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Encyclopedia > Paganism

Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "an old country dweller, rustic") is a term which, from a Western perspective, has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or cultic practices or beliefs of any folk religion, and of historical and contemporary polytheistic religions in particular. |Pagan may refer to: One who follows any non-Abrahamic religion, as opposed to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and their denominations and sects One who follows a religion of European, North African, Asian or Pre-Columban American origin and who is not Christian, Muslim or Jewish, or who does not... Look up Heathen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... // By 1853, when the popular song Spirit Rappings was published, Spiritualism was an object of intense curiosity. ... A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ... Folk religion consists of beliefs, superstitions and rituals transmitted from generation to generation of a specific culture. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ...


The term can be defined broadly, to encompass the faith traditions outside the Abrahamic monotheistic group of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The group so defined includes the Indian religions (such as Hinduism, Jainism), Native American religions and mythologies and Shinto as well as non-Abrahamic ethnic religions in general. More narrow definitions will not include any of the world religions and restrict the term to local or rural currents not organized as civil religions. Characteristic of pagan traditions is the absence of proselytism and the presence of a living mythology which explains religious practice.[1] Abrahamic religions symbols designating the three prevalent monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Abrahamic religion is a term commonly used to designate the three prevalent monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam[1][2] – which claim Abraham (Hebrew: Avraham אַבְרָהָם ; Arabic: Ibrahim ابراهيم ) as a part of their sacred history. ... For the Celtic Frost album, see Monotheist (album) In theology, monotheism (from Greek one and god) is the belief in the existence of one deity, or in the oneness of God. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Statue of Jain God Bahubali in Shravanabelagola, Karnataka attracts thousands of devotees. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Jain and Jaina redirect here. ... Native American spirituality includes a number of stories and legends that are mythological. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... Religion, sometimes used interchangeably with faith, is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the practices and institutions associated with such belief. ... Major world religions have been distinguished from minor religions using a variety of methods, though any such division naturally reflects a particular bias, since many adherent of a religion are likely to consider their own faith major. Two methods are mentioned in this article, number of adherents and the definitions... The intended meaning of the term civil religion often varies according to whether one is a sociologist of religion or a professional political commentator. ... Proselytism is the practice of attempting to convert people to another opinion, usually another religion. ... For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ... In traditional societies, myth and ritual are two central components of religious practice. ...


The term "pagan" is a Christian adaptation of the "gentile" of Judaism, and as such has an inherent Christian or Abrahamic bias, and pejorative connotations among Westerners,[2] comparable to heathen, and infidel, mushrik and kafir (كافر) in Islam. For this reason, ethnologists avoid the term "paganism," with its uncertain and varied meanings, in referring to traditional or historic faiths, preferring more precise categories such as polytheism, shamanism, pantheism, or animism. The word gentile is an anglicised version of the Latin word gentilis, meaning of or belonging to a clan or tribe. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pejoration. ... An infidel (literally, one without faith) is one who doubts or rejects central tenets of a religion, especially those regarding its deities. ... Shirk, for the purposes of this article, is the Islamic concept of the sin of idolatry. ... This article is about an Islamic term. ... Ethnologyis a genre of cultural anthropology and| anthropological study, involving the systematic comparison of the beliefs and practices of different societies. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ... This article is about the practice of shamanism; for other uses, see Shaman (disambiguation). ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... The term Animism is derived from the Latin anima, meaning soul.[1][2] In its most general sense, animism is simply the belief in souls. ...


Since the later 20th century, "pagan" or "paganism" has become widely used as a self-designation by adherents of neo-paganism.[3] Neopaganism (sometimes Neo-Paganism, meaning New Paganism) is a heterogeneous group of religions which attempt to revive ancient, mainly European pre-Christian religions. ...

Contents

Etymology

Pagan

The term pagan is from Latin paganus, an adjective originally meaning "rural", "rustic" or "of the country." As a noun, paganus was used to mean "country dweller, villager." In colloquial use, it could mean much the same as calling someone today a 'country bumpkin'. Sign in a rural area in Dalarna, Sweden Qichun, a rural town in Hubei province, China Rural areas (also referred to as the country, countryside) are settled places outside towns and cities. ...


