|Report of the activities 2016|
institucional y conferencias en el Instituto –
21 de mayo de 2016
El pasado día 21 de mayo se celebró en la Casa Natal de Miguel Servet, sede del Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses "Miguel Servet", el primer Consejo Plenario del año, coincidiendo con el 40º aniversario de su creación. A las 9:00 de la mañana se había reunido el Consejo Permanente del Instituto en el Ayuntamiento de Villanueva de Sijena, tratando diversos asuntos, entre los que se destacan los siguientes:
- Informe sobre las futuras publicaciones del Instituto, destacando el libro de D. Sergio Ibarz, sobre dos sorores de Altorricón que profesaron en Sigena y, el libro de Dª. Íngrid Grúas Lalana, que versará sobre la figura de Dª. Blanca de Aragón y Anjou. Se resaltó que se está trabajando también en una traducción de una obra de Sebastián Castellio; humanista contemporáneo de Servet.
- Próximo acto académico del mes de octubre, que versará sobre los litigios relativos a los bienes de Sijena.
- Situación económica del Instituto.
Con posterioridad, se celebró el Consejo Plenario, que estuvo presidido, por D. Alfonso Salillas, Alcalde de Villanueva de Sijena, el Dr. Sergio Baches Opi, Promotor General del Instituto, el Dr. Fernando Alvira, Presidente del Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses, y la Dra. Ana Gómez, Secretaria General del Instituto. Empezó el acto dando la bienvenida D. Alfonso Salillas a todos los asistentes, para a continuación informar sobre las últimas novedades sobre los litigios para recuperar el patrimonio emigrado del Real Monasterio de Sijena.
El Promotor General, Dr. Sergio Baches, informó a los Consejeros sobre los actos del 40º aniversario del Instituto, así como sobre las nuevas publicaciones en las que trabaja el Instituto. Hizo también un resumen sobre los ingresos del Instituto e informó sobre al acuerdo adoptado por el Consejo Permanente de reinstaurar las cuotas a los Consejeros, explicando las razones de tal decisión. La Secretaria General, la Dra. Ana Gómez Rabal, expuso resumidamente los demás temas tratados en el Consejo Permanente.
Se propusieron de nuevos consejeros, y se nombró nueva Consejera de Número a Dª. Íngrid Grúas Lalana, quien expresó su alegría ante todos los consejeros asistentes por este nombramiento y su plena disposición a colaborar con el Instituto. Como acto final de este Consejo Plenario, se le ofreció un emotivo homenaje a Dª. Montserrat Foguet Gómez, quien durante varios años ha sido una magnífica guía en la Casa Natal de Miguel Servet, y se le entregó una placa en reconocimiento a toda su labor, tanto en la Casa Natal como en el Instituto.
Tras el Consejo Plenario se inició el acto académico con una primera lección magistral a cargo del Dr. Ignacio Javier García Pinilla, Catedrático de Filología Latina en la Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, que trató sobre:
"Religión en los márgenes y su ocultación en la España del siglo XVI"
Posteriormente, el Dr. Antonio García Omedes, cirujano del Hospital San Jorge de Huesca y Académico Numerario de la Real Academia de Nobles y Bellas Artes de San Luis de Zaragoza, disertó sobre:
"El Monasterio de Villanueva de Sigena. Una fundación real a caballo entre el Románico y el Císter"
Tras un ameno y animado coloquio entre el público y los conferenciantes, se procedió a la tradicional ofrenda de flores ante monumento de Miguel Servet. El acto concluyó con un almuerzo en el Restaurante "La Bodega" de Villanueva de Sijena.
Texto de José Sobella Paraled y Sergio Baches
© 2016 Intituto de Estudios Sijenenses “Miguel
Fotos de Patricia Puértolas
Report of the activities 2015
|Conferencia en el Instituto - 18
de mayo de 2014
El pasado 18 de mayo de 2014
el Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses “Miguel
Servet” celebró su primer Consejo Plenario
anual, donde tanto el Promotor General como el
Alcalde de Villanueva de Sijena informaron a los
consejeros de cuestiones relevantes para la
institución y de la evolución de los proyectos
de investigación que lidera y gestiona el
Instituto. En el transcurso del Consejo
Plenario, los miembros del Grupo de Teatro “El
Molino” de Sariñena fueron nombrados consejeros
del Instituto. Con este nombramiento, el
Instituto quiere reconocer públicamente la
magnífica y entregada labor de este cuadro de
actrices y actores, que han hecho posible hasta
la fecha seis representaciones de la obra de
teatro “Miguel Servet, Soplo Efímero de
Libertad”, contribuyendo así a la difusión de la
figura del gran humanista aragonés. También
fueron nombrados consejeros la Dra. Petra
Schulte, D. Georges Ward y Dña. Marisa Royo.
Tras el Consejo Plenario, se celebró un acto
académico con dos interesantes conferencias a
cargo, respectivamente, del Dr. Antonio Rivera
García (Profesor Titular de la Facultad de
Filosofía, Universidad Complutense de Madrid) y
D. Gonzalo Martínez (Vicepresidente del Ateneo
El profesor Antonio Rivera pronunció una
conferencia titulada: “La respuesta de Calvino a
las objeciones de un judío español, o las
afinidades entre calvinistas y judíos”. En su
presentación, el Dr. Rivera analizó un opúsculo
de Calvino en el que el reformador contesta, a
modo de diálogo, las preguntas que se encuentran
en el texto de un judío español del siglo XIV;
preguntas en las que este judío cuestionaba la
virtualidad y la robustez de los postulados en
los que se apoya religión cristiana, destacando
las contradicciones que, a su juicio, existían
en los Evangelios y, en particular en el
Evangelio de Mateo. El escrito de Calvino fue
redactado en 1555, pero no se publicó hasta
después de su muerte por su estrecho
colaborador, Teodoro de Beza.
Tras repasar el origen, la cronología y la
finalidad de ambos escritos, el Dr. Rivera
concluyó que, en este texto, Calvino acentúa la
naturaleza divina de Cristo y, en este sentido,
parece ser “heterodoxo” al no destacar en la
misma medida la humanidad de Cristo (“teoría del
rebajamiento”). Asimismo, también destacó la
respuesta insatisfactoria que proporciona
Calvino en este texto para explicar el trágico
destino del pueblo judío.
Tras la conferencia del D. Rivera, D. Gonzalo
Martínez disertó sobre la institución
consuetudinaria aragonesa del “casamiento en
casa” y su importancia en el mantenimiento de la
solidaridad en las relaciones familiares en
Aragón desde la Edad Media. A estos efectos,
analizó el concepto
de “casa” y, en consecuencia, los elementos que
lo integran, así como la importancia de los
diferentes miembros de la “casa” (padres, hijos,
hermanos o tíos o “tiones”) y su relación con
ese patrimonio familiar que se intenta preservar
a lo largo del tiempo evitando su disgregación
hereditaria. En este contexto, nuestro
conferenciante destacó el papel que esta
institución en la igualdad entre hombres y
mujeres a los efectos de heredar la “casa”,
destacando también que no siempre heredaba el
hijo o la hija mayor, sino el más capaz.
D. Gonzalo también se remitió a algunos
episodios históricos en los que se aplicó esta
institución, como los esponsales entre Dña.
Petronila, hija de Ramiro II el Monje, y el
conde Ramón Berenguer IV. Ello significó
precisamente que Dña. Petronia podía, siempre
que no falleciese, transmitir a su heredero la
“Casa” de Aragón, como así sucedió finalmente en
la figura de Alfonso II, primer rey de la Corona
Tras el acto académico, los asistentes
procedieron a la tradicional ofrenda floral ante
la estatua de Miguel Servet.
El Instituto agradece a D. Alberto Lasheras y a
D. Georges Ward la cesión gratuita de estas
© 2014 Sergio Baches
|ACTIVIDADES VARIAS 2013
- Conferencia "La intervención de Pedro II de
Aragón en la batalla de Muret y sus
consecuencias políticas". D. Francisco Vicente.
19 de mayo de 2013.
- Conferencia "El relicario sijenense de Santa
Waldesca. Historia y vicisitudes". D. Juan José
Nieto. 19 de mayo de 2013.
- Conferencia: "Servet, Castellio y Calvino,
Textos entrelazados”. Dra. Ana Gómez Rabal.
Serveto (Valle de Gistaín). 30 de agosto de
“El contexto político-militar de la
batalla de Muret: la Cruzada contra los Cátaros
Dr.Martín Alvira Cabrer, Inauguración de
placa conmemorativa del VIII centenario de la
batalla de Muret, en honor al Rey Pedro II. 17
de noviembre de 2013.
Galería fotográfica acto conmemorativo del VIII
centenario de la batalla de Muret:
ACTIVIDADES VARIAS 2012
- Conferencia: "El Dios Comunitario en la Biblia,
Trinidad y Sagrada Escritura". Dra. Inmaculada
Rodríguez Torné. Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses
"Miguel Servet", 16 de junio de 2012.
- Presentación de la traducción al francés de la
"Restitución del Cristianismo", Dra. Rolande-Michelle
Benin. Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses "Miguel
Servet", 28 de octubre de 2012
- Estreno de la Obra de Teatro: Miguel Servet,
Soplo Efímero de Libertad. Autor: Sergio Baches.
Villanueva de Sijena, 16 de junio de 2012 y
Sariñena, 23 de junio de 2012.
- Conferencia: " Una visión práctica de la
teología de Servet", Dr. Sergio Baches, Centro
cultural "Miguel Servet", Serveto (Huesca), 31 de
agosto de 2012.
- Conferencia: "La relación entre los tratados
técnicos de pintura medievales y la pintura mural
del Real Monasterio de Sijena", Dra. Rosa Gasol y
Dña. Marta Segarrés. Instituto de Estudios
Sijenenses "Miguel Servet", 28 de octubre de 2012.
|PRESENTACIÓN DEL LIBRO "MIGUEL
SERVET. MÉDICO Y TEÓLOGO" EN SAN SEBASTIÁN
El pasado 29 de febrero de 2012, a las
18:30 horas en punto, Sergio Baches Opi y José
María Urkia Etxabe presentaron, con sendas
conferencias, el libro que, con motivo de los 500
años de su nacimiento, han escrito sobre Miguel
Servet, en la sede del Colegio Oficial de Médicos
de Guipúzcoa (San Sebastián). El primero analiza
al Servet teólogo, y Urkia incide en los trabajos
sobre medicina. La obra ha sido editada por el
Colegio Oficial de Médicos de Guipúzcoa y la Real
Sociedad Bascongada de los Amigos del País, con la
colaboración del Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses
“Miguel Servet” (Michael Servetus Institute) y la
Fundación del propio Colegio.
Según comenta el Dr. José María Urkia en el libro,
“Servet fue profético, preparará las bases para
que Harvey, un siglo más tarde, complete la
fisiología de la circulación de la sangre, gracias
a la medida y la experimentación.
La obra del malogrado Servet no alcanzó la
difusión necesaria. Valverde de Amusco (1556) y
Colombo (1559) se encargarían de difundirla,
silenciando a Servet, tal vez por miedo a la
Inquisición”. Durante su conferencia, el Dr. Urkía
recordó al Servet científico y contextualizó su
descubrimiento de la circulación menor de la
sangre desde un punto de vista histórico. También
recordó el análisis psicológico que el Dr.
Gregorio Marañón realizó de Servet, y la
importancia del humanista aragonés en el
desarrollo del derecho a la libertad de
parte, el Dr. Sergio Baches comenta en el libro
que “no se puede decir que Servet
fuera antitrinitario'’. Según Baches, Servet creía
en la Trinidad, pero con una interpretación
distinta a la que se estableció los concilios
ecuménicos de Nicea y Constantinopla en el siglo
IV. Sergio Baches escribe también que, “Servet no
era un teólogo acomodado en las estructuras
establecidas”, sino “un místico con una
cristología y una concepción de la religión tan
humanas que desbordan los postulados, no sólo de
la Iglesia romana, sino de las propias reformas
protestantes no radicales».
Durante su conferencia, Sergio Baches destacó la
vigencia y modernidad de muchos de los postulados
teológicos de Servet y desgranó los principales
fundamentos de su teología, así como los elementos
específicos de la organización y práctica
cristiana que proponía Servet.
El acto, magníficamente organizado por sus
anfitriones, contó con la asistencia de más de 90
personas, cuyas intervenciones y preguntas
posteriores a las dos conferencias de los Dres.
Urkia y Baches dieron lugar a un vivo e
Tienda en línea
Organizado por el
Ilustre Colegio Oficial de Médicos de Guipúzcoa,
la Fundación del Ilustre Colegio Oficial de
Médicos de Guipúzcoa y la Real Sociedad Bascongada
de los Amigos del País.
OPENING CEREMONY OF THE “SERVETUS YEAR 2011” AT THE MICHAEL SERVETUS INSTITUTE
COMMEMORATION OF THE 500th ANNIVERSARY OF MICHAEL SERVETUS BIRTH IN VILLANUEVA DE SIJENA (ARAGON – SPAIN)
November 13th, 2010 - Free entrance
9:30 h.: Meeting of the Board of Trustees (Town Hall of Villanueva de Sijena).
11:00 h.: Meeting of the General Assembly of the Institute (Servetus House).
- Welcoming speech of the Major of Villanueva de Sijena, Mr. Ildefonso Salillas Lacasa.
- Report of the Director of the Institute, Mr. Sergio Baches Opi, on the matters dealt with in the Board of Trustees’ meeting.
- Report on the financial situation of the Institute.
- Proposal and appointment of new Counselors of the Institute.
11.45 h.: Coffee-break.
12:30 h.: - Welcoming speech by Mr. Ramón Miranda Torres, Director General of Culture - Government of Aragon.
- Opening Introduction to Michael Servetus. Dr. Fernando Solsona Motrel, University of Zaragoza. Counselor of the Michael Servetus Institute.
"El legado de Miguel Servet: ¿Por qué y para qué se debe celebrar el V Centenario?"
12:45 h.: Lecture by Mrs. María Dolores Masana Argüelles, President of the ONG "Reporters without borders”
in Spain (http://en.rsf.org):
"Press Freedom as a fundamental right in the
Presentation by Mr. Sergio Baches Opi.
Lunch. Restaurant "La Bodega" (Villanueva de
16:30 h.: Lecture by Dr. Kovács Sándor, Professor of Church History in the Unitarian
Seminary at Koloszvar (Rumania):
in the Transylvanian Unitarian movement”
Presentation by Mr. Jaume de Marcos. Lecture in
English with Spanish translation.
17:30 h.: Discussion.
18:15 h.: Concert in
homage to Michael Servetus
of Sariñena" (Church of Villanueva de Sijena).
Director: Mr. Antonio Gil. Violoncello: Mr.
Flower and candle offering at the statue of
Michael Servetus in Villanueva de Sijena. Public
reading of the Servetus‘ Prayer.
Reservations should be made prior to November 8th,
2010. Restaurant telephone: +34 974 57 81 87
lectures are validated by the University of
Zaragoza as a one free-choice credit.
ACADEMIC EVENT AT THE INSTITUTE - APRIL 18, 2010
Last April 18, 2010 the Michael Servetus Institute held its first General Assembly and academic session of the year. The Mayor of Villanueva de Sijena, Mr. Alfonso Salillas welcomed all the attendants and he informed the members of the Institute of the actions taken by the City Coucil with regard to the recently discovered pieces of art which belonged one time to the Royal Monastery of Sixena.
Thereafter, the Director of the Institute, Sergio Baches Opi, took the floor to inform the Assembly about the financials of the Institute and the contacts that the Institute is currently holding with the Government Aragon to prepare the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Michael Servetus (1511-1533), which is expected to begin in October 2010 and finish in October 2011. The Director of the Institute also reported that the Institute will participate in the International Congress that is being organized in Saluzzo (Italy) by the “Association Giorgio Biandrata” in homage to Servetus and Biandrata. This Congress, he pointed out, will take place the 21st and the 22nd of May 2010.
