Tuesday, 8 January 2008
Chritianismi Restitutio is one of the rarest books in the world. Written in 1553 by Michael Servetus, who is credited with the discovery of pulmonary circulation, it refuted Calvinism and the Trinity. As such, it was condemned by Catholics and Protestants alike as heretical. The authorities in Geneva destroyed all but three copies of the book, and then burnt the author at the stake with the last known copy chained to his leg. One can only imagine how theodicean thinkers such as Gottfried Leibniz justified this action. Despite the best efforts of Calvin to have all the copies destroyed, one of the three hidden copies was discovered many years latter in 1878 in the University of Edinburgh Library.