Unitarianism is a monotheistic, non-trinitarian offshoot of Christianity, dating back the early days of Christianity, but taking form as a denomination during the Protestant Reformation, building over two centuries starting about 1599 or 1600.
History and background
The movement gained momentum from Polish publications, Bibliotheca Fratrum Polonorum quos Unitarios vocant, and by 1673 found its way to Britain by the Socinianist (non-trinitarian) Henry Hedworth. The movement built rapidly during the Enlightenment. Joseph Priestley and Theophilus Lindsey moved to make Unitarianism a formal denomination about 1774, legally establishing it under the Doctrine of the Trinity Act in 1813.
In Colonial America, Unitarianism found fertile soil to grow, influencing the founding fathers, most notably Thomas Jefferson. Some Unitarian churches are named after Jefferson.
Unitarianism grew out of belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the New Testament, but that Jesus, while a moral authority, great teacher, and prophet, was not divine. By extension, Unitarians are absolute monotheists (the 'uni' in unitarian) and do not follow trinitarian theology.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Stead, Christopher. Philosophy in Christian Antiquity. Cambridge University Press. (27 Jan 1996). ISBN 978-0521469555
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Browde, Anatole. Faith Under Siege: A History of Unitarian Theology. iUniverse. (26 Jan 2009). ISBN 978-1440111624
- ↑ Belote, Thom. UUHS on Thomas Jefferson, Unitarian Universalist Historical Society (1999, 2009)
- ↑ Unitarianism at a Glance, BBC