Owen Chadwick

in The Early Reformation on the Continent

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780198269021
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600470 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church


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The use of the term ‘atheist’ to describe sixteenth‐century unbelief can be misleading. Luther was concerned about the doubts about aspects of belief to be found among the people, but most intellectual opponents of the Church became Protestants. The most publicized case was that of Etienne Dolet, seen by later atheists as a martyr and not accepted as such by his Protestant contemporaries, while controversy also surrounded the works of Gerolamo Cardano; François Rabelais, and Francesco Guicciardini. The theories of Copernicus were rejected by Luther but accepted by many Protestant scholars, though they had no impact on the world‐outlook of the Reformation era.

Keywords: atheism; Gerolamo Cardano; Copernicus; Etienne Dolet; Francesco Guicciardini; François Rabelais

Chapter.  8249 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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