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Adiaphora

  1. Alvin J. Schmidt

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0007

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Schmidt, A. J. 2011. Adiaphora. The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

Abstract

Most lay Christians probably have never heard of the concept adiaphora (plural) or adiaphoron (singular). Adiaphora, a word borrowed from the Greek, means “things that are indifferent.” It has its origin among the Greek Stoic philosophers (4th century bc) who first used the concept to indicate a given act was neither a virtue nor a vice. The Greek word diaphoron means “difference,” but when the letter alpha (a) is prefixed to diaphoron, the word means “indifferent.” Hence, in regard to given theological or ecclesiastical beliefs or practices, adiaphora refer to beliefs or practices that are biblically indifferent, that is, neither commanded nor forbidden in the Bible. Adiaphora are those matters that Christians in their God-given liberty are free to do or not to do.

Keywords:

  • Christianity and the arts