Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Stress on the emotional and personal aspects of religion.
  • n. Affected or exaggerated piety.
  • n. A reform movement in the German Lutheran Church during the 17th and 18th centuries, which strove to renew the devotional ideal in the Protestant religion.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A movement in the Lutheran church in the 17th and 18th centuries, calling for a return to practical and devout Christianity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The principle or practice of the Pietists.
  • n. Strict devotion; also, affectation of devotion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The movement inaugurated by the Pietists, who, from the latter part of the seventeenth century onward, sought to revive the declining piety of the Lutheran churches in Germany; the principles and practices of the Pietists.
  • n. [lowercase] Devotion or godliness of life, as distinguished from mere intellectual orthodoxy: sometimes used opprobriously for mere affectation of piety.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. 17th and 18th-century German movement in the Lutheran Church stressing personal piety and devotion
  • n. exaggerated or affected piety and religious zeal

Etymologies

German Pietismus, from Latin pietās, piety; see piety.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From piety +‎ -ism. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If a teaching is called pietism but teaches no more than what God has always used to sanctify Christians, then it is not really pietism.

    Apprising Ministries

  • If any one had maintained against Voltaire that the aspirations after a future life, the longing for some token that the Deity watches over his creatures and is moved by a tender solicitude for them, and the other spiritual desires alleged to be instinctive in men, constitute as trustworthy and firm a guide to truth as the logical reason, we may be sure that he would have forgiven what he must have considered an enervating abnegation of intelligence, for the sake of the humane, if not very actively improving, course of life to which this kind of pietism is wont to lead.

    Voltaire

  • "pietism," of what is foolishly called "goody-goody," has long been abroad; a grievously exaggerated dread; a mere parody of rightful jealousy for sincerity in religion.

    Philippian Studies Lessons in Faith and Love from St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians

  • Many of these new publications (including Hebrew tehinnot, supplemental prayers for men) developed out of and popularized a mystical pietism originating among the kabbalists of Safed; others originated among secret followers of Sabbetai Zevi (1626 – 1676), the failed mystical messiah.

    Tkhines.

  • It was not the simple pietism of the shtetl that they remembered; it was the unrelenting poverty and the violent revolutionary struggle that they recalled in their poetry.

    Yudica.

  • Piety, however, can counteract pietism, but it requires some participation on the part of the free will.

    Piety

  • I think what many people may react against is not piety but the "pietism."

    Piety

  • This reasserted privileging of the personal rather than the institutional can be seen as evangelical pietism by the young Episcopalian.

    Matthew Yglesias » Before There Was Early Rawls…

  • Kierkegaard was immersed in these values in the family home through his father, whose own childhood was lived in the shadow of Herrnhut pietism in Jutland.

    Søren Kierkegaard

  • These place Hartley within the realms of pietism and mysticism.

    David Hartley

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.