First published in the Polish language in 1605, this ground-breaking work is still controversial after 400 years because of its sound logic and systematic critique of Trinitarian orthodoxy. The catechism argued that the Father of Jesus is the one and only true God, the Son is a fully human being, and the holy spirit is the power of God and not a separate person. Since Emperor Theodosius made disbelief of the Trinity a capital crime in 492, the positions espoused in this catechism have caused the death of many a sincere searcher of truth since.
The Socinians, as they were known, developed this catechism to quickly ground their followers in the essential truths of their unitarian faith in a climate of hostility and persecution. Many of the biblical and logical arguments against the Trinity contained in this catechism are as profound as any that have ever been advanced. The reader of this catechism will not be surprised, then, that a religious war rose up around the document, leading to the murder of many Socinians, and the burning of their publishing houses and universities.
This document is valuable for those who have an interest in the Christian essence of early unitarianism, and for those engaged in the very current controversies still surrounding the Trinity in 21st Century Christendom. Though there are a few conclusions that do not hold up well after 400 years of Protestant scholarship, on the whole we trust the reader will find in this work some of the finest unitarian reasoning and biblical exposition in all the literature of the Reformation.
The Racovian Catechism, with notes and illustrations, translated from the Latin, 383 pages.
The prefix contains: A Sketch of the History of Unitarianism in Poland and the adjacent countries. by Thomas Rees, F.S.A. London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, Paternoster Row, 1818.