The semantic development of post-classical Latin paganus in the sense "non-Christian, heathen" is unclear. The dating of this sense is controversial, but the 4th century seems most plausible. An earlier example has been suggested in Tertullian De Corona Militis xi, "Apud hunc [sc. Christum] tam miles est paganus fidelis quam paganus est miles infidelis," but here the word paganus may be interpreted in the sense "civilian" rather than "heathen". There are three main explanations of the development: Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian, (ca. ... In times of armed conflict a civilian is any person who is not a combatant. ...

  • (i) The older sense of classical Latin pāgānus is "of the country, rustic" (also as noun). It has been argued that the transferred use reflects the fact that the ancient idolatry lingered on in the rural villages and hamlets after Christianity had been generally accepted in the towns and cities of the Roman Empire; cf. Orosius Histories 1. Prol. "Ex locorum agrestium compitis et pagis pagani vocantur." From its earliest beginnings, Christianity spread much more quickly in major urban areas (like Antioch, Alexandria, Corinth, Rome) than in the countryside (in fact, the early church was almost entirely urban), and soon the word for "country dweller" became synonymous with someone who was "not a Christian," giving rise to the modern meaning of "Pagan." This may, in part, have had to do with the conservative nature of rural people, who may have been more resistant to the new ideas of Christianity than those who lived in major urban centers. However, it may have also resulted from early Christian missionaries focusing their efforts within major population centers (e.g., St. Paul), rather than throughout an expansive, yet sparsely populated, countryside (hence, the Latin term suggesting "uneducated country folk").
  • (ii) The more common meaning of classical Latin pāgānus is "civilian, non-militant" (adjective and noun). Christians called themselves mīlitēs, "enrolled soldiers" of Christ, members of his militant church, and applied to non-Christians the term applied by soldiers to all who were "not enrolled in the army".
  • (iii) The sense "heathen" arose from an interpretation of paganus as denoting a person who was outside a particular group or community, hence "not of the city" or "rural"; cf. Orosius Histories 1. Prol. "ui alieni a civitate dei..pagani vocantur." See C. Mohrmann, Vigiliae Christianae 6 (1952) 9ff.

-- Oxford English Dictionary, (online) 2nd Edition (1989) The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin Idolatry is a major sin in the Abrahamic religions regarding image. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... For other uses, see Roman Empire (disambiguation). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Antakya. ... This article is about the city in Egypt. ... Corinth, or Korinth (Greek: Κόρινθος, Kórinthos; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a Greek city-state, on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece. ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... Paul of Tarsus (b. ... This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ... The Christian Church is traditionally divided into the Church Militant (Ecclesia Militans), comprising Christians who are living, and the Church Triumphant (Ecclesia Triumphans), comprising those who are in Heaven. ... This article is about a military rank. ... A community is a social group of organisms sharing an environment, normally with shared interests. ...


"Peasant" is a cognate, via Old French paisent. (Harry Thurston Peck, Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquity, 1897; "pagus"). In a detail of Brueghels Land of Cockaigne (1567) a soft-boiled egg has little feet to rush to the luxuriating peasant who catches drops of honey on his tongue, while roast pigs roam wild: in fact, hunger and harsh winters were realities for the average European in the... Look up cognate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories corresponding roughly to the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from around 1000 to 1300. ...


In their distant origins, these usages derived from pagus, "province, countryside", cognate to Greek πάγος "rocky hill", and, even earlier, "something stuck in the ground", as a landmark: the Proto-Indo-European root *pag- means "fixed" and is also the source of the words page, pale (stake), and pole, as well as pact and peace. The Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans. ... The Pale or the English Pale comprised a region in a radius of twenty miles around Dublin which the English in Ireland gradually fortified against incursion from Gaels. ...


While pagan is attested in English from the 14th century, there is no evidence that the term paganism was in use in English before the 17th century. The OED instances Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776): "The divisions of Christianity suspended the ruin of paganism." The term was not a neologism, however, as paganismus was already used by Augustine. The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... Edward Gibbon (1737–1794). ... This article is about the book. ... Augustinus redirects here. ...


