1590s, "one who is characterized by strict adherence to method," from method + -ist. With a capital M-, it refers to the Protestant religious denomination founded 1729 at Oxford University by John and Charles Wesley. The name had been used at least since 1686 for various new methods of worship; it was applied to the Wesleys by their fellow-students at Oxford for their methodical habits in study and religious life. Johnson (1755) describes them as "One of a new kind of puritans lately arisen, so called from their profession to live by rules and in constant method." Related: Methodism.
1650s, in reference to doctrine of Cornelius Jansen (1585-1638), Catholic bishop of Ypres, who maintained the perverseness and inability for good of the natural human will. The term is prominent in 17c.-18c. religious writing, often as a reproach. The surname is the Flemish equivalent of Johnson. Related: Jansenist.
1743, from Zoroaster, from Latin Zoroastres, from Old Persian Zarathushtra, 6c. or 7c. B.C.E. Persian religious teacher. The name appears to be literally "whose camels are old," from *zarant "old" (cognate with Greek geron, genitive gerontos "old;" see gerontology) + ushtra "camel." As a noun from 1811.
fem. proper name, from French Dorothée, from Latin Dorothea, from Greek, literally "gift of God," from dōron "gift" (from PIE root *do- "to give") + fem. of theos "god" (from PIE root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts). With the elements reversed, it becomes Theodora. The accessory called a Dorothy bag is so called from 1907.
line of Jewish princes who ruled in Judea, late 14c., from Late Latin Maccabæus, surname given to Judas, third son of Mattathias the Hasmonean, leader of the religious revolt against Antiochus IV, 175-166 B.C.E. Usually connected with Hebrew maqqabh "hammer," but Klein thinks it an inexact transliteration of Hebrew matzbi "general, commander of an army." Related: Maccabean.
1570s, "religious puritan" (implied in Catharism), from Medieval Latin Cathari "the Pure," name taken by Novatians and other Christian sects, from New Testament Greek katharizein "to make clean," from Greek katharos "pure" (see catharsis). Especially in reference to the 12c. sects (Albigenses, etc.) in Languedoc and the Piedmont that denied the authority of Rome. Related: Catharist.
"pretender to piety," 1670s, from name of the principal character in the comedy by Molière (1664), apparently from Old French tartuffe "truffle" (see truffle), perhaps chosen for suggestion of concealment (Tartuffe is a religious hypocrite), or "in allusion to the fancy that truffles were a diseased product of the earth." Italian Tartufo is said to have been the name of a hypocritical character in Italian comedy.
"a member of the Christian denomination known as the Religious Society of Friends," 1651, said to have been applied to them in 1650 by Justice Bennett at Derby, from George Fox's admonition to his followers to "tremble at the Word of the Lord;" but the word was used earlier of foreign sects given to fits of shaking during religious fervor, and that is likely the source here. Either way, it never was an official name of the Religious Society of Friends.
The word in a literal sense of "one who or that which trembles" is attested from early 15c., an agent noun from quake (v.). The notion of "trembling" in religious awe is in Old English; quaking (n.) meaning "fear and reverence" especially in religion is attested from mid-14c.
There is not a word in the Scripture, to put David's condition into rime and meeter: sometimes he quaked and trembled, and lay roaring all the day long, that he watered his bed with his tears: and how can you sing these conditions (but dishonour the Lord) and say all your bones quake, your flesh trembled, and that you water your bed with your tears? when you live in pride and haughtiness, and pleasure, and wantonness .... ["A Brief Discovery of a threefold estate of Antichrist Now Extant in the world, etc.," an early Quaker work, London, 1653]
Figuratively, as an adjective, in reference to plain or drab colors (such as were worn by members of the sect) is by 1775. A Quaker gun (1809, American English), originally a log painted black and propped up to resemble the barrel of a cannon to deceive the enemy from a distance, is so called for the sect's noted pacifism. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has been known as the Quaker City at least since 1824. Related: Quakerish; Quakeress ("a female Quaker"); Quakerism; Quakerdom; Quakerly.
1520s, adjective and noun, "of or pertaining to Martin Luther or to the sect he founded, which has his name, or its doctrines," from name of German religious reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546). Luther called it the Evangelical Church. Used by Catholics 16c. in reference to all Protestants, regardless of sect. In 16c. Lutherian also was used. Related: Lutheranism (1560s).