After his intervention, the event moved forward to formally appoint the new members (called “Counselors”) of the Institute by delivering to them their Diplomas and the Medallion of the Institute.
The new Counselors are Mrs. Gabriela Soro, Agriculture Engineer (Madrid), Mr. Francisco Sánchez Méndez, M.D. (Barcelona), and Mrs. María del Carmen Marco Liarte, M.D. (Zaragoza).
The appointment of the new Counselors of the Institute will be duly ratified by the City Council.
Following the appointment of the new Counselors, the Director General of Culture of the Government of Aragon, Mr. Ramón Miranda, addressed a few words to the attendants to highlight that the Government of Aragon will give its support to the “Servetus Year 2011” .
He also pointed out that the General Directorate of Culture shares !the vision of the Michael Servetus Institute in the sense that the specific events that are being 2sed should be aimed at getting the works life and legacy of Michael Servetus closer to the non-specialized public and that the Serventian Year cannot be narrowed down to mere academic celebrations addressed to a minority.
Servetus Revis(it)ed: The impact of his thought in Transylvania
The member of the Michael Servetus Institute, Jaume de Marcos Andreu gave the first lecture of the day. According to Jaume de Marcos, for many years, Michael Servetus was considered a religious maverick, an isolated heretic who built no church and had no disciples to continue his work, and whose only impact was his death at the stake in Geneve, which caused some outrage and tainted Calvin's reputation. This view was challenged by Stanislas Kot's studies on Servetusnnnn's influence in Poland and Transylvania.
Nowadays, he argued, it is hard to deny the influence of Servetus's ideas in the emergence and development of the Anti-trinitarian movements in Central Europe. He highlighted the spreading of Servetian ideas in the Principality of Transylvania in the second half of the 16th century, especially through the Italian physician and religious reformer, Giorgio Biandrata, and the Transylvanian Ferenc Dávid.
The Priory of Mrs. Blanca of Aragon and Anjou
The academic session continued with an interesting lecture by Mrs. Carmen Carrera, also a member of our Institute and a History scholar, on the priory of one of the most conspicuous prioress of the Monastery of Sixena: Mrs. Blanca of Aragon and Anjou.
Mrs. Blanca of Aragón was the daughter of King James II and of Blanca of Anjou. She joined the Community of nuns of Sixena when she was a child and later on, when she was only 19, she became the Prioress. Mrs. Blanca turned the Monastery into a royal residence, where the Aragonese nobility sent their daughters to become nuns of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.
Some of the most magnificent constructions of the Monastery, such as the Priory Palace, were built during her priory. Mrs. Carmen Carrera distinguished between two clear-cut periods in her mandate: one when the King, her father, was alive and he contributed regularly with important donations to the economic sustain of the Community and the other after his death, when Sixena started a steady decadence.
Alter the two lectures, the Director of the Institute opened a lively discussion and the public asked several questions to the two lecturers. The event finished with the traditional and touchy flower offering in front of the statue of Michael Servetus.
From left to right: Sergio Baches, Carmen Carrera, Jaume de Marcos and Alfonso Salillas.
N.B. You can see further photographs in the following link:
SEMINAR AT THE INSTITUTE/ CASTELLIO AGAINST CALVIN –
October 24, 2009
October 24, 2009, the Michael Servetus Institute held a
seminar to present its new
publication, the first translation
into Spanish from Latin of the book by Sebastian Castellio Against Calvin’s Libel (1554). With this work, the
Institute wraps up a research and translation project that was
initiated already two years ago and submits to the worldwide
Servetian and Reformation scientific community a contribution
which it deems fundamental to understand the reactions that
Servetus’ execution at Geneva raised amongst his
contemporaries. The book includes an Introduction to
Castellio's life and works by the Director of the Michael
Servetus Institute, Sergio Baches, and a Note to the edition
also by Mr. Baches. You can check the Index of
the book following this link:
same event, the General Assembly of the Institute set up the
“Commission for the organization of the commemorating events
of the 500th anniversary of Servetus’ birth”. Our members
widely discussed a draft program of the activities foreseen
for 2011 previously drafted by the Director of the Institute.
The General Assembly also approved to forward the Program of
proposed activities to the Government of Aragon and set a
meeting for further discussions.
of the translation, Prof. Joaquín Fernández Cacho and Dr Ana
Gómez Rabal, gave two lectures on Castellio’s works, his life
and the difficulties that the translation has posed to them.
You will find below a summary of their interventions. Many
members of our Institute as well as students of the
University of Zaragoza attended the lectures. The Director of
the Department of Culture of the Government of Aragon, Mr.
Ramón Miranda, was also present during the seminar and
delivered the closing speech pointing out the dangers posed by
fanaticism to our society.
Lecture by Dr. Ana Gómez Rabal
Dr Ana Gómez
Rabal lectured on “The importance of Castellio as a
contemporary of Servetus.” She started her lecture with the
famous Castellio’s sentence: “To kill a man is not to defend a
doctrine, but to kill a man”, written by the latter in the
aftermath of Servetus’ death which had been instigated by John
Calvin and executed in the hill of Champel in Geneva, on
October 27, 1553 (hominem occidere non est doctrinam tueri,
sed est hominem occidere). Michael Servetus had been a
harbinger of freedom of conscience and freedom of speech. She
also pointed out, as an example of this assertion, the words
written by Servetus in his book De iustitia regni Christi
(Justice in Christ Kingdom, published in 1532); Servetus, a
free spirit, shows his tolerance highlighting that:
All seem to me to be partly right and partly mistaken, and
each espies the error of others and fails to see his own. May
God in His mercy enable us to perceive our errors without
(De iustitia regni Christi, chapter IV, p. F7v)
According to Dr. Gómez Rabal, Servetus’ death, the way he died
and the reasons of his execution raised many concerns already
at his time and a strong discussion that continued in the
following centuries. In this regard, she indicated that
Castellio’s stance in favor of Servetus and against Calvin is
particularly significant due to its closeness at the time and
at the place where Servetus died. For Dr Gómez Rabal, if the
defense of freedom of conscience and speech is part of the
indelible Servetus’ legacy, which is regarded as one of his
most outstanding achievements, Castellio is to be acknowledged
for his firm commitment to the cause of tolerance. And he
deserves to be remembered precisely during this year 2009,
when the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth is being
commemorated (1509 -1511).
Castellio’s sentence previously cited belongs to his work
Contra libellum Calvini in quo ostendere conatur haereticos
iure gladii coercendos esse (Against the book of Calvin
which calls for coercion of heretics by the sword), which
Castellio wrote in 1554, but which was not printed until 1612,
to dismantle all the explanations submitted by Calvin in his
work Defensio orthodoxae fidei de sacra Trinitate, contra
prodigiosos errores Michaelis Serveti Hispani (i.e.,
Defense of the orthodox faith in the sacred Trinity against
the prodigious errors of the Spaniard Michael Servetus,
published in 1554) to justify the judgment against Servetus
and his death.
In the same vein, Castellio intends to devoid of arguments
what in his view is an excess of dogmatic and formal zeal on
the part of Calvin vis-à-vis those who do not follow
his instructions and teachings, and he gathers and comments
paragraphs of Calvin’s fundamental work, the Institutiones
(first published in 1536).
Thereafter, Dr. Gómez Rabal referred briefly to Castellio’s
biography (born in 1515 in Saint-Martin-du-Fresne, nearby
Nantua, a town belonging at that time to the Savoy county and
now to the Ain Department, in the Region of Rhône-Alpes) and
located in the route between Lyon and Geneva, around 70 km
from the latter city. Like Servetus, Castellio also went to
Lyon, he acquired expertise in editing texts, and thereafter
he edited and translated the Bible into Latin and French. And
just like Servetus, Castellio approached the holy texts with a
free and open-minded approach, something which made him clash
with Cavin in Geneva and brought him numerous drawbacks during
all his life. This paragraph, as clear as sincere, of his
Preface to his work Contra libellum Calvini provides an
example of this attitude:
The Spaniard Michael Servetus was burnt in Geneva for his
religious opinions, on October 26
[in fact it was the 27
th] last year, which was 1553, by order and wish of
Calvin, shepherd of this Church. Once known his torture, many were
especially French and Italians. First, because a man
had been killed just because his religious beliefs. Second,
because it was killed with so much cruelty. Third, because his
executioner was a shepherd. Fourth, because –even this was
said– Calvin had conspired with his enemies to kill him.
Fifth, because his books had been burnt in Frankfurt. Sixth,
because he was condemned to hell by demagogues
And he continues:
will make, if God so desires, the intentions of this man
finally become apparent to those who want to remain blind.
Maybe, as he always does, Calvin will say that I am a follower
of Servetus. But this should not concern anyone. I do not
defend Servetus’ doctrine, but I set forth the falsity of
Calvin’s doctrine. Therefore, I will not discuss about the
Trinity, baptism or any other important questions, since, as
they have been burnt, certainly by Calvin’s zeal, I do not
have Servetus' books to know what were his beliefs on them.
But in the other items that are not in discrepancy with
Servetus, I will show Calvin’s mistakes in a way that anyone
can realize that he is groping around due to his thirst for
(Contra libellum Calvini, Preface, fol. A2v).
Castellio died in Basel on December 29, 1563, suffering from long-lasting privations, attacked by powerful enemies and threatened with lawsuits, and his book was only printed 50 years later: in 1612, in The Netherlands, thanks to the determination of a Dutch editor, and without his name appearing on it.
Contra libellum Calvini is composed as a dialogue between Calvin himself and a character named Vaticanus. The author shows that Calvin had to justify the Servetus' death at the stake: Calvin, a reformer, and also a man of the Renaissance who studied the Holy Scriptures, handed down a death sentence against another man, Servetus, who claimed the need of studying the Holy Scriptures, of understanding and of interpreting them. And, in front of this scenario, Castellio speaks out without any scope for doubt: a difference in interpretation cannot lead to the execution of those whose interpretation does not coincide with ours. This is where the defense of freedom lies upon, and in turn the defense of justice during a century of bloody religious conflicts. “To kill a man is not to defend a doctrine, but to kill a man”. That is the commitment that Castellio made as a writer and as a person endowed with such an ethical greatness that not only seduces us but which also impresses all those who have feel attracted or enchanted by Michael Servetus.
Unfortunately, as it was pointed out by Dr. Gómez Rabal and is highlighted in the Introduction to the Spanish translation of Castellio’s work, the Contra libellum Calvini has hardly been studied in Spain. Actually there are only a few translations of this work into modern languages. Therefore, it has been necessary to produce a commented version in Spanish to make it accessible to a broad audience interested in the problem related to religious intolerance; a problem which also concerns us so much nowadays.
Lecture by Prof. Joaquín Fernández Cacho
Prof. Fernández Cacho started his lecture thanking the Michael Servetus Institute and his Director, Sergio Baches Opi, for their support to carry out the translation of Castellio’s work, and all the help received from Dr. Gómez Rabal, without whose dedication the translation of Castellio’s work would have been more difficult.
Prof. Fernández Cacho focused his lecture on two aspects: first, he commented some of the difficulties that he has found in making the translation, and second, he showed what, according to him, is the core argument of Castellio’s work as far as Servetus’ death is concerned.
Before starting the main part of his lecture and as an introduction, Prof. Fernández Cacho referred to the title of Castellio’s work Contra libellum Calvini in quo ostendere conatur haereticos iure gladii coercendos esse. Libellus, in Latín, is a diminutive of liber, libri, “libro”, that refers to the bark on which things could be written before it was done on papyrus. Yet libellus, already since antiquity, means also “pamphlet” and “libel”, “betrayal”, “accusation”, as it can be found in Plinius or in Juvenal, among others. Prof. Fernández drew our attention on the fact that when he translated this term into “libel”, he wanted to preserve that ambiguity akin to Latin and Spanish where, according to the Dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy, it means both “a short writing” and “a defamatory writing”.
And this is what precisely is, according to Castellio’s view, the work that Calvin wrote to defend Servetus execution on October 27, 1553: a “libel”, “a defamatory accusing book”.
As far as the translation problems are concerned, he pointed out that Castellio's work, justifies itself (i.e., the parts of the text are so intertwined that they give a holistic meaning to the work and therefore, a complete meaning cannot be found when one approaches the text for the first time. Only once the whole test has been analyzed, its whole meaning becomes apparent to the translator).
In this work, the knowledge that Castellio had of the Bible (as most of his fellow humanists) is particularly important. This is reflected in his text as the whole of it is based in a profound and systematic reading of the Holy Scriptures. For this reason, the translators had to overcome some difficulties since Castellio used different versions of the Bible and in many occasions he trusts his memory when he copies Biblical quotations throughout the test.
After illustrating these difficulties with several examples Prof. Fernández Cacho highlighted that the basis of all the discussion between Calvin and Castellio lies on how the Holy Scriptures must be interpreted. During Reformation time (as well as in all times) there are two ways to read them (i.e., to interpret them): in a literal way or allegorically. While Erasmus chose the second option, Luther and Calvin opted for the first. It goes without saying that this has a strong bearing on the more or less tolerant approach that these theologians showed vis-à-vis dissenters.
To introduce the second part of his lecture, i.e., Castellio's core argument against Servetus’ death, Prof. Fernández Cacho referred to the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. Following Matthew's Gospel, Castellio is contrary to the death penalty, and he wants to postpone the punishment (that in any case it will be a spiritual one) until the “harvest”, i.e., until the Final Judgment:
Christ orders that
[punishment] be delayed until the harvest, to avoid any
good man to be killed with the others. It is better to keep
all the bad men until the judgment than to have one single
good man killed with those bad men who deserve death.
Castellio's core argument is based
on a terminological distinction. According to Castellio,
Calvin confused words since he identified “heretic” with
“impious”, “blasphemers” or “apostates” (haeresis,
impius, nepharius, blasphemus, aposthata, in Latin),
as he explained several times throughout the text. Thus,
this is seen in Vaticanus' reply to Calvin, 35 [text 5],
where he pointed out Calvin’s confusion when he identified
impiety and error (Est enim aliud impietas, aliud
Calvin, 35 (impious)
But, as it was, in another time, such an injustice squeezed
out the Saint Prophets of God and the Apostles, they did not
deny that it were unfair to defend with legitimate power the
worship of God and its heavenly doctrine, so that the penalty
imposed by divine will would be exerted over the impious that
promoted its destruction. Certainly, as we will see later, God
had established a severe judgment against those who had tried
that the people separated from the true religion.
And we do not deny it. But there is controversy on who are
those destructive impious. By no means those who dissent from
Calvin must be held impious and promoters of the destruction
of the celestial doctrine. I will put an example which shall
cast light on this. At Christ’s time, there were four sects
among Jewish: Scribes, Sadducees, Pharisees, and Essenes, and all accepted the Law, but each group interpreted it
differently. If any of them had tried to deny the Law or to
subvert it impiously as well as to induce their members to
worship to Jupiter or to another God, it would have been
rightly punished. And rightly and deservedly they punished the
Macabees who had introduced Greek rites in the Jewish schools.
But no law ordered to punish with the sword those sects that
did not corrupt the Law impiously and artificially, but were
just mistaken in its interpretation.
Thus, today there are many Christian sects that accept the
Gospel piously and religiously, but which dissent from each
other in its interpretation. If anyone fully denied the Gospel
that it had previously endorsed, and damned Christ or God, and
blasphemed openly, I would not say anything in his favor. But
he who believes in Christ’s words, but interprets them
differently from us, I would not consider him an impious that
promotes the destruction of religion. Impiety is one thing and
error is something else.
Calvin had been a
he would have killed all the Scribes, Sadducees and Essenes
and he would have not allowed them to be indoctrinated by
Christ. I am of the opinion that, before Christ arrival, they
could not be called heretics, but, after his arrival, those
who did not obey him, despite being requested to do so by him,
were heretics. Thus, I do not think that many sects of
nowadays could be considered as heretics. But when the word
and wisdom to which nobody will resist comes, if someone does
not follow it, I will take him as a heretic. If such were
Calvin’s wisdom, I would not be able to duly contradict him.
