Plakat der Ausstellung 'Laboratorien der Toleranz. Sebastian Castellio und sein Erbe'. Universitätsbibliothek Basel

Castellio, Basel and Tolerance

As a centre of book printing, where Erasmus worked and through its role as a mediator in religious policy, Basel became a place of refuge for religious dissidents and representatives of the radical Reformation in the middle of the 16th century.

They engaged in a (multilingual) discussion among themselves and with Basel citizens. When in 1553, the Spaniard Michael Servet (1511-1553) was burned for heresy in Calvin’s Geneva, Basel became the centre of the protests.

The Savoyard humanist Sebastian Castellio (1515-1563) raised his voice with his courageous writings, which combined mystical piety with Enlightenment argumentation. This voice was heard across Europe for religious freedom, human rights and tolerance throughout the following centuries.

The Reformation 1545-1620. Photo: Universitätsbibliothek Basel

The correspondence network network of Castellio. Universitätsbibliothek Basel

The exhibition (Laboratorien der Toleranz. Sebastian Castellio und sein Erbe) presents Castellio’s life and works based on documents in the University Library of Basel. The historical upheavals and conflicts, the networks and media, the discourses and the world of thought are presented, making his work a turning point in the history of European tolerance thinking.

(Source and further Information: Universitätsbibliothek Basel)

Markus Böhmer, the commemoration of Sebastian Castellio. St. Albankirche, Basel.

Memorial Geneva