Episcopius, Simon

Episcopius, Simon ĕpĭskōˈpēəs [key], 1583–1643, Dutch Protestant theologian, whose original name was Biscop, Bischop, or Bisschop. Episcopius accepted the teachings of Jacobus Arminius and was a leader of the Arminians, or Remonstrants, who opposed the Calvinist conception of predestination. Episcopius represented the Remonstrants at conclaves at The Hague (1611), at Delft (1613), and at the Synod of Dort (1618), where he presented a detailed defense of his position. However, the Calvinist views prevailed, Remonstrant church services were banned, and Episcopius and some other leaders were banished. In exile in the Spanish Netherlands he wrote an Arminian creed (1622). In 1625, upon the death of Prince Maurice of Nassau, the ban was removed, and Episcopius returned (1626) to the Netherlands. Episcopius, in the Institutiones theologicae (1650), established the doctrine of the Remonstrants upon a consistent theological basis. His avowed aim was to present Christianity in a practical aspect and to liberate theology from the excessively rigid limitations of theory and ecclesiasticism.

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