However, he has not been endowed with such wisdom. Therefore,
using Calvin’s own words cited before, we must wait until
Christ comes as a judge and not circumvent recklessly God’s
Prof. Fernández Cacho pointed out that we can see the same line of argument in other paragraphs, which he also analyzed in detail before leading us to a text of Castellio in which he defended that the civil magistrate must only punish external and worldly offences but he must refrain from intervening in religious disputes.
Castellio went back on the Greek origin of the word “heretic” that he defined it as “sect” or “opinion” (Nos igitur vocabulum sic explicabimus. Haeresis graecum vocabulum est, quod sectam, sive opinionem declarat). He distinguishes three types of sects: good ones (laudabiles), bad ones (impiae) and doubtful ones (mediae) and which can be found already at Christ and Apostles’ times.
And those types of sects can also be found at the time when Castellio writes, as he points out later (pii, impii, medii). The impious are those who despise God, the blasphemers who are enemies of all religion, apostates, and many of them atheists; the doubtful ones are those who are God’s feared, those who believe in the Holy Scriptures, but who do not interpret them rightly.
For Castellio, the heretics are believers who are wrong according to those that do not follow their same sect and must be treated the same way as Christ taught that lost souls [descarriados] should be treated in the Parable of the Good Shepherd. Castellio is aware of the fact that men are not certain to decide which is the best sect among all sects. This judgment must be left in God’s hands. Should this not be the case, a war of religion would break out in which ones and others would kill each other, converting Christ into Satan. This point being reached, Prof. Fernández Cacho revealed that Castellio’s tolerance had its limits, since Castellio is not against the magistrates punish impious, atheist, apostates and blasphemers, and in this point he agrees with Calvin.
Prof. Fernández Cacho analyzed what he labeled as a contradiction in Castellio’s arguments; a contradiction that is it not easily explained if the arguments in favor of tolerance that we found throughout his work are analyzed. How is it possible, he asked himself, that Castellio considered that Moses' Law, under which apostates and blasphemers were condemned, had been superseded by Christ’s arrival, and he maintained that they could be condemned, despite the fact that he argued that he magistrate should refrain from intervening in religious disputes?
According to him, a convincing explanation has not yet been found, but some hypothesis can be put forward in that regard. According to Prof. Fernández Cacho, some relieve that this is a concession that Castellio makes to Calvin as part of his dialogue-friendly vein. Others also point out that at that time the impious, as Castellio’s says in its work (see Reply of Vaticanus to Calvin, 129), were identified with felons
(homines avari, libidinosi et voluptatum sectatores maximi)
against whom magistrates must act.Another reason could be that he did not dare to take until the end his reasoning. For Fernández Cacho, it is evident, if we take into account his interpretation of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, that the punishment should be spiritual and must be postponed until the Final Judgment. On the other hand, Castellio explicitly condemns the punishment of a man due to his beliefs pursuant to the most well-known sentence in his work (Hominem occidere non est doctrinam tueri, sed est hominem occidere).
And this sentence leaves
no scope for doubt; it refers to “a man” (hominem),
without any nuances or qualifications related to a religious or non-religious aspects.
After confirming that this contradiction is in fact difficult to understand, Prof. Fernández Cacho pointed at a line or argument which, in his opinion, must be further explored. The argument under which Castellio admits that impious must be condemned is similar to that laid down by Socrates in Gorgias 522e, although a sensu contrario, when talking about justice and injustice, and the defenselessness of a man before a tribunal, he replies at Calicles’ request:
Socrates: Yes, Calicles, [it is fine to me that a man
finds himself in such a situation in his city and that he may
not be able to defend himself], provided that he had that only
defense means that you have acknowledged several times,
i.e., that he has availed to himself of the protection that
consists in not having said or done anything unfair against
gods or mankind. We have agreed on several occasions that this
line of defense is the most effective. If someone showed that
I am unable to avail myself of this type of protection and of
providing it to other person, I would feel ashamed to see that
my error has been proved, either in the presence of few or
many people, or before the only person that disagrees with me,
and if, due to such incapability, I would be condemned to
death, I would get angry; but if I lost life due to my lack of
praising rhetoric, I am certain that you would see me to
accept death with serenity. Because nobody is afraid of death
as such, except he who is totally irrational and a coward;
what it is really feared is to commit an act of injustice.
Indeed, the most serious harm is having the soul going to Hell
loaded with numerous offences.
According to the above, the only assurance that a human being has that he will not be unfairly condemned is not having said or done anything unfair against either the gods or mankind. This means that if a human being has made something unjust against gods or mankind, his condemnation is fair. In this regard, Castellio’s argument related to injustices against gods (i.e., against God), in the 16th century, would coincide with that of Socrates.
view of the foregoing and according to Prof. Fernández
Cacho, the fact that Socrates was a highly respected figure
during the Renaissance, as well as the broad publicity that
a “Christianized” Socrates had during this period, would
have favored the idea of chasing and prosecuting the
impious, atheists and apostates, something that, as pointed
out by other authors, was a pervasive idea
during that time.
As a conclusion, our lecturer insisted upon the fact that Castellio was a pioneer in the defense of religious tolerance, even at the risk of his own life. He created the concept of freedom of conscience and tolerance before Locke, Hume and Voltaire. Castellio defended Servetus, not because he had endorsed his ideas, as he stressed in his Against Calvin’s Libel, but because of a sheer feeling that freedom of conscience must be upheld. He was one of the first, if not the first, to develop and stand by such concept.
This is the reason why Castellio, although forgotten and not enough vindicated, stands out in the history of Western thought. In the 16th century, not even Protestant religious leaders raised their voices against the punishment of heretics. In this regard, Sebastian Castellio was ahead of his time and a forerunner of the French Revolution and the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”.
The academic event finished with the traditional Fire offering and the reading of the touching “Servetus Prayer”. The Director of the Department of Culture of the Government of Aragón. Mr. Ramón Miranda, and both lecturers, laid a bouquet of flowers at the statue of Servetus erected before the monumental façade of the Church of Villanueva de Sijena.
2009 Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses “Miguel Servet”
/Translation Sergio Baches & Jaume de Marcos.
|PRESENTATION OF ESTUDIOS SOBRE MIGUEL SERVET IV - 26 OCTOBER 2009
Last October 26, 2009, the Director of the Michael Michael Servetus
Institute, Sergio Baches Opi, attended following an invitation of the
Michael Servetus High School of Zaragoza (Instituto de Educación
Secundaria "Miguel Servet" - IES Miguel Servet) the presentation of the
book Estudios sobre Miguel Servet IV, written by teachers and students
of the High School. The book was presented by Mr. Fernando García
Vicente (the Ombudsman of the Aragon Region). The Director of the
Michael Servetus Institute congratulated the teachers and students the
congratulation of the Institute on these new book and pointed out that
it represents a new step forward to spread Servetus' legacy among those
readers who are not specialized in the life and works of the Aragonese
All the authors of the introductions to the four books devoted to
Servetus published so far by the Michael Servetus High School attended
the presentation: Ángel Alcalá (Vol. I), Sergio Baches (Vol. II), Luís
Betés (Vol. III), and Fernando García Vicente (Vol. IV). The organizers
took into account this fact to take this historic photo:
From right to left: Julio Salvador, Daniel Moreno, Sergio Baches,
Carmen Martínez, Fernando García Vicente, Luís Betés, Ángel Alcalá and
(Photo by IES Miguel Servet).
Public attending the presentation
(Photo by IES Miguel Servet).
With this book, the Michael Servetus High School of Zaragoza continues
its extraordinary task in favor of spreading the life, works and legacy
of Michael Servetus, as well as contributing to the creation of a "web"
of future researchers devoted to study all the aspects of the work this
Aragonese humanist, born in Villanueva de Sijena (Huesca-Aragón).
The full text of the books published by the Michael Servetus High School can be downloaded from this link:
|NEW SEMINAR AT THE MICHAEL SERVETUS INSTITUTE - 24 october 2009
Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses "Miguel Servet" (Michael Servetus Institute)
Casa Natal de Miguel Servet
Villanueva de Sijena (Huesca, Aragón, Spain)
9:30 h.: Meeting of the Board of Trustees (Town Hall of Villanueva de Sijena)
11:30 h.: General Assembly (all the counselors)
- Report of matters discussed in the Board of Trustees' meeting
12:15 h.: Coffee break
- Report on the financials of the Institute
- Proposal and appointment of new members
Establishment of the Commission for the commemoration of the 500th
anniversary of the birth of Michael Servetus. Working session to
discuss the activities for the "Servetus Year, 2011".
14:00 h.: Lunch. Restaurant "La Bodega" (Villanueva de Sijena)*
Presentation of the book:
Contra el libelo de Calvino (first Spanish translation). This
translation has been coordinated and sponsored by the Michael Servetus
16:30 h.: Lecture by Dr. Ana Gómez Rabal: "Sebastian Castellio and his importance in early Servetism"
17:15 h.: Lecture
by Mr. Joaquín Fernández Cacho: "The Spanish translation of Castellio's
work: Contra libellum Calvini. Notes on the methodology".
18:00 h.: Debate.
18:30 h.: Flower offering before the statue of Michael Servetus in Villanueva de Sijena. Lecture of Servetus' prayer
* Reservations should be made prior to October 18, 2009. Tel. 0034 974 57 81 87 4
974 57 81 87 (price: 20 €).
These lectures are validated by the University of Zaragoza as two free-choice credits.
|LECTURES AT THE MICHAEL SERVETUS INSTITUTE- April 19, 2009
Sunday, 19 April, 2009, the Michael Servetus Institute held its first
academic event of the year in the birth house of the Spanish humanist.
The Institute also held its first Annual General Assembly in which it
was agreed to set up a working group to prepare the events and
activities to commemorate the V centenary of the birth of Servetus in
2011. The Director of the Institute, Mr. Sergio Baches, pointed out the
need to involve the Government of Aragon in the preparation of this
upcoming celebration, which will allow the Institute to discuss and
release the last studies concerning Servetus’ works and life and to
flag his works and legacy to the new generations, with a special focus
on students of primary and secondary schools in Spain and abroad.
During the Assembly, Mr. Bizen d’o Rio, former Director of the
Institute, received a plaque in recognition of his support to our
After the General
Assembly, Dr. Antonio Gascón gave a lecture on the medical works of
Servetus in which he described the discovery of the lesser circulation
of the blood and reviewed the life and works of other physicians and
researchers who could be considered the intellectual heirs of Michael
the afternoon, Dr. Adolfo Roitman, curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls and
Director of the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem,
lectured on the history and contents of the Dead See Scrolls (also
known as the Qumran Scrolls), discovered, allegedly by chance, by some
Bedouin shepherds. In his lecture, Dr. Roitman highlighted the
importance of these texts, contained in approximately 930 scrolls, to
better comprehend the origins of Rabbinic Judaism and Christianity
itself, although he pointed out that none of the scrolls discovered so
far mentions the name of Jesus. He also referred to the fact that the
Jewish community of Qumran believed in predestination, something which
would show that the controversy over predestination, a thorny topic in
Servetus-Calvin´s relationship, was already being discussed at the time
of Jesus. The Director of the Institute stated that Dr. Roitman’s
presence had been possible thanks to the collaboration of the Institute
with Casa Sefarad Israel and the association Tarbut Sefarad.
Institute would like to take the chance in this summary to remind of
the fact (following in this regard to Prof. Florentino García -“FG”-,
one of the most well-know experts on the Dead See Scrolls) that the
most ancient Biblical text that we kept until the discovery of Qumran,
were copies made in the Middle Age of the canonic Rabbinic versions.
Therefore, with the Scrolls of Qumran, we have gained one thousand
years in the knowledge of the Biblical text. Three types of documents
can be distinguished amongst the Dead See Scrolls: 30% are copies of
some Old Testament books, 30% are literary works, and another 30% are
documents referred to the Jewish sect of Qumran.
coincides in time with the birth of Christianity. However, since it was
a group detached from any other form of Judaism, it is not strange that
no explicit reference to Christians is made in the scrolls, as no
reference is made either to a more important group at that time: the
Fariseus. However, what they tell us of the Jewish sect that drafted
them and of the Jewish world of their time is essential to know how the
Christian group arises in the Palestine of that time. In this regard,
they help us understand how Christianity can develop some ideas, social
structures, vocabulary, etc. For instance, the wording used by Saint
John in the preface of his Gospel: “Sons of Light” is inspired in the
dualism of the Qumran thought. Something similar can be said of the
decision of the first Christians to live in community, when we did not
know any precedent in the previous Jewish society of this type of
community life (FG).
relates to the references to the “Messiah” conception that we find in
the New Testament. In the Old Testament, “messianism” is far from being
developed. However, in the New Testament we inexplicably find the
opposite. In Qumran, we see that this idea had been very much
developed. They expected the arrival of several messiahs: a “king”
messiah, son of David; a “priest” messiah of the Melquisedec tribe and
a “prophet messiah”, who would teach the Law; a superhuman messiah, who
is named Son of God, and who would have as mission to restore peace.
This explains why Christianity, although it acknowledges only one
Messiah, uses different names to refer to him: Son of David, High
Priest, Son of God., etc. (FG).
This academic event was closed with the traditional flower offering at the statue of Michael Servetus in Villanueva de Sigena.
Some materials on the Dead Sea Scrolls:
News in the Press <
|OPENING OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR
April 19, 2009
Michael Servetus Institute
Villanueva de Sijena
(Huesca, Aragon, Spain)
9:30 h.: Meeting of the Board of Trustees (Town Hall of Villanueva de Sijena).
11:30 h.: General Assembly (all the counsellors).
- Transfer of power to the new Director
- Report of matters discussed in the Board of Trustees' meeting
- Report on the finantials of the Institute
- Proposal and appointment of new members.
12:15 h.:Coffee break.
12:30 h.: Lecture
by Dr. Antonio Gascón (Sariñena-Huesca): "Michael Servetus: A
commentary of its medical works" . Dr Gascón is a member of the Michael
Seretus Institute and currently a physician in Barcelona.
13:30 h.: Debate.
14:00 h.: Lunch. Restaurant "La Bodega" (Villanueva de Sijena)*.
Lecture by Dr. Adolfo Roitman (Jerusalem): "Introduction to the Dead
See Scrolls". Dr Roitman, is the Curator of the Dead Sea Scrolls and
Director of the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Further information of Dr. Roitman can be found in the following link: www.uscj.org/world/caracas/cos_qumran.html
17:30 h.: Debate.
18:00 h.: Flower offering before the statue of Michael Servetus in Villanueva de Sijena .
** Reservations should be made prior to April 12, 2009. Tel. 0034 974 57 81
87 0034 974 57 81 87 (price: 20 €).
|SEMINAR ON MICHAEL SERVETUS
1 November 2008
Michael Servetus Institute
Villanueva de Sijena
(Huesca, Aragon, Spain)
12:00 h.: General Assembly of the Institute.
- Report of the Major of Villanueva de Sijena on future appointments of the Institute.
12:30 h.: Coffee break.
- Report of the conclusions reached by the Board of Trustees*.
- Proposal and appointment of new members (counselors) of the Institute.
12:45 h.: Dr. Peter Hughes
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada): Is Michael Servetus the author of
Declarationis Iesu Christi Filii Dei?: analysis of its authorship and
content” (in English, with simultaneous translation into Spanish).
is the chief editor of the online Dictionary of Unitarian and
Universalist Biography. He has a degree in mathematics by the MIT and
was minister to the First Universalist Church of Woonsocket, Rhode
Island, from 1986 until 1999, when he retired from parish ministry. A
Canadian citizen, he now lives in Toronto, Ontario. He has written
numerous articles on Christian religious history and he recently
re-edited the book by Prof. Bainton “Michael Servetus: hunted heretic”.
