• Latin: quietus, quiet


A false or exaggerated mysticism, inculcating the view that the soul in all its relations with God should be entirely passive, self-suppressive or annihilating, and wholly absorbed in Him. It is characteristic of the pantheistic religions of India. Historically it appeared among the Gnostics and other early sects, later among the Beguines, Fraticelli, and Brethren and Sisters of the Free Spirit. Molinos, in the 17th century, attempted to give it a theological basis. In his view, desire on man’s part to do anything active is an offense against God; the soul, by annihilating itself, returns to its source, the essence of God, and becomes divinized; it need not concern itself about its virtues, death or eternity, heaven or hell. This “onward way” has nothing to do with confession; it puts an end to sin, etc. The doctrine infected many eminent men, but it was condemned in 1675. Luther’s faith without works was a reminiscence of it, but his followers strangely enough now stress work without special regard to faith.

MLA Citation

  • “quietism”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 April 2013. Web. 28 October 2016. <>