World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0025963912
Reproduction Date:

Title: Nicodemite  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Thomas Cranmer, Isaac Newton's religious views
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Nicodemite is a term that 'generally denotes a secret or timid adherent'.

Introduced into 16th century religious discourse, its currency persisted into the 18th century and beyond. It was usually applied to persons of publicly conservative religious position and practice who were thought to be secretly humanistic or reformed. Originally employed mostly by Protestants, it was also later used by Catholics as well.[3]

In England during the 17th and 18th century it was often applied to those suspected of secret Socinian, Arianist, or proto-Deist beliefs.[4]


The term was apparently introduced by John Calvin (1509–1564) in 1544 in his Excuse à messieurs les Nicodemites.[5] Since the French monarchy had increased its prosecution of heresy with the Edict of Fontainebleau (1540), it had become increasingly dangerous to profess dissident belief publicly, and refuge was being sought in emulating Nicodemus.

In the saint, his dual allegiance was somewhat suspect.

Notable suspected Nicodemites


External links


  • Ginzburg, Carlo "Il nicodemismo. Simulazione e dissimulazione religiosa nell'Europa del Cinquecento", Einaudi, Torino 1970
  • Eire, Carlos M. N. "Prelude to Sedition: Calvin's Attack on Nicodemism and Religious Compromise". Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 76:120-45.
  • Eire, Carlos M. N. "Calvin and Nicodemism: A Reappraisal". Sixteenth Century Journal X:1, 1979.
  • Livingstone, E. A. "Nicodemism". In The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000. Entry available here.
  • Overell, M. Anne Italian Reform and English Reformations, c.1535–c.1585. The Open University, UK. 2008. Excerpt available online.
  • Overell, Anne. "A Nicodemite in England and Italy: Edward Courtenay, 1548-46". In John Foxe at Home and Abroad. D. M. Loades, ed. Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, Surrey, UK, 2004.
  • Pettegree, Andrew. "Nicodemism and the English Reformation" in Marian Protestantism: Six Studies, St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History. Aldershot, 1996, pp. 86–117.
  • Shrimplin-Evangelidis, Valerie. Michelangelo and Nicodemism: The Florentine Pietà. College Art Association, 1989.
  • Snobelen, Stephen D. "Isaac Newton, heretic: the strategies of a Nicodemite." The British Journal for the History of Science, 32:4:381-419. Cambridge University Press, 1999.
  • Anderson Magalhães, All’ombra dell’eresia: Bernardo Tasso e le donne della Bibbia in Francia e in Italia, in Le donne della Bibbia, la Bibbia delle donne. Teatro, letteratura e vita, Atti del XV Convegno Internazionale di Studio organizzato dal Gruppo di Studio sul Cinquecento francese, Verona, 16-19 ottobre 2009, a cura di R. Gorris Camos, Fasano, Schena, 2012, pp. 159–218.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.