In the last few years he has become one of the most knowledgeable
scholars on Michael Servetus’ works.
14:00 h.: Lunch – Restaurant Alcanadre (Sariñena)**.
16:30 h.: Dr. Rafael Bermudo del Pino (Seville, Spain): “God and World in Servetus’ system of thought” (in Spanish)
Rafael Bermudo del Pino
holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy by the University of Seville (Spain). He
recently submitted his Ph.D. dissertation dealing with Servetus’
theological system and the vision of reality that derives from it. He
will provide us with a fresh and contemporary vision of Servetus’
17:45 h.: Pause.
18:00 h.: Mr. Mariano Aladrén (Zaragoza, Spain): “Astrology in the works of Michael Servetus: introduction to Hermetism” (in spanish)
is a member of the Michael Servetus Institute and founding member of
Southern European Federation of Astrologists. He regularly teaches
astrology in domestic and international seminars and congresses. He has
edited various books on astrology (including eight volumes of the book
on astrology by Ali Ben Ragel, the “Astrological Summa” by Antonio de
Najera, 1634 or “On the More Certain Fundamentals to Astrology” by
Johannes Kepler, 1602). For three years he has been conducting a radio
program on astrology.
18:45 h.: Questions and concluding remarks.
19:30 h.: Fire offering before the statue of Michael Servetus / Prayer to Servetus.
* The Board of Trustees will meet at 11:00 a.m in the City Hall of Villanueva de Sijena.
** Price € 20. Prior reservation required before the 28th October Tel.:
+34 974 572 432
|LECTURE BY DR. JUAN ANTONIO CREMADES SANZ-PASTOR
Michael Servetus Institute Institute organized and hosted on April 20th
a lecture by Dr. Juan Antonio Cremades. Prior to the lecture, a
sculpture of the well-known Aragonian sculptor Mr. Javier Sauras was
inaugurated in the hall of the Michael Servetus House. After the
wellcoming speech of the Secretary General of the Institute, Sergio
Baches Opi, in which he thanked Mr. Sauras for the sculpture and
pointed out the importance that art has as a means to spread the
Servetian legacy, the major of Villanueva de Sijena, Mr. Alfonso
Salillas, inaugurated the sculpture and also warmly thanked Mr. Sauras
for his kind gesture.
In his speech,
Javier Sauras pointed out that with this sculpture he had tried to
grasp the suffering of Michael Servetus during his burning at the stake
in the hill of Champel, but also the clash between tolerance and
bigotry as the two concepts that collided throughout Servetus' life,
and which reached its zenith during his execution in Geneva.
Javier Sauras' whole speech <
the inauguration of the sculpture, Dr. Cremades, who had been oficially
appointed member of the Institute minutes before, gave a thorough and
systematic lecture based on his last investigations regarding the
alleged French nationalization of Michael Servetus while he lived in
the French city of Vienne, close to Lyon. According to his
analysis,Servetus never applied for the French nacionality. The review
of the documents referring to this Servetian episode and, in
particular, of the Letter of King Henry II,
dated October of 1548, reveals that the only thing that Servetus
requested from the French authorities was a waiver from the French laws
applicable to foreigners that restricted their property rights in
France. Due to this legislation, an allien was not entitled to sell his
property or to make a will, which meant that, after a foreigner died,
his state was automatically owned by the French State. Moreover, Dr.
Cremades also set aside the reasons given by some Servetians to justify
their assumption that Servetus had acquired the French nationality,
such as, his fear to the Inquisition, the need to disguise his true
identity or his willingness to be a French civil servant. A book
containing the lecture given by Dr.Cremades at the Institute will be
edited soon by the Government of Aragón. This book will also include
the essay that Dr. Cremades has recently written regarding the trial of
Servetus in Paris, and which was the base of his speech to become a
member of the Aragonese Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation in
Zaragoza on January 15, 2008.
event was closed with the traditional and touching flower offering
before the statue of Michael Servetus in Villanueva de Sijena (Huesca,
Aragón - Spain). After the offering, the Secretary General of the
Institute regretted the absence of "supralocal" institutional
representatives, once again emphasizing that this situation reveals the
necessity to promote greater sensitivity among political
representatives on the importance of Servetus in the Spanish and
News in the Press <
|SEMINARIO: ¿CHOQUE O ENCUENTRO DE CIVILIZACIONES?
Un acercamiento desde Aragón. El dilema Islam - Occidente desde Miguel Servet.
past October 27, the Michael Servetus Institute hosted a seminar
regarding the relationship between Islam and Christianity. The seminar
was divided into three segments. One devoted to the historical
influence of Muslim and Jewish intellectuals in the evolution of
Western culture. Another dealt with the differences between Muslim and
Christian theology, and the third lecture tackle the influence that
Muslim sources had in Servetus’ writings. (Link: A common word)
seminar started with a welcoming speech by the Major of Villanueva and
First Deputy President of the Institute, Mr. Alfonso Salillas.
Following his warming speech, Mrs. Pilar Zaldívar, a historian from
Zaragoza with an in-depth knowledge of the Muslim world, initiated the
first lecture. According to Mrs. Zaldívar, Al-Andalus, which during a
certain period of time represented practically all the Spanish
territory as it is known today, was composed of many successive human
elements: the Visigoth. Roman, Greek, Phoenician legacies; the
Christian and Jewish elements that were already present in the Iberian
Peninsula, and the Islamic elements that entered into Spain in 711. But
all of them equally felt they belonged to Al-Andalus and they spoke
Arabic on a regular basis and it also was the language of culture for
Jewish and Muslims. Hebrew was only used for religious services. Latin
was also used for religious services and in the intellectual Christian
circles. The knowledge of Al-Andalus, which included the most relevant
work of Greek philosophers were transmitted to Europe through the
Translation School of Toledo and some outstanding representatives of
the Jewish culture living in the valley of the River Ebro, such as
Abraham ibn Ezra and Pedro Alfonso, who travelled extensively through
several European Countries. According to Mrs. Zaldívar, Christian, Jews
and Muslims "coexisted" in Al-Andalus but did not actually live in the
historical and peaceful paradise that some old fashion historians have
argued, or in a world full of endless conflicts .
her lecture, Dr. Abdelmumin Haya thoroughly outlined the main
differences between Islam and Christianity and pointed out those
elements which currently tend to bring closer Islam and Christianity.
But first of all, he explained why Mohammad was always tolerant with
Christians by analyzing his writings and legal commandments.
the most striking difference between Islam and Christianity relies on
its different conception of the relationship between God and human
beings. While Islam is a more sensual religion than Christianity since
Muslims do not believe in the original sin or that this life is a
“valley of tears”, Christian faith is rooted in the original sin and it
places a strong value on redemption. However, Muslims have a submissive
relationship with God. The relationship of love and friendship that
exists in the Christian mystic is an scandal for those Muslims who are
not Sufis, i.e.: for the greater majority. Muslims refer to ‘ubudîa,
submission to the qadar…According to him, Islam is also a less dogmatic
religion than Christianity. In that regard, no issues, such the
discussion regarding the Trinity, have appeared in Islam.
Haya argued that the existing difference between Islam and Christianity
based on the rejection of one's own body, pleasure and sexuality (the
"valley of tears") has already been overcome, and this is an important
step forward. In addition he also observed that, regrettably, Islam is
suffering from a steady "eclesialization" (i.e. a hierarchical process)
that resembles to that experienced through History by the Christian
Church. This, according to him, threatens crystallizing the Muslim
faith. He finally concluded that there is nothing, from a religious
point of view, preventing us from living together and understanding
each other. The problem though, as he replied to a question made by
someone from the audience, is mostly politics
Mr. Jaume de Marcos, explained the influence that Islam played in
Servetus' writings. He analyzed the concrete references to the Koran
and Islamic sources in his main work: The Restoration of Christianity,
in order to defend his theories against the dogma of the Trinity, which
was totally unnecessary for Muslims. Beyond this specific analysis, the
thrust of Servetus' references to the Islamic faith is that he tried to
restore Christianity to its origins thinking he could make it more
easily acceptable for Jews and Muslims. In this sense, one could argue
that Servetus tried to build bridges between Muslims and Jews during a
time in which the relationships between Muslims and Christian were
The Seminar was closed with the traditional offering and reading of Servetus' Prayer before the statue that lies in front of the Church of Villanueva.
News in the Press <
|Photos by José Salillas Lacasa
|SEMINAR: CLASH OR MEETING OF CIVILIZATIONS?
The Islam-West dilemma since Michael Servetus.
|Place: Michael Servetus Institute. Michael Servetus Birthplace and Museum. Villanueva de Sijena (Huesca - Aragon -Spain)
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2007
Registration: Tel.:(+34) 974 57 81
37 (+34) 974 57 81 37 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Registration Fee: 8€.
The fee may be paid the same day of the event at the counter of the
Michael Servetus Birthplace and Museum.
Free entrance for the members of the Institute.
Presentation and objectives of the Seminar:
attacks to the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001 reignited the
interests to study the religious phenomena as enabling mechanisms to
mould and in some cases overhaul the relationship between different
peoples and ethic groups, both in the international arena and in more
limited geographic scopes.
religions “of the Book” (i.e. the three religions that find its
affiliation in Abraham’s offspring and in the revealed Word of God
through the Bible) believe in the same God, either called, Allah,
Hashem or God Father. However, this common base has not been enough to
mitigate the continuous clashes amongst the three religious groups and,
in particular, between the Islam and the Western world of Christian
tradition. The link between the political power and religion has
decisively contributed to nurture and radicalize this clashing climate.
Therefore, one should wonder if a real separation between “church” and
“state” constitutes an essential element to achieve a sincere
understanding between Islam and the Western world.
this Seminar, the Michael Servetus Institute wishes to contribute to
the religious dialogue between Christians and Muslims, familiarizing
the audience with the contributions made by the Muslims intellectuals
to the formation of Western culture, as well as the main differences
and similarities between both religions. The bottom line is to show
that Islam and modernity are not irreconcilable.
The Seminar will also deal with the importance that the Koran sources
played in the writings of Servetus. The great humanist was always
conscious of the spiritual bonds between Muslims and Christians and he
did not hesitate to cite the Koran in support of its theories against
the Trinity, which broke the unity and indivisibility of God, a concept
which was and still is essential to Jews and Muslims. Beyond the
concrete aspects of this debate, the quest of Servetus to banish from
the Christian creed what he considered to be an artificial
philosophical construction reveals how important is to point out the
essential elements of both religions above some of their dogmas in
order to grasp what unites us and to water down what has greatly
16:00 h. - 16:20 h .: General Assembly of the Institute: Proposal and appointment of new members.
16:20 h. – 16:30 h.: Welcoming remarks.
16:30 h. - 17:15 h.:
Dr. Joaquín Lomba. Emeritus Professor of Philosophy - University of
Zaragoza: "Hispanic Jewish and Muslim thought in the formation of the
to family reasons, Dr. Lomba will not be able to attend the Seminar.
Upon his recommendation, Mrs. Pilar Zaldívar Bouthelier will replace
him. Mrs. Zaldívar has a Diploma in Advanced Studies from the
University of Zaragoza (2000) and a History Degree from the same
University. She is currently teaching Arabic in the University of
Zaragoza and she is an specialist in the Arab world. She has been a
teacher of Spanish and Spanish culture at the Cervantes Institute of
Damascus (Syria) and Amman (Jordan).
17:15 h.- 17:30 h.: Coffe break.
17:30 h. - 18:15 h.:
Dr. Abdelmumin Haya, Ph.D. on Philosophy - University of Sevilla:
"Differences and similarities between Islam and Christianity: proposal
for an inter-religious dialogue”.
18:15 h. - 18:30 h.: Break.
18:30 h. – 19:15 h.:
Mr. Jaume de Marcos Andreu, Master in History of Religions, Universidad
Autónoma de Barcelona: "Islam in Servetus’ writings".
19:15 h. - 19:45 h.: Discussion and Closing.
19:45 h. - 20:00 h.: Fire offering before the statute of Michael Servetus at Villanueva de Sijena. Servetus’ Prayer.
Before the beginning of the Seminar (14:00 h. - 16:00 h.) there will be
lunch at “La Bodega”, Villanueva de SIjena: Price €20. R.S.V.P. Tel.: +34 974 57 81
|LECTURE ON THE INFLUENCE OF SERVETUS ON CALVINISM
May 20th, 2007, the Michael Servetus Institute inaugurated its current
academic year with a lecture by Mr. Carlos Capó Inglada. The lecture
was attended by many of our members as well as several US Unitarians,
amongst we can highlight Rev. Robert Hardies, main minister in the “All
Souls” Unitarian Church of Washington, and the French Unitarian leader
Mr. Jean-Claude Barbier.
Mr. Carlos Capó Inglada is an Evangelical Minister of the Spanish
Evangelical Church in Barcelona. Since 2001 is a member of the
Permanent Commission of the Spanish Evangelical Church. In 1996, he
founded the publishing house “Gayata” to spread the protestant thought
and the history of Protestantism in Spain. He has written several books
and articles, and lectures on religious and historical topics related
to Protestantism and Calvinism.
In his lecture, Mr. Capó Inglada gave us an in-depth insight into the
influence that the death of Servetus had in the evolution of Calvinism.
A summary of his lecture can be found in the following link:
> Mr. Carles Capó's lecture <
|30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE MICHAEL SERVETUS INSTITUTE
commemorative acts of the 30th Anniversary of the Institute gathered a
significant number of members of the Institute as well as other
researchers and commentators of the life and works of Michael Servetus.
Many sympathizers also came to Villanueva de Sijena to accompany us in
this special occasion. The Government of Aragon was represented
by its General Director of Culture, Mrs. Pilar Navarrete, who gave the opening speech.
In her speech, she referred to the restraints that in the current
situation are suffering all those who want to fully exercise its
freedom of speech and conscience, one of the underpinnings of Michael
Mrs. Navarrete wondered if such a concept is “still a sheer illusion”,
and it set forth those elements which threaten its exercise in
practice, such as, the “attacks against innocents” or "the public
humiliation of the Pope for just expressing a sheer truth.” She also
insisted on the danger that entails the spreading of a “unique thought”
(el pensamiento único) by the mass media which “reduces our intelligence and uniforms our minds”.
The events were presided by Mr. Ildefonso Salillas, Major of Villanueva de Sijena, and the Director of the Institute.
Both highlighted in two touching speeches the task performed by the
founder of the Institute, Mr. Julio Arribas Salaberri. During the
session, the Institute also appointed eight new members. Mr. Jesús
Vived Mairal who hand been previously introduced to the audience by Mr.
Fernando Solsona Motrel and Mr. Fernando Alvira Banzo, was appointed
Honorary Member of the Institute.
his appointment, Mr. Jesús Vived gave a thorough lecture entitled
“Miguel Servet en la obra de Ramón J. Sender”, which gave rise to an
interesting debate afterwards.
the afternoon session, Dr. Elaine Elaine Cristine Sartorelli, from the
University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) gave a lecture entitled “Estrategias
de construcción y de legitimación del ethos en la causa veritatis:
Miguel Servet y las polémicas religiosas del siglo XVI”. Given the
originality of this line of research, the Institute is planning to
publish during 2007 an essay based on Dr. Sartorelli’s research.
The commemorating events of the 30th Anniversary of the Institute were
closed with the traditional flower offering at the statute of Michael
Servetus in Villanueva de Sijena, and with the reading of the
“Servetus’ Prayer” by the Director of the Institute.
|PRESENTACIÓN DEL LIBRO "ESTUDIOS SOBRE MIGUEL SERVET II" EN EL I.E.S MIGUEL SERVET DE ZARAGOZA
Baches Opi, Secretario General del Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses
Miguel Servet, presentó el libro en un acto que contó con la presencia
de la Directora General de Cultura de la DGA.