Less than twenty years after the last vestiges of paganism were crushed with great severity by the emperor Theodosius I[4] Rome was seized by Alaric in 410. This led to murmuring that the gods of paganism had taken greater care of the city than that of the Christian God, inspiring St Augustine to write The City of God, alternative title "De Civitate Dei contra Paganos: The City of God against the Pagans", in which he claimed that whilst the great 'city of Man' had fallen, Christians were ultimately citizens of the 'city of God.'[5] // Alaric is a Germanic name that, broken into its parts means Ala: everyones and ric: ruler. This has various forms in the several Germanic languages, such as Alareiks in the original Gothic and Alrekr in Old Norse. ... Augustinus redirects here. ... The City of God, opening text, created c. ...


Heathen

Heathen is from Old English hæðen "not Christian or Jewish", (c.f. Old Norse heiðinn). Historically, the term was probably influenced by Gothic haiþi "dwelling on the heath", appearing as haiþno in Ulfilas' bible as "gentile woman," (translating the "Hellene" in Mark 7:26). This translation probably influenced by Latin paganus, "country dweller", or it was chosen because of its similarity to the Greek ethne, "gentile". It has even been suggested that Gothic haiþi is not related to "heath" at all, but rather a loan from Armenian hethanos, itself loaned from Greek ethnos Old English redirects here. ... Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. ... Heath comes from Old English hæð tract of wasteland, from Proto-Germanic *khaiþijo (cognate with Old Irish ciad; see also heather, heathen) refers to a wild meadow or open, unploughed country, see Heath (habitat). ... Representation of Ulfilas surrounded by the Gothic alphabet Ulfilas or Wulfila (perhaps meaning little wolf) (c. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... An ethnic group is a group of people who identify with one another, or are so identified by others, on the basis of a boundary that distinguishes them from other groups. ... The word gentile is an anglicised version of the Latin word gentilis, meaning of or belonging to a clan or tribe. ...


Terminology

Common word usage

Both "pagan" and "heathen" have historically been used as a pejorative by adherents of monotheistic religions (such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam) to indicate a disbeliever in their religion. "Paganism" is also sometimes used to mean the lack of (an accepted monotheistic) religion, and therefore sometimes means essentially the same as atheism. "Paganism" frequently refers to the religions of classical antiquity, most notably Greek mythology or Roman religion, and can be used neutrally or admiringly by those who refer to those complexes of belief. However, until the rise of Romanticism and the general acceptance of freedom of religion in Western civilization, "Paganism" was almost always used disparagingly of heterodox beliefs falling outside the established political framework of the Christian Church. "Pagan" came to be equated with a Christianized sense of "epicurean" to signify a person who is sensual, materialistic, self-indulgent, unconcerned with the future and uninterested in sophisticated religion. The word was usually used in this worldly and stereotypical sense, particularly among those who were drawing attention to what they perceived as being the limitations of paganism, for example, as when G. K. Chesterton wrote: "The pagan set out, with admirable sense, to enjoy himself. By the end of his civilization he had discovered that a man cannot enjoy himself and continue to enjoy anything else." In sharp contrast Swinburne the poet would comment on this same theme: "Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath; We have drunken of things Lethean, and fed on the fullness of death." [6] It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with pejoration. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... “Atheist” redirects here. ... Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, which begins roughly with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (7th century BC), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... Religion in ancient Rome combined several different cult practices and embraced more than a single set of beliefs. ... Romantics redirects here. ... The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guarantees freedom of religion, as long as religious activities do not infringe on public order in ways detrimental to society. ... For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ... Heterodox literally means pertaining to other doctrines or other worship. ... Epicure redirects here. ... Gilbert Keith Chesterton (May 29, 1874–June 14, 1936) was an influential English writer of the early 20th century. ... Swinburne may be A. C. Swinburne the poet Swinburne University of Technnology in Melbourne, Australia Swinburne, Free State in South Africa This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Christianity itself has been perceived at times as a form of paganism by followers of the other Abrahamic religions[7][8]because of, for example, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, the celebration of pagan feast days[9], and other practices [10] – through a process described as "baptising" [11]or "christianization". Even between Christians there have been similar charges of paganism levelled, especially by Protestants[12],[13], towards the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches for their veneration of the saints and images. St Francis Xavier converting the Paravas: a 19th-century image of the docile heathen The historical phenomenon of Christianization, the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once, also includes the practice of converting pagan practices, pagan religious imagery, pagan sites and the pagan calendar... Veneration is a religious symbolic act giving honor to someone by honoring an image of that person, particularly applied to saints. ...


