Definition of quietism in English:



mass noun
  • 1(in the Christian faith) devotional contemplation and abandonment of the will as a form of religious mysticism.

    • ‘Yet while Taoist teachings were unsystematic and emphasized quietism and inspiration, Buddhism offered a systematic philosophical framework and a tradition of textual scholarship.’
    • ‘He abjures both quietism which leaves the world to its fate and the ‘myth of progress’ and looks to a Jesus who is still followed but also at least partly hidden and ‘yet to be revealed’.’
    • ‘However, the real meaning of Taoist wu-wei is not quietism at all, but rather, activity in harmony with the ever-changing, ever-unchanging Way of all life.’
    • ‘Critics of Keswick spirituality alleged that through its emphasis on the inner life, it taught a quietism that discouraged practical expressions of Christian living and a mysticism that was foreign to evangelical theology.’
    • ‘The interaction between Buddhism and Taoism gave rise to the Ch'an school of contemplative quietism which developed into Japanese Zen.’
  • 2Calm acceptance of things as they are without attempts to resist or change them.

    ‘political quietism’
    • ‘These phases have been referred to as judicial quietism.’
    • ‘Rather than challenging this quietism and posing a political alternative, the radical critique of the global theorists, in fact, reflects and reproduces this sense of incapacity.’
    • ‘He urged quietism, pacifism, and submission to civil government, exhorting his followers to live peaceably and unobtrusively in harmony with the community and the government.’
    • ‘It may well be that social constructivism is not necessarily linked to political quietism, but one can hardly imagine it motivating political activism, especially on behalf of the rights of other people.’
    • ‘At bottom there is a conflict here between activism and quietism.’
    • ‘Faced with the classic choice of writing or living, he finds himself capable of neither, and ponders a retreat into literary quietism.’
    • ‘The period of political quietism on the left spanned three decades.’
    • ‘There's quietism on the one hand and militancy on the other and much depends on the conditions that people find themselves in, in any one point in time.’
    • ‘Conservatism and caution can become complacency and quietism, even though they don't start that way.’
    • ‘There can be no quietism, no reactionary traditionalism, no retreat from the world.’
    • ‘Those who believe that all affairs of state will shortly come to an end are, for obvious reasons, inclined to political quietism.’
    • ‘The regime sought to overcome the quietism of the middle classes and of the long-suffering peasantry with the propaganda of national greatness.’
    • ‘Looked at more deeply, it seems to license quietism and indifference to things in the world, on the grounds that nothing that merely happens to people is really bad.’
    • ‘As a result, the next generation was to tend towards political quietism and, worst of all, a crass materialism.’
    • ‘Nietzsche began as a disciple of Schopenhauer, but later rejected his pessimism and quietism.’


Late 17th century (denoting the religious mysticism based on the teachings of the Spanish priest Miguel de Molinos ( c 1640–97)): from Italian quietismo, based on Latin quies, quiet- ‘quiet’.