Directora del IES Miguel Servet de Zaragoza, Marina Sanz Lázaro,
inauguró el acto de presentación del libro Estudios sobre Miguel Servet
[II], escrito por profesores y alumnos de dicho centro. Resaltó la
continuidad de una línea de trabajo que viene realizando el IES desde
hace varios años y que se ha concretado en conferencias, libros y
documentos audiovisuales, el interés y el esfuerzo de los profesores y
alumnos implicados, y el pleno apoyo del equipo directivo entero.
A continuación, dio la palabra a
la Directora General de Cultura de la Diputación General de Aragón,
Pilar Navarrete Hernández, quien hizo hincapié en la muerte de Servet por
defender la libertad de pensamiento, al igual que les ha sucedido y
sucede a otros personajes, relevantes o anónimos. Una libertad de
pensamiento tan necesaria en la compleja y multicultural sociedad
Sanz presentó a Sergio Baches Opi, Secretario General del Instituto de
Estudios Sijenenses Miguel Servet, abogado y estudioso de la obra del
insigne pensador y científico de Villanueva de Sijena.
Baches hizo una breve semblanza del combativo teólogo, humanista y
científico, centrándose en sus fundamentos teológicos y en su defensa
de la libertad de pensamiento, de la que decía que nunca debía ser
objeto de violencia alguna y, mucho menos, de castigos tales como la
pena de muerte.
abordó también el rechazo por Servet de la unión Iglesia-Estado, del
bautismo antes de los veinte años y del dogma de la Trinidad, que
conectaba con el dominio de la jerarquía sobre la sociedad:
para un puñado de reformistas radicales, la negación de la eternidad de
Jesucristo, en cuanto que podía ser interpretada como un alejamiento de
Cristo de la esencia divina, suponía para los católicos, luteranos y
calvinistas (confesiones vinculadas al poder civil) una degradación de
la persona de Cristo, lo que, en definitiva, podía enervar la
efectividad de la utilización de su mensaje ante los fieles y ello, a
su vez, representar un obstáculo a la utilización de la religión como
mecanismo de control social."
último, invitó a leer Estudios sobre Miguel Servet II, un libro del que
alabó su rigor y su didactismo, así como el haber sido elaborado por
profesores y alumnos.
continuación, D. Julio Salvador, en representación de los autores del
libro, esbozó el contenido de los diversos artículos, y reseñó
especialmente la edición, por vez primera, del guión radiofónico Miguel
Servet. Destino entre la sangre y el fuego, de la escritora Encarnación
Ferré, escrito en un momento ya lejano en que era muy infrecuente
tratar de Servet.
profesores responsables de las nuevas tecnologías de la información y
la comunicación (TIC) de que dispone el centro facilitaron poder seguir
la conferencia a través de una gran pantalla y presentaron la página
web del centro (http://www.educa.aragob.es/iesmseza/), en la cual, entre otras posibilidades, se puede acceder a la consulta y descarga de los libros Estudios sobre Miguel Servet [I] y Estudios sobre Miguel Servet [II].
de Julio Salvador.
|30 ANIVERSARIO DEL INSTITUTO DE ESTUDIOS SIJENENSES "MIGUEL SERVET"
ACTOS CONMEMORATIVOS DEL 30 ANIVERSARIO DEL INSTITUTO DE ESTUDIOS SIJENENSES “MIGUEL SERVET” (1976-2006)
Villanueva de Sijena, Huesca, Aragón (España) - 22 de octubre de 2006
Reunión del Consejo Permanente del Instituto (sólo Consejeros del Instituto).
|Reunión del Consejo Plenario (Entrada libre).
- Inauguración a cargo de Dña. Pilar Navarrete Hernández, Directora General de Cultura de la Diputación General de Aragón (DGA).
de bienvenida del Sr. Ildefonso Salillas Lacasa, Alcalde de Villanueva
de Sijena y Vicepresidente Primero del Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses
- Intervención del Promotor General del Instituto, D. Bizén d’o Río Martínez. “Reflexiones sobre los orígenes del Instituto”.
- Homenaje a D. Jesús Vived Mairal. Presentación a cargo del Dr. D. Fernando Solsona Motrel.
- Acto de nombramiento de los nuevos Consejeros del Instituto.
Conferencia a cargo de D. Jesús Vived, investigador, escritor y músico, "Miguel Servet en la obra de Ramón J. Sender".
Almuerzo en el Restaurante La Bodega¹. Villanueva de Sijena.
Conferencia a cargo de la Dra. Elaine Cristine Sartorelli, Dra. en Letras Clásicas, Universidad de Sao Paulo (Faculdad de Filosofía, Letras y Ciencias, Departamento de Letras Clásicas y Vernáculas). "Autodescripciones de Servet: entre la biografía y la retórica".
Coloquio y Clausura de los actos.
|Homenaje a Miguel Servet ante su monumento.
- Tañir de campanas.
- Ofreda del fuego y oración.
- Ofrenda floral.
¹ Sólo podrán asistir al almuerzo los Consejeros y acompañantes que hayan reservado con antelación:
Tel.: 974 57 81
87 974 57 81 87 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Precio del cubierto 18€.
|MARIO SABAN NOS INTRODUCE EN SIJENA A LOS ORÍGENES JUDÍOS DEL CRISTIANISMO
pasado 17 de septiembre, el prestigioso investigador argentino Mario
Saban impartió en el Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses “Miguel Servet” y
ante un numeroso público un seminario sobre los orígenes jurídicos del
Cristianismo. Tras unas palabras de bienvenida a cargo del Alcalde de
Villanueva, D. Alfonso Salillas y una breve pero emotiva introducción a
cargo del Promotor General del Instituto, D. Bizén d’o Río, sobre la
historia de los judíos en Aragón, el Prof. Saban inició su disertación
destacando que Jesús fue por nacimiento y tradición un judío, así como
todos aquéllos que le proclamaron como el Mesías. Según Saban, quien ha
plasmado sus investigaciones en varios libros, Jesús no pensó nunca en
fundar una nueva religión.
el seminario, Saban también destacó que en los Evangelios se aprecia
claramente la dicotomía entre Jesús, quien proclama abiertamente su
pacifismo, incluso frente a los enemigos de Judea, representados a la
sazón por los ocupantes romanos, y la beligerancia contra el ocupante
romano de algunos de los apóstoles, más preocupados por instaurar la
independencia del Reino de Israel frente a Roma que el Reino de los
Cielos anunciado por Jesús. Saban subrayó también que Jesús, cuando
acude a Jerusalén, era consciente de que su movimiento se había
convertido a los ojos de Roma y de la jerarquía judía (saduceos) del
Templo de Jerusalén, en un problema político y, a pesar de ello, se
entrega como mártir en prueba de su supremacía ética frente a sus
la segunda parte del seminario, el Prof. Saban explicó cómo el judío
Saulo de Tarso (San Pablo) fue el verdadero creador y primer difusor a
gran escala de lo que en un principio fue un movimiento dentro del
judaísmo y no una nueva religión, pero que agrupaba a aquéllos judíos
que creían que el Mesías anunciado en las Escrituras había sido enviado
por Dios a la tierra y que éste no era otro que Jesús de Nazaret. Es a
partir del siglo II cuando se produce la ruptura entre el judaísmo y el
nuevo movimiento cristiano representada, entre otras manifestaciones,
por el cambio de la Pascua judía por el Domingo de Resurrección o del
Sabbath por el Domingo. Este distanciamiento entre los judíos que no
creían en Jesús como el Mesías y los cristianos se explica en parte por
el deseo de estos últimos de convertir a su fe al mismísimo Imperio
romano para lo que necesitaban marcar definitivamente las distancias
con los judíos de Judea, quienes en el año 114 D.C. se habían revelado
de nuevo contra el Imperio romano. Es, por tanto, en el siglo II cuando
nace el Cristianismo como nueva religión.
el Promotor General, como su Secretario General, Sergio Baches Opi,
mostraron su satisfacción por la gran acogida que ha tenido este
seminario, destacando que con esta iniciativa el Instituto había
querido contribuir a una comprensión más profunda del judaísmo de Jesús
y de la influencia del judaísmo en la historia del Cristianismo,
fomentando de este modo la mutua comprensión entre ambas religiones que
desde el Concilio Vaticano II caracteriza las relaciones entre ambas
|LOS ORÍGENES JUDÍOS DEL CRISTIANISMO
relaciones entre el Cristianismo y el Judaísmo no siempre han
transcurrido pacíficamente. Sólo a partir del Concilio Vaticano II y,
en particular, a raíz de la autocrítica formulada por Juan XXIII al
tratamiento injusto que la Iglesia había inflingido al pueblo judío
desde los inicios del Cristianismo, puede hablarse de un acercamiento
sincero entre ambas religiones.
El desencuentro entre el
Cristianismo y el Judaísmo resulta sorprendente si se tiene en cuenta
el papel que este último desempeñó en los orígenes del Cristianismo y,
en consecuencia, en la configuración de la civilización occidental. Con
la organización de este seminario, el Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses
"Miguel Servet" ( Michael Servetus Institute )
quiere contribuir a una comprensión más profunda del judaísmo de Jesús
y de la influencia del Judaísmo en los inicios del Cristianismo,
fomentando de este modo la mutua comprensión entre ambas religiones.
Este seminario también permitirá a los asistentes identificar las
diferencias principales entre el pensamiento hebreo y la teología
El seminario será impartido por el Prof. Mario Javier Saban:
||- Licenciado en Derecho por la Universidad de Buenos Aires.
- Profesor de Historia del Derecho en la Facultad de Derecho y Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad de Buenos Aires.
- Profesor de Judaísmo en el Centro de Estudios Judíos (CEJ) de Buenos Aires.
- Profesor sobre los "Orígenes Judíos del Cristianismo" en el Centro de Estudios Pastorales de Barcelona (CEP).
- Profesor del curso de especialización de "Pensamiento Hebreo" en la Universidad de Lérida.
- Secretario de Relaciones Externas de la Confraternidad Judeocristiana de Cataluña.
autor de ocho libros sobre temática hebrea, entre los que se pueden
destacar los siguientes títulos: "Las raíces judías del Cristianismo",
"El Judaísmo de San Pablo", "El sábado hebreo en el Cristianismo",
"Judíos Conversos I", "Judíos Conversos II" y "La matriz intelectual
del Judaísmo y la génesis de Europa".
10:30 hrs. Introducción a cargo de D. Bizen D'o Río Martínez, Promotor del Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses "Miguel Servet": "Breve relato de la historia de los judíos en Aragón"
11:00 hrs. La situación de Judea en el siglo I y el Judaísmo de Jesús.
11:45 hrs. Coloquio y preguntas.
12:00 hrs. Pausa café.
12:30 hrs. El
Judaísmo de San Pablo. La Iglesia a finales del siglo I. La ruptura
definitiva en el siglo II entre el mundo judío y la Iglesia.
13:15 hrs. Coloquio y preguntas.
13:45 hrs. Clausura del seminario .
|Lugar de impartición y fecha:
de Estudios Sijenenses "Miguel Servet", Casa Natal de Miguel Servet,
Villanueva de Sijena (Huesca). www.miguelservet.org Domingo, 17
de septiembre de 2006
Por correo electrónico: firstname.lastname@example.org o bien llamando al teléfono 610 47 82 84 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 610 47 82 84 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
Miembros del Instituto : Gratuito.
No miembros : 6 €. A ingresar en el siguiente nº de cuenta: 2085 - 2516 - 8403 - 00304715.
PRESENTACIÓN DEL LIBRO: "MIGUEL SERVET, LUZ ENTRE TINIEBLAS"
El Instituto de Estudios Sijenenses "Miguel Servet", en colaboración
con el Ateneo de Zaragoza, presentó el pasado 30 de junio en Zaragoza
el libro "Miguel Servet: Luz entre Tinieblas". El acto tuvo
lugar en la Sala de Actos de la Caja de Ahorros de la Inmaculada, C/
Don Jaime I, nº 33, de Zaragoza, a las 20:00 horas.
"Miguel Servet, Luz entre Tinieblas", es un libro de 363 páginas en el
que se recogen, debidamente actualizadas, las conferencias pronunciadas
durante el Congreso Internacional que organizó el Instituto en octubre
de 2004. Junto con las conferencias, se incluye una completa biografía
sobre Servet y una amplia y cuidada selección de textos extraídos de
sus principales obras, con especial incidencia en su principal obra. La Christianismi Restitutio.
Con el fin de garantizar su mayor difusión, algunas de las conferencias
se publican en versión bilingüe español e inglés, mientras que otras
contienen un resumen en inglés, de conformidad con los estándares
académicos que se aplican a este tipo de publicaciones. Durante el
acto, que contó con una notable asistencia de público, intervinieron,
el Presidente del Ateneo, Dr. Fernando Solsona, el Director del
Instituto, D. Bizén d'o Río Martínez, el Alcalde de Villanueva de
Sijena, D. Alfonso Salillas, el Director de la Biblioteca de Aragón, D.
Ramón Sabaté y el Secretario General del Instituto, D. Sergio Baches
Tanto el Director como
el Secretario del Instituto destacaron la importancia que para la
institución servetista por excelencia representa la consecución de esta
obra. En este sentido, el Secretario General del Instituto recalcó que,
a la luz de la calidad de las conferencias publicadas y su cuidada
edición, este libro está llamado a convertirse en una de las
principales obras de referencia sobre la vida y la obra de Miguel
Puede consultar el índice el libro pulsando sobre si siguiente link
> Link índice del libro <
LECTURE BY JAUME DE MARCOS
“The influence of Erasmus in Servetus' Works”
Michael Servetus Institute, Villanueva de Sijena, May 14th 2006, 12:00.
Jaume de Marco's lecture will analyze in detail the main elements of
Erasmus' works that can be spotted in Michael Servetus' theology as
well as in his social criticism. He will also identify the main
similarities and differences amongst both humanists. This lecture is
the result of Jaime's research while he was studying a Master in
History of Religions in the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
The Michael Servetus Institute will publish during this year a
bilingual version (Spanish-English) of his full research.
Jaume de Marcos Andreu was born June 25, 1961, in Barcelona, Spain. He
has a B.A. in Anglo-Germanic Philology (1987) and a Master in History
of Religions (2005), both from the Autonomous University of Barcelona
(UAB). In 1989 he discovered Unitarian Universalism and quickly became
quite active in the European Unitarian Universalists network (EUU). In
1996 and 1998 he participated in Unitarian Universalist Leadership
Seminars in Germany. In 2000 he started the Unitarian Universalist
Religious Society of Spain. He became a counsellor of the Michael
Servetus Institute in 2004 and nowadays he is also on the board of
directors of the UNESCO Association for Interfaith Dialog and the
International Council of Unitarians and Universalists.
