Socinian ideas became very influential in England in the seventeenth century, and often fused with Arianism. Socinianism became the institutional force of Unitarianism, and in this form a very powerful force in the Anglo-Saxon world in the nineteenth century. It bequeathed a determination to submit Christian doctrines to rules of logic and morality. The Trinity was deemed logically incoherent and the atonement declared ethically sub-Christian. Coleridge, who was a Unitarian for some years of his life, felt this challenge very deeply, and in his later intellectual career devoted much attention to the coherence of Christian logical and metaphysical claims (especially by distinguishing 'Reason' from 'Understanding') and the charge that the doctrine of salvation is immoral. Socinianism-Unitarianism was a much more corrosive and dangerous force for orthodox Christianity because it argued from within the Christian tradition. Harnack's programme of dehellenising the dogmas of Christianity was a late product of Socinianism.
Spiritualism was a movement within the Reformation that had its roots in German mysticism. In contrast to Socinianism which envisaged the 'evidence' of Christianity as 'outward', i.e. visible proofs ofthe authenticity ofits founder, Spiritualism saw the 'evidence' of Christianity as 'inward'. Its greatest German proponent was Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), and in England it was typically represented by Quakerism. Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-81) was deeply influenced by this tradition, and this explains why he could hold that the (inner) truth of Christianity remained unaffected by the results of biblical criticism. Again, like Socinianism, the challenge of Spiritualism was deeply felt because it had Christian sources. Nor was it confined to Protestantism: the Catholic mystical tradition shaped the thought of Joseph de Maistre in France, and the German Catholic Romantic strand of Franz von Baader and the later Schelling.
Both Socinianism and Spiritualism were products of the Reformation. Socinianism inherited the exclusively biblical concentration, Spiritualism the individualism of the Reformation. Yet both were quite unlike Protestant or Catholic orthodoxy in that together they threatened much of the inherited fabric of belief. Socinianism, combined with Arianism, was intent upon dismantling the dogmas, and Spiritualism tended to corrode the historical foundations, of Christianity. The breezy paganism of Hume and Gibbon so often associated with the Enlightenment is far less significant than is often assumed for the formation of nineteenth-century Christian thought. If one considers the enormous influence of Locke in the eighteenth century - particularly on Law, Paley, Watson, Lessing and Kant - it becomes clear how potent both the
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