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The question of Calvin’s involvement in the trial of Servetus at Vienne (1553)

E. S. Ra

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 23, No 1 (2002), 168-182. doi: 10.4102/ve.v23i1.1216

Submitted: 07 August 2002
Published:  06 September 2002


This article considers the extent of John Calvin’s involvement in the trial of Michael Servetus at Vienne (1553). Calvin is held responsible for Servetus' arrest and the accusations against him at the trial of Vienne. During this trial Servetus was convicted of heresy and was burned in effigy, since he had escaped. The letter of de Trie, the period preceding the trial, and the proceedings of the trial of Vienne are looked at to determine whether the allegations of Calvin’s unjust involvement in the trial of Vienne are justified. This article contends that Calvin did not play any direct role in the conviction of Servetus at the trial of Vienne.

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Author affiliations

E. S. Ra, University of Pretoria, South Africa



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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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