(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 …

Cite this page
Sdzuj, Reimund B., “Adiaphora”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 21 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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