Sozzini [Socinius], Fausto

Sozzini [Socinius], Fausto
   Theologian and Sect Founder.
   Sozzini was born in Siena, Italy. He was the nephew of Lelio Sozini who had been an acquaintance of melanchthon, calvin and bullinger. Fausto published a treatise on St John’s Gospel which denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, in 1562. He eventually settled in Rocov, Poland, where he drew up the Racovian Catechism, the first statement of Socinian or Unitarian principles. It described salvation as ‘knowledge and a holy life’, God as ‘the Supreme Lord of all things’ and Jesus as ‘a man, by his marvellous life and resurrection raised to divine power’. Unitarianism has had a chequered history; it was driven out of Poland by the middle of the seventeenth century, but has been influential in Britain and, more notably, in the United States of America.
   G. Pioli, Fausto Socinio. Vita, Opere, Fortuna (1952) [no English translation available];
   E.M. Wilbur, A History of Unitarianism, 2 vols (1965–9).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.