Heathenry

"Heathen" (Old English hæðen) is a translation of paganus. The Germanic tribes were distributed over Eastern and Central Europe by the 5th century, and their dialects ceased to be mutually intelligible from around that time. Christianization of the Germanic peoples took place from the 4th (Goths) to the 6th (Anglo-Saxons, Alamanni) or 8th (Saxons) centuries on the continent, and from the 9th to 12th centuries in Iceland and Scandinavia. The term Germanic tribes (or Teutonic tribes) applies to the ancient Germanic peoples of Europe. ... The Germanic languages are a group of related languages constituting a branch of the Indo-European (IE) language family. ... By Germanic Christianity is that phase in the history of Northern Europe understood, when the Germanic peoples of the Migration period and Viking Age adopted Christianity. ... This article is about the Germanic tribes. ... For other uses, see Anglo-Saxon. ... Area settled by the Alamanni, and sites of Roman-Alamannic battles, 3rd to 6th century The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of west Germanic tribes located around the upper Main, a river that is one of the largest tributaries of the Rhine, on land that is today... For other uses, see Saxon (disambiguation). ...


Pagan classifications

Pagan subdivisions coined by Isaac Bonewits [5] Phillip Emmons Isaac Bonewits (born October 1, 1949) is an influential Neopagan leader and author. ...

  • Paleo-Paganism: A retronym coined to contrast with "neopaganism", denoting a pagan culture that has not been disrupted by other cultures. The term applies to Hinduism, Shinto, pre-Migration period Germanic paganism as described by Tacitus, Celtic Polytheism as described by Julius Caesar, and the Greek and Roman religion.
  • Meso-Paganism: A group, which is, or has been, significantly influenced by monotheistic, dualistic, or nontheistic worldviews, but has been able to maintain an independence of religious practices. This group includes aboriginal Americans as well as Australian aboriginals, Viking Age Norse paganism. Influences include: Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Theosophy, Spiritualism, as well as Sikhism, and the many Afro-Diasporic faiths like Haitian Vodou, and Santería.
  • Neo-Paganism: A movement by modern people to reconnect with nature, pre-Christian religions, or other nature-based spiritual paths. This definition may include anything on a sliding scale from reconstructionist to New Age and non-reconstructionist groups such as Neo-Druidism and Wicca.

A retronym is a type of neologism coined for an old object or concept whose original name has come to be used for something else, is no longer unique, or is otherwise inappropriate or misleading. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... ROSIE IS A GERMN LADYGermanic paganism refers to the religion of the Germanic nations preceding Christianization. ... For other uses, see Tacitus (disambiguation). ... Celtic polytheism refers to the religious beliefs and practices of ancient Celts until the Christianization of Celtic-speaking lands. ... For other uses, see Julius Caesar (disambiguation). ... Religion in ancient Rome combined several different cult practices and embraced more than a single set of beliefs. ... Viking Age is the term denoting the years from about 800 to 1066 in Scandinavian History[1][2][3]. // The Vikings have been much maligned in European history, due in large part to their violent attacks on Christians in the first centuries of their excursions out of Scandinavia. ... Norse paganism or Nordic religion is a termed used to abbreviate the religion preferably amongst the Germanic tribes living in Nordic countries under pre-Christian period that are supported by archaeology findings and early written materials. ... “Freemasons” redirects here. ... The Temple of the Rose Cross, Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens, 1618. ... Theosophy is a word and a concept known anciently, commonly understood in the modern era to describe the studies of religious philosophy and metaphysics originating with Helena Petrovna Blavatsky from the 1870s. ... // By 1853, when the popular song Spirit Rappings was published, Spiritualism was an object of intense curiosity. ... Sikhism (IPA: or ; Punjabi: , , IPA: ) is a religion that began in fifteenth century Northern India with the teachings of Nanak and nine successive human gurus. ... Voodoo redirects here. ... For other uses, see Santeria (disambiguation). ... Neopaganism (sometimes Neo-Paganism, meaning New Paganism) is a heterogeneous group of religions which attempt to revive ancient, mainly European pre-Christian religions. ... Romuva Spring Jorė festival in Kulionys, Lithuania in 2006. ... New Age describes a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture. ... A group of British druids, congregating to celebrate the summer solstice at stonehenge. ... For other uses, see Wicca (disambiguation). ...

