18 May 2023

What is adamism? – Discover the characteristics of adamism

By Donald

Adamism is one of the best known religious movements of those that were practiced at the beginning of the Catholic religion, however, there are many people who still do not know its history. So, this article explains what is adamism, its meaning in Spanish and what is the origin of this grouping. In the same way, their most important characteristics and some of the practices they carried out in heresy are mentioned.

Definition & Meaning of Adamism

Adam is a very important figure in the Catholic religion, since in the Bible he is described as the first man on earth. Therefore, with this character the history of humanity begins, although he is not venerated or has temples in his name like other figures of Christianity. However, there was a time when a religious group executed practices and rites in honor to this character, a movement known as adamism.

Adamism was a school of thought developed by a group of people who held a very different and radical Catholic doctrine. It is a religious movement based on Gnosticism that had the belief that it was possible return to the innocence of paradise. Thus, the men and women who participated in the rites and who described themselves as Adamites sought to eradicate ‘original sin’. The name of the movement has the meaning of honoring the first father, the first man created by God.

One of the main beliefs of these people is that they should live like Adam in paradise, so they did not wear clothes in public. So, at the beginning of the movement, the Adamites took to the streets naked, but the Catholic Church considered these acts as heresy, so it prohibited their execution. However, the Adamites continued to hold their meetings in clandestine places, where they could be without any clothing.

What is the history and origin of Adamism?

At present, the exact date of origin in which Adamism began to be practiced in Europe is unknown, since there are few records of antiquity. In the same way, the few authors who spoke about these facts and people have some contradictions with each other, so confusion can be generated about the history of the Adamites. However, most agree that these beliefs and practices began to emerge in the second century AD.

During this time, the Catholic Church was not sufficiently consolidated in the world, therefore, various movements and doctrines were created in this religion. Some of them just wanted to impose practices for fornicationwhich the church marked as heresy, whose meaning in many cases was the death of heretics.

Another of the discrepancies between the authors is related to the hypothetical person who founded Adamism as a current of thought. In this sense, certain writers mention a character named prodicwhich was disciple of carpocrates. However, in other texts it is pointed out that Carpocrates himself was the precursor of this movement of the Catholic religion, since, in texts translated into Spanish, this man is described as the founder of a sect.

There are also certain opinions in which it is dated that Adamism was already practiced before Christianity spread throughout the world. Since there are writings in which it is mentioned that Maacha did Adamite rituals, she was the mother of Asa, one of the kings of Judah. This woman was a priestess of Priapus, in the dictionary described as the god of fertility, to whom sacrifices of women were offered with the characteristic that all people were naked.

What are the characteristics of Adamism?

At the beginning of the doctrine of Adamism, its believers could be easily recognized, since these people they took to the streets with their naked bodies. However, some authors such as Epifanio de Salamina denied that these acts were carried out, this author reflects other facts with which they sought ‘imitate our first parents’. In this sense, he expresses that nudity was present in the temples of the meetings, where they chose a woman to give herself to all the participants.

  • They did not wear clothes in public, but sometimes they turned off the lights in the place in order not to feel embarrassed.
  • No they accepted the marriagebecause they claimed that Adam met his wife after committing the ‘original sin’ and leaving paradise.
  • They accepted the vague unions and also incest.
  • They professed that there was no need to pray, as this was folly or extravagance.
  • No distinction was made between the presbyters and the common people.
  • He adultery and fornication they were allowed because they were holy actions, moreover they deserved it according to their history.