I believe that the modern unitarians generally have their roots in non-trinitarian Reformation-era splinter groups. A friend from Hungary mentioned that there was even one group there that essentially reverted to Judaism, to the extent that it was exterminated by the Nazis. Today, Unitarians are not necessarily strong on the existence of any god, much less a trinity. I would guess, but do not know, that this reflects a strong Enlightenment deistic influence rather than simple linear descent from the Reformation heretics.
There may be some connection to more science-related threads in that some theistic Unitarians actually take an ID-like approach, at least on the individual level, i.e. the nice fellow upstairs does nice things with creation.
On reincarnation, the topic seems strangely familiar...
Seriously, there is a minor thread of reincarnation within the Judeo-Christian tradition, with the suggestion that Elijah's return was to be by reincarnation or that John the Baptist was Elijah reincarnated. Calvin cites this in his commentary in order to criticize it. Scientific evidence, especially archaeology, can disprove a lot of reincarnation claims, along the lines already noted-actual memories of a previous existence ought to be accurate; statistically most people ought to be reincarnations of ordinary people, etc.
Dr. David Campbell
NEW ADDRESS AS OF 8/21/00
Saint Mary's College of Maryland
18952 E. Fisher Road
St. Mary's City, MD 20686-3001 USA
firstname.lastname@example.org, 301 862-0372 Fax: 301 862-0996
"He had discovered an unknown bivalve, forming a new genus"-E. A. Poe, The Gold Bug
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