Definition of exemplarism in US English:



  • 1Philosophy and Theology. The theory that things in the world exist as imperfect copies or approximations of abstract or eternally existing patterns or archetypes; especially the theory that created things are patterned after ideas eternally existing in the mind of God. Compare "exemplar". Chiefly historical.

  • 2Theology. The doctrine that the atonement of Christ is of value to humanity purely as a moral example, especially as a lesson in the positive value of sacrifice and suffering for the benefit of others.


Late 19th century. From exemplar + -ism.