VISIT OF THE ICUU TO THE MICHAEL SERVETUS INSTITUTE AND THE BIRTH HOUSE OF MICHAEL SERVETUS
November 6, 2005, a group of more than 80 delegates of the
International Council of Unitarian Universalists (ICUU), headed by his
president and former mayor of Cape Town, the South African Rev. Gordon
Oliver, visited the birth house of Michael Servetus in Villanueva de
Sijena (Huesca-Aragon-Spain) to pay homage to the great Spanish
humanist of the 16th century. The Aragonese Michael Servetus is
considered amongst Unitarians the pioneer and the first martyr of
Unitarianism. Rev. William Sinkford, president of the Association of
Unitarian Univeralists and considered one of more influential
African-American religious leaders in the United States, and the Bishop
of the Unitarian Church of Transylvania, Rev. Arpad Szabo, i.e. the
region currently belonging to Rumania where the theological ideas of
Servetus began to blossom, were also part of the delegation which
visited the house of Michael Servetus.
|In his welcoming speech, the Director of the Michael Servetus Institute, Mr. Bizén d’o Río Martínez
emphasized the importance that this visit had for the Institute and
prompted Unitarians to turn the birth place of Michael Servetus into an
international pilgrimage destination for the Unitarian Universalist
community. Thereafter, the Secretary General of the Institute, Sergio Baches Opi,
explained that, according to one of the main historians of Unitarism,
Mr. Earl Morse Wilbur, the relationship between the Unitarian religious
movement and Michael Servetus started at the very same moment of his
death at the stake in Geneva on October 27, 1553. Indeed, in the
example of Servetus, the four main underpinnings on which the Unitarian
movement rests can be found: (I) the free and responsible search for truth and the meaning of life; (II) acknowledgement of the worth, dignity and rights of all people; (III) Respect for the interdependent web of Life and (IV) the goal of a world-wide community with peace, freedom and justice for all.
a significant part of the group came from the U.S., the Secretary
General also emphasized the influence that the life and works of
Servetus had on the Founding Fathers of the American Constitution and,
more remarkably, on Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the main
supporters of the principle of separation between church and state in
the early American history. The welcoming speech of the major of
Villanueva de Sijena, Mr. Alfonso Salillas was also very touching, when
he pointed out that not even the founder of the Institute, the
well-remembered Mr. Julio Arribas, could have imagined that one day,
owing to the increasing internationalization of the Institute’s
activities, the theological heirs of Servetus could come massively to
the house were he was born.
many academic events that the Institute organizes regularly, the visit
of the Unitarian delegates was full of an indescribable spiritual
essence, that reached its culminating point during the religious service
that was held in the afternoon in the conference room of the Institute
and which followed a thoughtful lecture by Mr. Jaume de Marcos
(president of the Spanish Unitarian Universalist Religious Association)
on the main aspects of the life and legacy of Servetus. In his sermon,
Rev. Richard Boeke presented the death of Michael Servetus as an
example that “eternity”, as a religious concept, can be found in the
human or spiritual example that a human being is able to transmit to
others. Unlike the liturgical acts of other religious confessions, the
sermons, the religious chants and the reflections of the faithful on
different religious matters, play a central role in the Unitarian
liturgy and they contribute to endow it, despite its austerity, with a
deeply emotional load. |
event ended with a procession from the house of Michael Servetus to the
statue devoted to him that is located in the main square of Villanueva
de Sijena. The Unitarian delegates laid candles and flowers as a sign
of respect at the feet of the statue. The offering ended with the
singing of a touching Unitarian religious chant. During the offering,
our Unitarian friends were accompanied by several members of the
Institute and numerous neighbours of Villanueva de Sijena.
commemoration of this visit, and to mark this event as one of the most
impressive visits that the Institute has ever had, the Institute
unveiled a plaque
in the first floor of the house of Michael Servetus. The success of
this multicultural event should serve to cause a deep reflection on the
importance of the cultural and scientific work that the Michael
Servetus Institute carries out to keep alive the flame that illuminates
one of the most important humanists of the 16th century and who,
unfortunately, is still more appreciated abroad than in his home land. |
|>> Press Releases (PDF): November 7th - November 20th - ICUU Website - Newsletter Canada
PEREGRINATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST TO THE BIRTH HOUSE OF MICHAEL SERVETUS
November 6, 2005, more than 80 delegates of the International Council
of Unitarian Universalists (ICUU), that will hold its biennial meeting
in the Abbey of Monserrat (Barcelona-Spain), will travel to Villanueva
de Sijena to visit in pilgrimage the Birth House of Michael Servetus.
The Michael Servetus Institute, fully aware of the importance that this
visit represents for our Institution, will gratefully welcome the
delegates in the Birth House and it will join them in the activities
that have been scheduled for this day.
From this forum, the Institute wishes to invite all its members and
friends to join us during this day. The visit of the ICUU constitutes a
unique occasion for pleople belonging to different creeds and religions
to exchange experiences and impressions on different aspects related to
Michael Servetus and his legacy, or on those aspects of the religious
practice that give rise to debate between different communities or
Servetus is considered as the first martyr of Unitarism. It is not
therefore strange to wtiness a blossoming of Servetian studies within
this religious community, which, in light of the respect and admiration
that has shown in Spain and abroad towards our great humanist, we feel
proud to host in this special day.
|LECTURE BY MR . MARIO SABAN
“Judaism and Inquisition”
The Michael Servetus Institute would like to inform you of the next
lecture which will take place in the Birth House of Michael Servetus in
Villanueva de Sijena (Huesca) on October 23rd, 2005. In this occasion,
Prof. Mario Saban will give us a lecture on “Judaism and Inquisition”
(“El judaísmo y el Santo Oficio de la Inquisición").
Mario Javier Saban has a Law Degree from the University of Buenos Aires
. His first book (“Convert Jews” / “Judíos Conversos”) deals with the
Jews' ancestors of the oldest families in Argentina . He has written
eight books on Hebrew history and he is an specialist on the Jewish
origins of Christendom. He is currently the Secretary for Foreign
Relations of the Christian Jewish Community of Catalonia (Spain) and he
teaches a subject on the "Jewish origins of Christendom" in the Center
of Pastoral Studies of Barcelona, and “Hebrew Philosophy” at the
University of Lérida (Spain).
You may obtain further information of Prof. Mario Saban in the following link: http://www.hebreos.net/index .htm?/chat/chat_311004
| THE THEOLOGICAL IDEAS OF SERVETUS ON THE LESSER CIRCULATION OF THE BLOOD - by J. Luis Nieto Amada
Summary of the lecture
Prof. Nieto Amada started his lecture stating that he considers
Servetus as a highly qualified humanist, an expatriated and persecuted
traveler, an honest and persevering free thinker who put forward all
his ideas, especially those related to the Holy Scriptures, until the
last consequences. Servetus, despite studying many sciences, eventually
focused on theology and medicine, a combination which may seem strange
in our days, but which was frequent in Servetus’ epoch.
Nieto Amada focused on the roots of Servetus’ theological and medical
theories. With regard to theology, it is well known that he discarded
both the Aristotle and the Nicaean doctrines and relied just on the
content of the Holy Scriptures. His medical background was less
heterodox than his theological education. He was a Galen’s follower,
but he did not abide entirely by Galen’s doctrines as other Galenists
who just kept closing their eyes to Galen’s mistakes. In contrast,
Servetus consecrated to the investigation of the human body and did not
doubt to correct Galen’s mistakes when his research showed that Galen’s
descriptions were wrong.
to Galen, the structure of each organ of the body is related to the
function that has been assigned to it by nature. According to this
philosophy, the guiding soul of all the functions of the body was
linked to three types of “pneuma” or spirit: the animal spirit
generated by the brain (origin of thought and memory); the natural
spirit, lying on the liver, where the blood is generated, and the vital
spirit which would be in the left ventricle (where the air was supposed
to mix with blood). Further to Galen’s scheme, these three types of
spirits are linked to the circulation of the blood.
to this Galen’s determinism, the blood was originated in the liver and
from the liver part of the blood was sent to the periphery of the body
and other to the right ventricle of the hearth from which it would be
transferred to the left ventricle through the hearth wall. This is
where we find Galen’s big mistake, which was accepted without
experimentation during centuries. For Galen, only a small amount of
blood went to the lungs just to “feed” them, but it never returned to
found that Galen was wrong and he described for the first time in
Western Europe the pulmonary circulation (i.e. the movement of blood
from the heart, to the lungs, and back to the heart again) which is
just one phase of the overall circulatory system described later on by
Servetus sees is that the veins bring waste-rich blood back to the
heart, entering the right atrium. The right atrium fills with the
waste-rich blood and then contracts, pushing the blood through a
one-way valve into the right ventricle. The right ventricle fills and
then contracts, pushing the blood into the pulmonary artery which leads
to the lungs. In the lung capillaries, the exchange of carbon dioxide
and oxygen takes place. The fresh, oxygen-rich blood enters the
pulmonary veins and then returns to the heart, re-entering through the
left atrium. The oxygen-rich blood then passes through a one-way valve
into the left ventricle where it will exit the heart through the main
artery (called now aorta). The left ventricle's contraction forces the
blood into the aorta and the blood begins its journey throughout the
This first description in Western Europe of the pulmonary circulation was inserted in a book of theology (Christianismi restitutio - 1553). As Prof. Nieto Amada pointed out, this should not surprise us
since what Servetus was really looking for when he discovered the
pulmonary circulation was the “journey” of the soul within the human
body (i.e. the “spark” that allows human beings to connect with God).
Nieto Amada finished his lecture indicating that it is a mistake to
analyze Servetus’ works without taking into account its medical
background. In this regard, he clearly manifested its disagreement with
those who have disregarded the importance that medicine played in the
construction of Servetus’ theological system. On the contrary, being a
medical doctor was an essential aspect of his life and his thought.
Last but not least, he stressed the fact that those who have mostly
kept during years and years Servetus’ memory alive have been the
The Michael Servetus Institute plans to publish a booklet with this lecture during 2006.
CONGRESS - CLOSING EVENTS OF THE SERVETIAN YEAR
The objective of the International Congress: The Institute,
common house of all Servetians
the 22nd and 23rd of October, 2004 an International Congress
serving as a closing event of the commemorative acts of
the 450th anniversary of the death of the Aragonian Michael
Servetus took place in Zaragoza and Villanueva de Sijena
(Michael Servetus’ birth town). This Congress, organized
by the Michael Servetus Institute (Instituto de Estudios
Sijenenses Miguel Servet), drew a large audience who listened
to lectures by more than 10 specialists in the life and
works of Michael Servetus.
International Congress did not just aimed at studying
the life and works of Michael Servetus, but also
at discussing, within a scientific and multidisciplinary
framework his legacy and its implications at the
outset of the XXI century. This format allowed reflections
and thoughts on what is needed to ensure the pacific
coexistence amongst peoples (such as the reciprocity
in the recognition of rights, the respect of peoples’
history and their symbols, or the need to enhance
the quality of education systems). It also reflected
on the present international situation, which threatens
breaking the status quo established after World
the Michael Servetus Institute, the success of this International
Congress proves its vitality and its clear international
and humanist mission, as well as its commitment to spread
and the work and the legacy of Michael Servetus with scientific
criteria within the framework of an institution gathering
Servetians all around the world.
Institute, therefore, reaffirms its vocation to
continue being the center of reference for Servetian
studies in Spain and abroad. In addition, with this
Congress, our Institute enters the XXI century aspiring
to become in a “think tank”, which,
starting with the example of Michael Servetus, allows
to generate ideas aiming at influencing the cultural
and political tissue of the society in which we
The conferences in Zaragoza (Provincial Museum of Zaragoza)
– 22nd October
Congress began with the welcoming speech of Mr. Javier
Callizo, former head of the Department of the Government
of Aragon and currently Vice-Secretary of Territory Policy.
Mr. Callizo emphasized the intellectual importance of
Servetus in the Spanish culture and the benefits of closing
the Servetian Year with an International Congress gathering
the main specialist on Servetus’ works and legacy.
After the intervention of Mr. Callizo and Mr. Sergio Baches
Opi, Director and Secretary of the Institute respectively
thanked the audience for attending the opening session
of the Congress and emphasized the effort that the Institute
made to organize this Congress.
these interventions, Dr. Angel Alcalá,
honorary member of the Institute and Emeritus professor
of the New York City University, gave a lecture
entitled “Our debt with Servetus: Inspirations
of his thought for the XXI century”, in which
he presented to us Michael Servetus as the father
of freedom of conscience: “It is urgent, very
urgent, not only to restitute to Servetus his greatest
contribution that has been denied to him by fanaticisms
and still it is denied to him by some historians:
that of being the father of the right to freedom
of conscience, and specially to scatter his idea
of freedom so that it spreads all over the world.”
Alcalá argued that so that the dream of responsible
freedom, justice and peace amongst human beings
that inspires the life of Servetus is a reality
and not a sheer utopia. According to Alcalá
it is indispensable that we dedicate our efforts
to a series of "tasks":
Respect to others, respect the ideas and religion of others.
According to Alcalá, “in Spain, the Church
and the State have surpassed the stage of extermination
of the adversary, but neither at the religious nor at
the political levels have we arrived to an stage of respect
and mutual coexistence that only the unique conviction
of total reciprocal freedom “within an order”,
as Servetus wrote in one of its thirty letters to Calvin,
can guarantee”. “It is urgent and
necessary to surpass the animosity of the religions and
the political slander between the different social factions,
but not only to reach that level of clear religious ecumenism
that is more evident in other Christian confessions than
in the Catholic Church, but also to respect the right
to disagree, a right that is only observed in democracies
with old and deep roots, such as that of the USA.”
2nd. Education, the only pacific and lasting solution
to save to the world: In this point, Prof. Alcalá
recalled that Servetus was without a doubt a reader of
all kinds of books, as his numerous references to the
first Fathers of the Church and other authors show. He
was also a radical researcher. Drawing thoughts from the
demanding example of study and scholarship that was Servetus,
Prof. Alcalá wanted to express his uneasiness towards
the “excessively regionalistic and, therefore,
myopic education that is sponsored by some regions in
Spain, supporting programs that reduce the scope of geographic
studies and history, imposing languages which are not
those of the students or those of their parents, creating
artificially educative ghettos which limit them and do
not prepare them for the life.”
to Alcalá, education is in fact the only
pacific solution to save the world. We must be conscious
of the vital importance that an education of maximum
level and quality has for humanity. “Servetus
believed, like Erasmus and the great humanists of
the Renaissance, that it is possible to save humanity
and to make it progress, but only by means of education,
by the spread of culture.” According
to Alcalá, “contrary to that which
many think and say now from the highest instances
of power, to demand excellence is not elitism”.
In this regards, Alcalá indicated that it
is not sufficient to educate young people to develop
professionally in an increasingly competitive world,
but that this sheer technical education must be
extended to a ‘typical Servetian’
education, i.e. to an education that teaches the
responsible exercise of freedom.”
3rd. Freedom of conscience, the foundation of all the
liberties demands us to respect the opinions of others
and to reject violence as solution of all problems, either
personal or internationals. “According to
Servetus, nobody has the right to limit the intellectual,
moral or religious conscience of anybody, just as nobody,
either individuals or institutions, is the supreme arbiter
of the truth [...] the truth does not prevail with the
sword, nor with excommunication: it gets through by itself,
with its own light, supported in the word. Servetus wrote:
“God knows that I have written everything with a
clean conscience. Such is the fragility of the human condition
that we condemn the spirit of others as impostors and
impious except our own, for no one recognizes his own
errors. (...) but if ever I said anything it is because
I consider it a serious matter to kill men because they
are in error on some question of scriptural interpretation.”
For Alcalá, nobody but Servetus until that time
had defended the right to freedom of conscience with such
much clarity and emphasis. Therefore, we must continue
praising Servetus as a doctor and immense theologian,
“but the great legacy of Servetus for today
and for always is this one: any individual is free by
nature and must be respected and respect others in the
rational development of their freedom; thus, all problems
can and must be solved without violence, because violence
is the negation of the freedom.”
In the international relations scenario, Prof. Alcalá
talked about the necessity to educate to the masses in
the concept of freedom: “the final battle against
terrorism will be won, not with mere dialogues of cultures,
but indeed with the slow education of the masses into
democracy and freedom, and before, with the immediate
setting aside of States and political and religious groups
that sponsor the ethnic terrorism.” Nevertheless,
the necessity of education, pedagogical and worldwide
massive propaganda on democracy and freedom, must respect
a basic principle: we must demand for ourselves the same
respect from those that do not respect us. For Alcalá,
“it is necessary to proclaim the law of the
reciprocity, not the law of tooth for tooth, but the law
that proclaims reciprocity of rights. Today there is only
one culture and one religion that burns Christian churches,
and one religion that where it has majority does not allow
its Christian minority to build churches, whereas in the
West we allow to erection of whichever mosques they want.
This is very democratic but it is not fair. Reciprocity
of rights is essential to the concept of democracy.”
