Senior Fellow: February–July 2018
Research Project: Socinianism and Scepticism: Theological, Moral, Legal, and Political Thought in Sceptical Terms from Socinus to Locke
Diego Lucci’s research project focuses on the sceptical elements of Socinian theology, moral philosophy, legal theory, and political thought from Socinus to Locke. The Socinians’ moralist soteriology, their views on the superiority of God’s revealed word over the law of nature, and their endorsement of pacifism and toleration resulted from their scepticism about the human ability to recognise salvation by grace alone, to fully comprehend and respect the law of nature, and to define unquestionable dogmas. Socinianism influenced Dutch Remonstrantism and English Arminianism, particularly the Great Tew Circle, in matters of salvation, morality, the primacy of divine revelation, and “comprehension” of different beliefs within the community of Christians. However, it was John Locke who, in his religious writings of the 1690s, complemented Socinian doctrines with an essentially sceptical epistemology based on his way of ideas and historical biblical criticism. Thus, this project aims to reassess the impact of Socinian scepticism on Locke, as well as Locke’s contributions to the development of Socinian and sceptical methods and theories.
Diego Lucci is a professor of philosophy and history at the American University in Bulgaria.