol Grycz-Śmiałowskirecreated the Church of Polish Brethren in Kraków. In the People's Republic of Polandit was registered in 1967 as the Unity of Polish Brethern (" Jednota Braci Polskich").
John Lockewas preceded by a few decades by Samuel Przypkowskion tolerance and by Andrzej Wiszowatyon 'rational religion.' Isaac Newtonhad met Samuel Crell, son of Johannes Crellius, of the Spinowski family.
Englishman John Biddle had translated two works by said Przypkowski, as well as the
Racovian Catechismand a work by Joachim Stegmann, a "Polish Brother" from Germany. Biddle's followers had very close relations with the Polish Socinian family of Crellius (aka Spinowski).
Subsequently, the Unitarian branch of Christianity was continued by, most notably,
Joseph Priestley, who had emigrated to the United Statesand was a friend of both James Madisonand Thomas Jefferson, who claimed to be a Unitarianand credited Priestley with having converted him to that faith. Notably, Priestley was very well informed on the earlier developments in Poland, especially by his mentions of Socinusand Szymon Budny(translator of Bible, author of many pamphlets against the Trinity).
History of philosophy in Poland
* Phillip Hewett, "Racovia: An Early Liberal Religious Community", Providence, Blackstone Editions, 2004.
* Joseph Kasparek, "The Constitutions of Poland and of the United States: Kinships and Genealogy", Miami, FL, American Institute of Polish Culture, 1980.
Earl Morse Wilbur, "A History of Unitarianism: Socinianism and Its Antecedents", Harvard University Press, 1945.
George Huntston Williams, The Polish Brethren : Documentation of the History and Thought of Unitarianism in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and in the Diaspora 1601–1685, Scholars Press, 1980, ISBN 0-89130-343-X
* [http://www.socinian.org/polish_socinians.html Polish Socinians: FROM THE POLISH SOCINIANS TO THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION] ,
Marian Hillar, A Journal from the Radical Reformation, A Testimony to Biblical Unitarianism, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 22-57, 1994
* [http://www.west.net/~antipas/books/brethren_in_christ/binc_07.html "THE LITTLE ECCLESIA IN POLAND"]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Brethren (Frères en français) — Brethren En anglais, Brethren est un pluriel de brother (frère) rarement usité. Le terme est principalement utilisé dans le monde chrétien, soit pour faire référence à un ordre fraternel ou militaire (rare), soit pour évoquer une des nombreuses… … Wikipédia en Français
Brethren — The Brethren are a number of Protestant Christian religious bodies using the word brethren in their names. In some cases these similarities of name reflect roots in the same early Brethren groups, and in others the adoption of Brethren as part of … Wikipedia
Brethren — En anglais, Brethren est un pluriel de brother (frère) rarement usité. Le terme est principalement utilisé dans les cercles chrétiens, soit pour faire référence à un ordre fraternel, soit pour évoquer une des nombreuses dénominations chrétiennes … Wikipédia en Français
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth — Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania[a] ← … Wikipedia
Polish Reformed Church — Infobox Christian denomination name = Evangelical Reformed Church in the republic of Poland |150px caption = Huguenot cross main classification = Protestant orientation = Mainline Reformed founded date = 16th Century separated from = separations … Wikipedia
Unity of the Brethren — hymnal, 1561 For the Moravian Church, see Unitas Fratrum. The Unity of the Brethren (Czech: Jednota bratrská, Latin: Unitas Fratrum, also known as Czech or Bohemian Brothers or Brethren) is a C … Wikipedia
Marcin Czechowic — Martin Czechowic (or Marcin Czechowic) (c. 1532, Zbąszyń, Poland – 1613) was a Polish Socinian (Unitarian) minister, theologian and writer. Contents 1 Life 1.1 Conversion to Calvinism 1.2 … Wikipedia
List of Christian denominations — (or Denominations self identified as Christian) ordered by historical and doctrinal relationships. (See also: Christianity; Christian denominations; List of Christian denominations by number of members). Also, some groups included do not consider … Wikipedia
History of Poland during the Jagiellon dynasty — History of Poland … Wikipedia
Unitarianism — This article is about Unitarianism as a theology. For other uses, see Unitarianism (disambiguation). Part of a series on Christianity … Wikipedia