Dr. Alcalá concluded his conference by emphasizing
that Servetus was ahead of his time because he clearly
defended the separation between religion and State, something
that would only become reality much later and after long
fights. It is therefore urgent to claim for Servetus the
title of father of the freedom of conscience. The Spaniards,
and much less the Aragoneses, must not allow anyone to
take Servetus away from them.
this first lecture by Dr. Alcala, Dr. Lluís
Duch, monk at the Montserrat Abbey and Professor
of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, gave
a brilliant lecture on the ins and outs of the Reformation:
“Reformation and Countereformation: a
history of a misunderstanding in the Servetian universe”.
According to Dr. Duch, “Michael Servetus finds
himself in the middle of an embroiled universe,
in which the old world taken for granted, using
an expression of Alfred Schütz, has crumbled
and, with doubts, reactions of all type and experiments,
a new journey begins that will culminate in which
by convenience we are used to designating with the
somewhat vague term of Modernity.” The protestant
reforms (in plural) are explained, according to
Dr. Duch, by various causes that he explained in
detail and that we will just summarized as follows:
the erruption of the humanist subjectivism willing
to discover the human being as the center of all
things; the increasing criticisms towards ecclesiastical
corruption; the political situation in Germany that
transformed the Reformation into a religious instrument
to obtain political objectives; the extremely miserable
situation of the clergy, the invention of the press,
the increasing relevance of the bourgeoisie, etc.
of the causes, the protestant reforms prevailed in Central
Europe and in spite of the differences between the different
reformation movements it is possible to identify two elements
that constitute their common denominator: (i) an extremely
pessimistic anthropology that sees human beings as corrupted
entities of impossible salvation and (ii) the anxiety
of independence from the power of Rome. The protestant
reforms generated what has been called “left wing
of the reform”. Within this trend it is possible
to allocate different reformation groups: Anabaptists,
Antitrinitarians, Hutterites, movement of Munster, etc.
“In the same way as the classical reforms appear
as peripheries of the Roman Church, the numerous groups
that, for convenience, we grouped under the name of “radical
Reforms” or “left wing of the Reformation”
constitute, both from a theological and political perspective,
the peripheries of the new Churches, the reforms of the
Reforms”. The reformation postulates of Michael
Servetus should be classified within this spectrum.
As opposed to the Reformation, the Roman curia and its
closest powers reacted (but late) in what has essentially
been called the Counterreformation. The most relevant
event of the Counterreformation was the summoning of the
Council of Trent (1545-1563), which supposed the assertion
of the centralism and the uniformity of the Roman Church,
as well as to advocate a deeply anti-protestant position.
Likewise, the protestant territories were also deeply
anti-catholic: “Considering the peculiarities
of the time, this situation of extreme aggressiveness
leads inevitably to the confrontation not only in the
field of the theological ideas, but also in the battlefields
(“religious wars”). The so-called “war
of the thirty years” (1618-1648) is the maximum
hint of that cruel European civil war, causing the death
of half of the population in many territories of Central
Europe.” As a conclusion, Dr. Duch emphasized,
on the one hand, that the XVI century constitutes the
departing point of the constitution of Europe as a world-wide
cultural reference until the end of World War I (1918)
and, on the other hand, that the events of the XVI century,
although at an eminently anthropological level, continue
to have some repercussions in the thoughts and present
attitudes of the inhabitants of Old Europe.
in this first day, Prof. Gustavo Palomares Lerma (Chair "Jean Monnet" and professor of
International Relations in the UNED – Long
Distance Education University of Spain) presented
with unusual clarity his vision on the current situation
of international politics and tried to answer the
question that was formulated to him in the title
of his lecture: Is coexistence amongst peoples possible?
Prof. Palomares initiated his intervention distinguishing
between before and after September 11th, 2001. Before
that date, the international political system had
given certain proofs of sensibleness and the possibility
of stabilizing or neutralizing long-standing international
conflicts were seen with optimism. As a result of
the terrorist attacks of September 11th, the international
policy of the Bush Administration leaves the more
or less multilateral approach of the Clinton Administration
and decidedly embraces unilateralism in US foreign
policy. This new approach finds its most clear expression
in the formulation of the “preventive war”
doctrine that served later as justification to the
invasion of Afghanistan and of Iraq.
this context, Dr. Palomares emphasized the importance
that the European Union affirms itself as a worldwide
power to counterbalance US unilateralism. It is therefore
essential that the European Union reinforces its Common
Foreign and Security Policy (the “second pillar”
of the European Union) and that it approves a Constitution
like the one that Member States will ratify in the coming
months. According to Prof. Palomares, the coexistence
between peoples is still possible if we all accept the
international legality and as long as the bases are settled
to restore a lasting peace in the Middle East. In this
regard, the peace and stability of the planet demands,
according to Dr. Palomares, the urgent resolution of the
The conferences in Villanueva de Sijena (Birth House of Michael
Servetus) - 23 of October
next day the Congress was resumed in the Servetus’
birth town (Villanueva de Sijena), where the Native
House of "Michael Servetus" was transformed
into an incomparable workshop to discuss different
subjects related to the "Servetian quest".
The mayor of Villanueva de Sijena and First Vice-president
of the Institute, Mr. Ildefonso Salillas and the
County President of Los Monegros, Mr. Manuel Conte,
were in charge of welcoming the attendants and gave
thanks for the support of the public institutions
that have collaborated with the Institute in this
event. The Secretary General of the Institute intervened
afterwards to emphasize that this International
Congress also pays homage to the founder of the
Institute Mr. Julio Arribas (this year 2004 being
the 20th anniversary of his death). The Secretary
General emphasized that without the visionary character
of Mr. Julio Arribas none of us would be here today
for honoring the memory of Michael Sevetus and studying
this brief but touching welcome, Dr. Marian Hillar,
Director of the Center for Socinian Studies, Prof. at
Southern Texas University (Houston – USA) and distinguished
member of our Institute (2003) gave a lecture on the following
topic: “Christianismi Restitutio: the religious
program of Michael Servetus”, in which he analyzed
thoroughly the content of the master work of Servetus.
After pointing out that Servetus embraced empirical epistemology
to analyze the traditional conception of the dogma of
the Trinity (i.e. he followed a biblical research and
not just a philosophical approach), Dr. Hillar pointed
out the main aspects of the Servetian theology: the dogma
of the Trinity, doctrine of faith and justification, the
Evangelical Ministries, etc.
to Dr. Hillar, for Servetus, “the Trinity
becomes a true manifestation of the essence of
God, first in the Word understood literally in
the Hebrew sense as the manifestation of God and
in the Hellenic sense as the essence of God, and
later in the human Jesus, the natural son of God,
and finally of the resurrection of Jesus in the
Spirit which is the way in which God communicates
with Humanity.” As far as the doctrine
of the faith and the justification, Servetus follows
the approach of Saint Paul: “the foundation
of the Christian religion lies in faith, that
is to say, the belief, the confidence and the
consensus that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
God that proclaimed the coming kingdom and the
salvation of all those who believed in him.”
places great importance on the spiritual inspiration of
the believer and on his freedom. Faith is a voluntary
and spontaneous act (this approach would be adopted later
in history by Unitarians), but it is also a rational act.
For Servetus, faith entails penance, rejection of sin
and must be accompanied by charity and works. In the justification,
Servetus also follows Saint Paul, when he contends that
once we believe in Christ we are justified before God,
but this does not guarantee salvation, as salvation requires
justification by works. Justice given by faith introduces
to us in the Kingdom of Christ, which is not for Servetus
the future Kingdom promised after death, but the one that
exists spiritually within us.
Finally, with regard to the Evangelical Ministries, Servetus
endorses the universal priesthood (any believer with wisdom
and inspiration of the Holy Spirit can become an apostle
or spiritual minister) and rejects infants’ baptism
since they are not able to commit mortal sin and, consequently,
do not need to be regenerated by baptism. For Servetus,
Eucharist is the form that Christians have to feed themselves
spiritually. Dr. Hillar pointed out that “Servetus
interprets the bread of the supper as the true body of
Christ. Christ enters in communion with us in this bread
substantially. Thus also by means of Eucharist we enter
in communion with the Christians cutting the bread.”
conference of Dr. Hillar was followed by the lecture of
Rev. Dr. Donald W. McKninney, Emeritus Minister
of the First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn (New York),
and distinguished member of the Michael Servetus Institute,
who pronounced a conference on “The religious
legacy of Servetus: principles and present reality of
the Unitarian religion”. Rev. Mckinney began
his lecture reminding the audience that in 1977 he took
a sabbatical to travel to Europe and travel around visiting
the places related to Servetus’ life. This existential
and spiritual journey took him to Villanueva de Sijena
where hosted by Mr. Julio Arribas Salaberri (the founder
of the Michael Servetus Institute) he visited the house
where Michael Servetus was born.
his pilgrimage, Dr. McKinney reached a two-pronged
conclusion: on the one hand, that Servetus’
religious legacy was a vital and central element
to understand Unitarianism today, and on the other
hand, that Servetus’ ‘Spanishness’
was essential to understanding his theological doctrines.
For McKinney, Unitarianism was born, in a very real
sense, the day that Servetus died at the stake.
Why? Precisely because Unitarianism, as one of its
first historians, Earl Morse Wilbur, pointed out,
“has always been characterized by three
basic principles which continue to this day: first:
freedom of belief in religion rather than adherence
to specific creeds of statements of faith; second:
reliance on reason rather than authority or tradition,
and third: tolerance of differing religious views
In the drama that represented the life, the work and the
martyrdom of Servetus and the immediate reaction that his
death provoked, these three essential elements of Unitarianism
were born or began to crystallize. After explaining briefly
the origins of Unitarianism, from Faustus Sozinus to Francis
Davis and thereafter to John Locke and Joseph Priestly,
Rev. Mckinney focused his lecture on the present reality
of the Universalist Unitarian religion of which he emphasized
its rejection to require from its members any profession
of belief as the basis for inclusion in the Unitarian Universalist
faith. Individual personal freedom of belief is its most
valued and sacred tenet.
Unitarian Universalism does not lie upon a set of beliefs
in God, Jesus or dogmas of faith, but it is an approach
to religion in order to find answers to the questions that
can contribute to a true, good and just world. Unitarian
Universalists stress that each human being must be free
to believe or not to believe whenever his position is based
on reason and personal conviction. Indeed, Unitarianism
developed in the U.S.A. as a reaction against the intolerant
and pessimistic vision of the new Protestantism. By means
of a process of rational analysis, the first American Unitarians
(who studied at Harvard College: Locke, Castellio and Socinus’
works, and pondered the doctrines of Servetus) reached the
conclusion that doctrines such as predestination and original
sin or the vision of an angry God were inappropriate to
the new and promising land. The essential value and the
dignity of human nature, and the responsibility of man in
the creation of his own "heaven" or "hell"
seemed to them a more valid interpretation of the Bible
and Jesus’ teachings than the medieval vision of a
At present, many Unitarians Universalists define themselves
as “religious humanists”, many professing themselves
to be agnostics, some avowed atheists. Some think of themselves
as Christians, whereas most of them do not. Many Unitarian
Universalists have assimilated ethical principles of different
cultural or religious traditions. Nevertheless, a common
denominator to most Unitarian Universalists exists: all
the ethical or religious beliefs can be reduced to one compelling
principle: Reverence for Life.
Dr. Fernando Solsona, Head of the Department of Radiology
and Nuclear Medicine of the Michael Servetus Hospital
(Zaragoza) and distinguished member of the Michael
Sevretus Institute (1976), presented a lecture on
the Servetian iconography (“Glory and Projection
of Michael Servetus”) and the events that have
been organized in Spain and abroad throughout this
year to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the death
of Michael Servetus. Solsona regretted the lack of
representation of politicians in this International
Congress and argued that they should think about the
importance of Servetus in the Aragonese culture (“You
must take care of the flock of Aragoneses because
the best production of Aragon is its people”).
Dr. Solsona’s intervention, the Secretary General
of the Institute gave the word to Jean-Claude Barbier, president
of the Unitarian Fraternity of Burdeos (France) and leader
of the network “Corréspondance Unitarienne"
who in a brief but extremely
touching speech, which he pronounced while accompanied
by Mr. Fulgence Ndagijmana (representing the Unitarians
of Burundi), declared to have come to Villanueva de Sijena,
birth town of Michael Servetus, in a pilgrimage and expressed
the veneration of the French Unitarians for Michael Servetus.
and subsequently to the presentation of the unreleased documentary
to which we will refer below, a round table chaired by Dr.
Luís Betés took place in which several specialists
analyzed briefly different aspects of the works of Servetus.
Dr. José Ramón Bada emphasized that, if we
want to speak properly of Servetus, we must speak of "Servetus
and the faith". For Prof. Bada, the example of
Servetus reminds us of the importance of going to the “substance”
of the things and by extension to the substance of “faith”.
For Servetus, faith is the principle of our substance since
due to faith we live and we have access to God to participate
in his substance. It is necessary, therefore, to start over
again to talk about the “substance” of Christendom
if we want it to survive as a religion and not as a sheer
cultural phenomenon. Nobody requests now, said Dr. Bada,
“that Christianity be returned to its substance…”
“That is why it is important to revisit Servetus,
i.e. to look towards the direction he points at and discover
the horizon in which it is possible that your liberty, your
faith, my freedom and my faith and the freedom and liberty
of each person may coexist peacefully.”
Dra. Ana Gómez Rabal, from the High Council
of Scientific Studies of Spain (CSIC) and distinguished
member of the Institute (1997) insisted on the importance
that the philological interpretation had in Michael Servetus’
writings. This topic will be dealt with extensively in an
essay that will be published by the Michael Servetus Institute
in the coming weeks. Dr. Luís Miguel Tobajas,
member of the Royal Medicine Academy of Zaragoza and distinguished
member of the Institute (2003) talked about the importance
that the medical advances of the S.XVI had in the history
of medicine and the advances introduced by the doctors of
the Renaissance. The audience listened very carefully to
his last words criticizing the dehumanization that affects
the practice of the medicine nowadays. Dr. Tobajas advocated
in favor of practicing the type of medicine that sees the
patient “as a person and not as a disease”.
The intervention of Dr. Tobajas was followed by the presentation
of Dr. Eduardo Montull, Secretary of the Aragonese
Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation and distinguished
member of the Institute (2003) that analyzed the declaration
of rights contained in the Servetian Manifesto of Sixena
in light of the regulations of the Spanish Constitution
of 1978. Dr. Montull emphasized that all the rights of the
Manifesto fully mirror those listed in the Spanish Constitution.
Dr. Montull acknowledged that most of those rights are not
applied in practice or are applied ineffectively. It is
the responsibility of public administration to establish
the bases to allow their total and perfect development.
Nevertheless, according to Dr. Montull, the pressures that
the capitalist society imposes upon our rulers hinder the
administration in this field.
The round table ended with the intervention of Mr. Jaume
de Marcos, co-founder of the Spanish Unitarian Universalist
Society of Spain and distinguished member of the Institute
(2003) who emphasized the importance that the ideas of Servetus
represented in the development of the Unitarian movement
in Transylvania through the Italian doctor Biandrata. He
pointed out that in the Kingdom of Transylvania ruled by
King John Segismund I (the only Unitarian King that has
existed in history) an edict of tolerance was promulgated
so-called Edict of Torda (the name of the Hungarian
city in which it was signed) guaranteed equal standing
for the four religions of the Kingdom: Catholic, Lutheran,
Reformed and Unitarian. This Edict preceded several
decades the famous Edict of Nantes (1598) acknowledging
the coexistence of Catholics and Protestants in the
Presentation of a documentary on Michael Servetus
with the foregoing lectures, whose full content will be
published in the coming months by the Institute, the Congress
had two outstanding moments. The release of a new documentary
on the life and works of Michael Servetus: “The
life of Michael Servetus: God, the Reformer and the Heretic”,
produced and directed by the German director Oliver Eckert,
who caused a great impact on the audience, and, the proclamation
of the “Servetian Manifesto of Sixena”.
the presentation of documentary, Mr. Eckert pointed
out that he began to be interested in Servetus while
he studied in Geneva, and that his encounter with
the character was accidental, since he ran into
the figure of Servetus “by a vague review
in an encyclopedia, about something he thought to
be absurd: Calvin condemning Servetus to die at
the stake”. In spite of the interesting
creative potential of the Servetian drama and the
overturning period of the Reformation, there are
only a few movies and documentaries dedicated to
Servetus. For that reason, the Institute considers
the production of a documentary in which the experiences
of the Spanish humanist are reflected with scientific
rigor a remarkable achievement, something which
has not always been the case in the audiovisual
field. The Michael Servetus Institute was delighted
to provide assistance to the director of the documentary
in the preparation of the script.
documentary tells, through "road-movie"
style and within the scenery of the XXI century,
the vital and intellectual journey of Michael Servetus
through the main scenarios of the Reformation. It
reconstructs the vital episodes of the Aragonese
humanist’s life by using theological dialogues
with his opponents. The current images of Vienne
(France), Bologna, Paris, Strasbourg, Basel and
Geneva serve as the framework of the controversies
of Aeocaolampadious, Capitus, Griffon, Luther and
Calvin amongst themselves and against Servetus.
