(1,001 words)

The doctrine of adiaphora, developed primarily in early modern Protestantism, dealt which human conduct in the sphere of what is permitted – i.e. neither commanded nor prohibited by (divine) law; hence Greek adiáphora, Latin res indifferentes, English things indifferent, German Mitteldinge. The notion of adiaphora has its roots in Stoic ethics, where the sources happiness (eudaimonia) to be sought – for example riches or poverty, health or sickness – were considered indifferent. Medieval moral philosophy and theology examined …

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Sdzuj, Reimund B., “Adiaphora”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 20 February 2019 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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