Historical polytheism

Further information: Prehistoric religionPolytheism, and prehistoric religion

Bronze Age to Classical Antiquity (as opposed to Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Indian religions) Prehistoric religion is a general term for the hypothetical religious belief system of prehistoric peoples. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ... Prehistoric religion is a general term for the hypothetical religious belief system of prehistoric peoples. ...

Late Antiquity to High Middle Ages (as opposed to Abrahamic and Indian religions) The Religions of the Ancient Near East were mostly polytheistic, with some early examples of emerging Henotheism (Akhenaton, early Judaism). ... Egyptian goddess Isis protecting a mummified pharaoh, a late Ptolemic relief from the Philae Temple, which was first built in the thirtieth dynasty, c. ... Ancient Semitic religion spans the polytheistic religions of the Semitic speaking peoples of the Ancient Near East. ... Ancient anthropomorphic Ukrainian stone stela (Kernosovka stela), possibly depicting a late Proto-Indo-European god, most likely Dyeus The existence of similarities among the deities and religious practices of the Indo-European peoples allows glimpses of a common Proto-Indo-European religion and mythology. ... Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and rituals practiced in Ancient Greece in form of cult practices, thus the practical counterpart of Greek mythology. ... Religion in ancient Rome combined several different cult practices and embraced more than a single set of beliefs. ... Hellenistic religion refers to any of the various systems of beliefs and practices of the Eurasian peoples who lived under the influence of ancient Greek culture during the Hellenistic period and the Roman Empire (ca. ... The imperial cult in ancient Rome was the worship of the Roman Emperor as a god. ... Mystery religions, or simply Mysteries, were belief systems of the Graeco-Roman world full admission to which was restricted to those who had gone through certain secret initiation rites. ... Celtic polytheism refers to the religious beliefs and practices of ancient Celts until the Christianization of Celtic-speaking lands. ...

ROSIE IS A GERMN LADYGermanic paganism refers to the religion of the Germanic nations preceding Christianization. ... Slavic mythology and Slavic religion evolved over more than 3,000 years. ... Romuva Dievturība Baltic mythology This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... The elk is a common image in many Finnish petroglyphs Finnish paganism was the indigenous pagan religion in present-day Finland and Karelia prior to Christianization. ...

Contemporary ethnic religion

Further information: ethnic religion
Shaman doctor of Kyzyl.
Shaman doctor of Kyzyl.
Perchten procession in Klagenfurt.
Perchten procession in Klagenfurt.

There are many surviving traditions of ethnic religion. Organized ethnic religions that achieved the status of a civil religion are Shinto, tied to Japanese identity, and Judaism, tied to Jewish identity. In nationalist definitions, Hinduism may be tied to Indian identity. Religion, sometimes used interchangeably with faith, is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the practices and institutions associated with such belief. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (420x800, 73 KB) Photographer: Philipp Roelli (2005) File links The following pages link to this file: Shamanism ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (420x800, 73 KB) Photographer: Philipp Roelli (2005) File links The following pages link to this file: Shamanism ... Music-Drama Theatre in Kyzyl Kyzyl (Tuvan and Russian: Кызы́л) is a city in Russia, capital of Tyva Republic. ... Download high resolution version (725x1287, 184 KB)Perchtenlauf Pagan tradition in Austria Photographed by Klafubra on the 19. ... Download high resolution version (725x1287, 184 KB)Perchtenlauf Pagan tradition in Austria Photographed by Klafubra on the 19. ... Procession in Klagenfurt The eastern and central Alpine region is rich in pagan traditions, some dating back to ancient times. ... Klagenfurt since July 3, 2007 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee is the capital of the federal state of Carinthia (German Kärnten), in Austria. ... Religion, sometimes used interchangeably with faith, is commonly defined as belief concerning the supernatural, sacred, or divine, and the practices and institutions associated with such belief. ... The intended meaning of the term civil religion often varies according to whether one is a sociologist of religion or a professional political commentator. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Languages Historical Jewish languages Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, others Liturgical languages: Hebrew and Aramaic Predominant spoken languages: The vernacular language of the home nation in the Diaspora, significantly including English, Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian Religions Judaism Related ethnic groups Arabs and other Semitic groups For the Jewish religion, see Judaism. ... Hindutva (Hinduness, a word coined by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his 1923 pamphlet entitled Hindutva: Who is a Hindu? ) is used to describe movements advocating Hindu nationalism. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ...