Servetus is progressively left alone in the defense
of a clear Christianity, while at the same he is
forced to change his name, to lie about his origin
(i.e. he said he was from Tudela-Navarra) and to
flee continuously from his catholic and protestant
chasers, circumstantially united against the theological
crime of this dissident.
Proclamation of the “Servetian Manifesto of Sixena”
the lectures were over, the “Servetian
Manifesto of Sixena" was proclaimed again
in Villanueva de Sijena (the first proclamation had taken
place in Zaragoza the night before) This was one of the
most intimate and exciting moments during the Congress:
the conference room of the Institute was packed by the
attendants who stood up and read together the Servetian
Manifesto is a compendium of those principles
that made up the Servetian line of though. It
is a true declaration of rights that affirms the
"dignity of difference" as opposed to
“tribalism”, whose more evident manifestation
of tribalism is the futile protectionist nationalisms
that we are confronting in Spain and abroad.
“dignity of difference” also opposes
to the “homogenizing universalism”,
whose most current manifestation is the phenomenon
of “globalization”. The Manifesto
has been translated into English and French so
that it has the widest possible spread.
Fire Offering to Michael Servetus – Prayer to Michael
the proclamation of the Servetian Manifesto of
Sixena, the attendants headed towards the statue
of Michael Servetus where, after the ringing of
church bells, the Director of the Michael Servetus
Institute read the traditional "prayer
to Michael Servetus”.
thereafter a song of Yiddish music (Kaddish) selected
for the occasion was played, and the attendants
formed a procession to lie candles and flowers
at the foot of his statute.
organization of this event would not have been possible
without the collaboration of all the institutions listed
in the Official Program: Government of Aragón, County
of Los Monegros, the Town Council of Villanueva de Sijena,
Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses, Official Medical Bar
Association of Huesca, and Ateneo de Zaragoza.
The celebration of this International Congress would have
not been possible either without the effort and dedication
of a select few of the Institute’s members, who contribute
with their constant and not always recognized daily work
to promote the Institutes’ activities, showing that
kind of humility that is the moral reflection of our Institute
and of all those who aspire to become members of the Institute.
The Michael Servetus Institute wants to formally express
to all the members of the Institute that make possible the
survival of our “little cultural miracle” and
really understand the value of our task, its profound gratitude.
Michael Servetus Institute
Villanueva de Sijena, 5 December 2004
SERVETUS AND ITS INSTITUTE IN THE FORUM OF BARCELONA
July 11, 2004, the Michael Servetus Institute
and the Spanish Unitarian Universalist Society
organized a panel under the title "The
case of Michael Sevetus: Dialogue and freedom
of conscience" in the Forum of Barcelona
workshop was part of the events that the Parliament
of the World’s Religions carried out in
the Forum between the 7th and the 13rd July, 2004.
more than 500 panels and workshops, the panel
on Michael Servetus was particularly noteworthy
and had a remarkable attendance of 50+ participants
who completely filled the room that had been assigned
for this activity.
included Unitarian minister and Hon. Secretary of
the World Congress of Faiths, Rev.
Richard Boeke, who unfolded a very suggestive
speech on the Servetian concept of the "Breath
of Life", and several distinguished Spanish
Servetian scholars belonging to the Michael Servetus
Institute. Dr. Fernando Solsona, an eminent physician
and biographer of Servetus, talked about Servetus
as a Renaissance sage with many different and deep
areas of knowledge such as medicine, theology, geography,
and astrology. Prof.
Ana Gómez Rabal concentrated on the importance
of textual analysis in Servetus as a way to discern
religious truth. Finally, Prof.
Ferrer Benimeli explained on the importance
of Voltaire in the rediscovery of Servetus as a
key figure in the struggle for freedom of conscience
and belief. |
by Jaume de Marcos and Sergio Baches Opi. Photos by César
"DE TRINITATIS ERRORIBUS: A PHILOLOGICAL APPROACH TO
Erasmus or Cardinal Cisneros, a thinker as Servetus, was
forced to submerge in the original sources for "reforming"
the theological knowledge.
April18, 2004, Dr. Ana Gómez Rabal gave a
lecture in the House of Michael Servetus, about
the philological aspects of the three first works
of Michael Servetus (i.e. De Trinitatis Erroribus,
Dialogorum de Trinitate and De Iustitia Regni Christi).
Dr. Ana Gómez referred to the semantic and
stylistic care with which Servetus developed and
explained his theological arguments and she pointed
out the wide use made by Servetus of textual criticism
on the first sources of the Christian faith (Old
and New Testament, exclusively), in accordance with
the radical spirit of the Renaissance.
This eagerness to study deeply the original sources required
not only a profound knowledge of Latin, but also of Greek
and Hebrew, the original languages in which the New and
the Old Testament were written. This new and bold intellectual
and philological approach towards the first sources caused
the marginalization and persecution not only of Servetus,
but also of other intellectuals such as Dolet or Sánchez
de las Brozas. According to Dr. Gómez Rabal, Servetus
was a “pure intellectual - with a critical methodological
criterion. He did not have any congregation or followers
because he developed a doctrine for the individual and
to a lesser extent for society as a whole. His voice,
in spite of his isolation, was heard and his attitude
was taken as a model to be followed.”Dr. Gómez Rabal emphasized the “extreme
linguistic conscience” present in Servetus’
first works that was characterised by the austere use
of theological terms, the deep knowledge of the “semantic
nuances” of the words used in the first sources
(e.g.: person = mask”), and their context.This task implies a “constant philosophical scepticism”
that led Servetus to distrust the subsequent re-formulation
of the theological truths by the Scholastics. His radical
approach to textual analysis will influence decisively
his defence of a new interpretation of the dogma of the
Trinity in his first works.
Finally, Dr. Gómez Rabal also drew our attention
to some typesetter mistakes found both in the first editions
of these works in 1531 (De Trinitatis Erroribus)
and 1532 (Dialogorum de Trinitate, De Iustitia Regni
Christi) and also in those spurious versions made
at Ratisbona in 1721.
ASSEMBLY OF THE OFFICIAL PHYSICIANS' ASSOCIATION OF HUESCA
On January 31, 2004, the Oficial Physicians’ Association
of Huesca, jointly with the Michael Servetus Institute, celebrated
its annual General Assembly in the Birth House of Michael Servetus.
With this gesture, the Association wanted to pay hommage to
Michael Servetus and acknowledged him as the father of the pulmonary
event was attended by the Head of the Health Department of the
Government of Aragón (Spain), Mr. Alberto Larraz, the President
of the Physician’s Association, Mr. José Ignacio
Domínguez, the Major of Villanueva, Mr. Ildefonso Salillas,
the President of the Michael Servetus Institute, Mr. Bizén
D’o Río, the Secretary of the Institute, Mr. Sergio
Baches Opi, and some of the members of the Physician Association.
the event, the President of the Institute read a speech describing
the life and works of Michael Servetus and pointing out the important
of Servetus in the development of the history of ideas. In conmmemoration
of this event, a plaque was discovered in the hall of the Birth
House of Michael Servetus.
OF THE 450TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF MICHAEL SERVETUS
de Sijena - Sunday, October 26 of October 2003
Within the framework of the commemorative
events of the 450th aniversary of the
death of Michael Servetus, the Michael Servetus
Institute organized a commemorative event in Villanueva
de Sijena, birthplace of Servetus, to honor the
memory of Michael Servetus. The conference room
of the Institute was packed out by people wanting
to pay their tribute to this great intellectual.
Amongst the persons attending the event, we would
like to point out Dr. Angel Alcalá, commissioner
of the commemorative events, Mr. Alberto Larraz,
Head of the Heath Department of the Government
of Aragón, Dr. Fadel F. Erian, special
representative of the Unitarian Universalist Association
(USA), Mr. Jaume de Marcos, President of the Unitarian
Universalist Association of Spain, Dr. Fernando
Solsona, Head of the Nuclear Medicine Unit of
the Hospital “Miguel Servet” (Zaragoza)
and Dr. Marian Hillar, Director of the Center
for Socinian Studies in Houston (USA) and Mr.
Juan José Vázquez, Vicedirector
of the Department of Culture of the Government
The session began with the welcoming
speech by the Vice-president of the Institution,
Mr. Ildefonso Salillas, who pointed out the work
of the Institute in spreading of the Servetian
legacy inside and outside our borders, emphasizing
its international character, in spite of the attempts
of other third parties to underestimate the work
of the Institute in this sense. Afterwards, the
President of the Institute, Mr. Bizén D’o
Río Martínez, reiterated the gratefulness
del Institute to all the assistants and pointed
out the quiet and discrete effort made by the
Institute to organize this outstanding event.
his intervention, the Secretary General of the Institute
introduced the invited lecturers: Prof. Ciriaco
Morón Arroyo and the Prof. Diego Gracia Guillén.
Prof. Ciriaco Morón, an Emerson Hinchilff
Professor of Humanities and Hispanic Literatures
at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York) gave
a lecture on the following topic: “Servet,
thinker. The core of his radical thought. His
contacts and differences with Erasmus, Juan de
Valdés and other reformers of the time”.
Prof. Morón emphasized and analyzed the
affinities between the Servetian thought and that
of the Erasmists.
the other hand, Prof. Gracia Guillén, Professor
of History of the Medicine in the “Universidad
Complutense de Madrid” gave a lecture entitled
“Medicine and spirituality in the thought
of Michael Servetus. Its place in history”,
in which he pointed out the empirical dowries
of Michael Servetus in the discovery of the circulation
of the blood and the importance of this discovery
in the history of medicine.
After the lecture of Prof. Gracia, the Michael
Servetus Institute paid homage to Dr. Angel Alcalá,
Emeritus Professor at the Brooklyn College (City
University of New York) and member of the Institute
for 25 year, in recognition of his outstanding
achievements in favor of the study and spread
of the Servetian legacy. Prof. Alcalá thanked
warmly the Institute for this homage and recalled
the role that the death of Servetus has represented
in the long and slow process that led to the recognition
of freedom of conscience and speech in the constitutions
of the Western world.
academic session finalized with the traditional
welcoming of the new members of the Institute,
amongst whom we would like to mention Dr. Marian
Hillar, Mr. Jaume de Marcos and Dr. Alfonso Carlos
Saiz Valdivieso (Professor of Constitutional Law
at the University of Deusto, Spain).
After the academic session, all the assistants
headed out to the monument of Michael Servetus
located in the main square of Villanueva de Sijena
to perform the “Fire Offering”. The
“Fire Offering” is one of the most
touching acts which the Institute organizes every
year to honor the memory of Michael Servetus.
The President of the Institute, Mr. Bizén
D’o Rio Martínez read the “Servetus
Prayer” and thereafter each of the
attendants marched to lay a candle in the statue.
At the end, the statue was fully illuminated by
the tenuous light of the candles. Meanwhile, the
Chorale Ars Nova sang a religious song (Miserere)
with great masters a Miserere. This emotive act
finished with the Hymn to the Joy.
and translated by Sergio Baches Opi. Photos by César
OF COMMEMORATIVE ACTS
Aragón Regional Government,
Universidad de Zaragoza, Instituto de Estudios Altoaragoneses,
Institución Fernando el Católico, Michael
Servetus Institute, City Council of Villanueva de Sijena
FRIDAY, 24th OCTOBER (afternoon). ZARAGOZA
-Presentation by Professor Ángel Alcalá,
Aragón Regional Government Delegate for the
Michael Servetus’ Commemoration, Professor
emeritus of Brooklyn College (City University of
New York); and by Professor Jaume de Marcos, President
of the Spanish Unitarian Association (Asociación
-Conference given by Dr. Marian Hillar, Director
of the Center for Philosophy and Socinian Studies,
Houston, Texas, USA: “The Road to Recognition
of Freedom of Conscience as a Fundamental Human
Right and Change of Social Paradigm: From Servet
to Thomas Jefferson.” (El camino del reconocimiento
de la libertad de conciencia como derecho natural
y cambio de paradigma social: de Servet a Tomas
-Conference given by Dr. Henry Babel, Dean of Pastors
of St. Peter’s Cathedral (Geneva, Switzerland)
Calvin’s Successor: “Miguel Servet’s
Time: Science, Theology and Ethics in the 21st Century”
(Actualidad de Miguel Servet. Ciencia, teología
y ética en el siglo XXI).
-Performance by the Melchor Robledo Choir: songs
of various Christian faiths (Catholic, Unitarian
SUNDAY, 26th OCTOBER (afternoon). VILLANUEVA DE SIJENA
Visit to Servet’s birthplace and childhood
Academic Session of the Michael Servetus Institute:
-Conference given by Professor Ciriaco Morón
Arroyo (Emerson Hinchilff Title Professor) Cornell
University Liberal Arts and Hispanic Literature
Department Head (Ithaca, New York): “Servet:
Thinker. The Core of his Radical Thought. Contacts
and Contrasts with Erasmus, Juan de Valdés
and Other Reformers of his Day.” (Servet,
pensador. El núcleo de su pensamiento radical.
Sus contactos y contrastes con el de Erasmo, Juan
de Valdés y otros reformadores de la época
given by Diego Gracia Guillén, Professor
of History of Medicine, Universidad Complutense
de Madrid: “Medicine and spirituality in Servetus’
thinking system. His place in history” (Medicina
y espiritualidad en el pensamiento de Miguel Servet.
Su lugar en la historia)
[confirmation for this second lecture is pending].
to Professor Ángel Alcalá, Professor
emeritus of Brooklyn College (City University of
for new members and insignia ceremony
Tribute to Michael Servetus
of funeral bells
-Fire offering for Michael Servetus
by the Ars Nova Choir
by the Ars Nova Choir.
Wine Toast in honour of Michael Servetus
MONDAY, 27th OCTOBER (afternoon). ZARAGOZA
of Volume I (Life, works and death. The struggle
for freedom of consciousness, Documents), of the
Complete Works of Michael Servetus edited in six
volumes by the Larumbe colection. Presentation by
Prof. Ángel Alcalá, Professor emeritus
Brooklyn College (City University of New York).
The book “El leño verde” (The
Green Wood), a dramatized biography of Servetus
will also be presented in this act.
TUESDAY, 28th OCTOBER (afternoon). HUESCA
-Conference given by Prof. Ángel Alcalá,
Professor emeritus Brooklyn College (City University
of New York): “Our Servetus 450 years after.
Lessons from his personality and the perennial nature
of his works” (Nuestro Servet 450 años
después. Lecciones de su personalidad y perennidad
de su obra)
“The Bin of Servetus” : school
activity aimed at explaining Servetus’ life
and works in Secondary Schools. The objective of
this activity is to spread amongst students the
vision of Servetus as a leading figure in the struggle
towards freedom of consciousness
-Creation of a web page: www.serveto-servet.org