Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-gblv7 Total loading time: 0.523 Render date: 2022-05-23T07:28:25.518Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

33 - Nicodemism and Libertinism

from Part IV - The Religious Question

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2019

R. Ward Holder
Affiliation:
Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire
Get access

Summary

When Nicodemus approached Jesus under cover of night (John 3), he did so to keep from being seen with someone accused of taking liberties with Jewish tradition and morality. Both Nicodemus’s strategy and the associations he sought to avoid took on new forms in early modern Europe. Nicodemism was the practice of hiding one’s beliefs, usually to evade persecution. Libertinism included various forms of ethical indifference. Nicodemism and libertinism in the Reformation era are best understood in relation to the period’s profound cultural changes. A proliferation of new religious confessions in early modern Europe put many believers at odds with their communities. The resulting fluidity of religious identity meant that what one practiced did not always correspond with what one believed. More urgently, landing on the wrong side of belief could have disastrous, even deadly, consequences. The stakes were high at a time when religious pluralism was widely viewed as impurity that put a society under threat of divine judgment. Borders dividing mainstream from deviant religion could change quickly, so that a person found herself having to either prove she belonged or hide that she did not. Widespread persecution forced migration and exile upon those who could no longer worship according to their beliefs. Yet not everyone had the luxury of leaving for friendlier environs. Traditions of martyrdom and accusations of crypto-religion emerged within Catholic, Protestant, and radically reformed communities alike.

Type
Chapter
Information
John Calvin in Context , pp. 287 - 296
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Eire, Carlos M. N.Calvin and Nicodemism: A Reappraisal.” Sixteenth Century Journal 10:1 (1979): 4569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jenkins, Gary W. Calvin’s Tormentors. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2018.Google Scholar
Martin, John Jeffries. “Marranos and Nicodemites in Sixteenth-Century Venice.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 41:3 (2011): 577599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Matheson, Peter. “Martyrdom or Mission? A Protestant Debate.” Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 80 (1989): 154–72.Google Scholar
Naphy, William G. Calvin and the Consolidation of the Genevan Reformation. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994.Google Scholar
van Veen, Mirjam. “Introduction.” Ioannis Calvini opera omnia: Dueno recognita et adnotatione critica instructa notisque illustrata. Series IV: Scripta didactica et polemica, 941. Geneva: Droz, 2005.Google Scholar
Verhey, Allen, and Wilkie, Robert G., “Calvin’s Treatise ‘Against the Libertines.’” Calvin Theological Journal 15 (1980): 190219.Google Scholar
Walsham, Alexandra. Church Papists: Catholicism, Conformity, and Confessional Polemic in Early Modern England. Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 1999.Google Scholar
Williams, George H. The Radical Reformation. 3rd ed. Kirksville, MO: Sixteenth Century Journal Publishers, 1992.Google Scholar
Zagorin, Perez. Ways of Lying: Dissimulation, Persecution, and Conformity in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×