Eduardo F. Collins, in a theology dissertation, discussed the origin of the term "scrupulosity." He concluded that the word was first coined, or at least popularized, in the 15th century.
There is no known [Catholic] theological literature on the question of scrupulosity, at least under this name, until the writings of John Gerson, Nider and St. Antoninus [all of whom lived in the 15th century]. That scrupulosity as a fact existed prior to the 15th century seems certain.... That the phenomenon was not commonly called by this name seems also certain. The name then was popularised through the writings of these three men.1
1Eduardo F. Collins, "The Treatment of Scrupulosity in the Summa Moralis of St. Antoninus: A Historical-Theological Study" (dissertation, Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana, Rome, 1961), 58.
OCD History Home