Lawrence Goldstone on the Death and Legacy of Michael Servetus: Self in Society #6

In Out of the Flames, Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone recount the remarkable life and shocking death of Michael Servetus, theologian, editor, physician, and heretic. Lawrence discusses Servetus’s religious views and his lifelong rivalry with John Calvin, who eventually had him tried for heresy and burned at the stake in Geneva in 1553. But Servetus’s work escaped the flames to inspire generations of scientists, religious reformers, and advocates of liberty of conscience.

Listen to the episode via iTunes or YouTube.

Buy the Goldstones’ book via Amazon: Out of the Flames: The Remarkable Story of a Fearless Scholar, a Fatal Heresy, and One of the Rarest Books in the World

Time Markers
00 Intro
5:35 Who was Michael Servetus?
8:58 Some key dates
11:51 Servetus’s risky moves
13:10 The rivalry between Servetus and Calvin
14:42 The First Information Revolution
22:47 The inaccessibility of academia
24:01 Servetus on the trinity, original sin, and predestination
36:33 Servetus’s horrific imprisonment, his views on religious tolerance, and his need to speak his mind
42:55 The possibility of moral progress
46:35 Servetus’s gruesome death
47:14 The survival of Servetus’s Christianismi Restitutio
51:05 Servetus’s influence on Leibniz, Voltaire, Jefferson, and Osler; Servetus’s observations of blood circulation
56:12 Servetus’s Unitarian legacy
57:12 The Goldstones’ other books and Lawrence’s writing process

I mention John Coffey’s book, Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England 1558–1689.

I believe the best pronunciation of “Servetus” is to emphasize the middle syllable and give it a long-e. (I was using the short-e.)

For more about the Goldstones and their books, see the web pages of Lawence and Nancy.

See the Self in Society Podcast page.