Uninstitutionalized folk religion is found mainly in rural and sparsely populated areas. These include Animism, ancestor worship and Shamanism of Asia, Africa, the Americas, as well as Papua and other Pacific islands. Chinese folk religion is an umbrella term for uninstitutionalized folk traditions under a secular regime. Folk religion consists of beliefs, superstitions and rituals transmitted from generation to generation of a specific culture. ... The term Animism is derived from the Latin anima, meaning soul.[1][2] In its most general sense, animism is simply the belief in souls. ... Ancestor worship, also ancestor veneration, is a religious practice based on the belief that ones ancestors possess supernatural powers. ... This article is about the practice of shamanism; for other uses, see Shaman (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World, consisting of the continents of North America[1] and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... Papua is: Another name for New Guinea Papua (Australian territory): A former Australian territory comprising the southeastern quarter of the island of New Guinea, now the southern part of Papua New Guinea Papua (Indonesian province): An Indonesian province comprising the western half of the island of New Guinea Related Words... →this is tuff i mean kyle carters tuff Tuamotu, French Polynesia The Pacific Ocean contains an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 islands; the exact number has not been precisely determined. ... Clothed statues of Matsu / Mazu (Chinese goddess of the Sea) Chinese folk religion comprises the religion practiced in much of China for thousands of years which included ancestor veneration and drew heavily upon concepts and beings within Chinese mythology. ...


All world religions, however, also include folk religious aspects, as opposed to their theological or philosophical aspects, see folk Christianity, or local institutions of revealed religions may become strongly tied to ethnic identity, e.g. Yazdânism (Kurdish faiths descending from Zoroastrianism), Tibetan Buddhism, or various Christian national churches such as the Armenian Apostolic Church, the various Syriac churches, and the various branches of the Orthodox Church, e.g., Anglican Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox and other non-Roman churches. Major world religions have been distinguished from minor religions using a variety of methods, though any such division naturally reflects a particular bias, since many adherents of a religion are likely to consider their own faith major. Two methods are mentioned in this article, number of adherents and the definitions... Folk Christianity refers to a mix of animism and Christian beliefs, Roman Catholic, Protestant or both. ... Yazdânism or Cult of Angels (also Yazdâni or Yazdanism) is a modern term for the monotheistic, though universalist, religion that was practiced by most Kurds up to the Islamization during the sixteenth century. ... Zoroastrianism is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). ... Tibetan Buddhism is the body of religious Buddhist doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet, the Himalayan region (including northern Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Ladakh), Mongolia, Buryatia, Tuva and Kalmykia (Russia), and northeastern China (Manchuria: Heilongjiang, Jilin). ... The term national church is usually a reference to a church organization in Christianity that claims pastoral jurisdiction over a nation. ... Official standard of Karekin II Catholicos of Armenia The Armenian Apostolic Church (Armenian: Õ€Õ¡Õµ Ô±Õ¼Õ¡Ö„Õ¥Õ¬Õ¡Õ¯Õ¡Õ¶ Եկեղեցի, Hay Arakelagan Yegeghetzi), sometimes called the Armenian Orthodox Church or the Gregorian Church, is the worlds oldest national church[1] [2] and one of the most ancient Christian communities [3]. // Baptism of Tiridates III. The earliest... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Syriac Christianity is a culturally and... Greek Orthodox Church can refer to any of several hierarchical churches within the larger group of mutually recognizing Eastern Orthodox churches: the Orthodox Church of Constantinople, headed by the Patriarch of Constantinople, who is also the first among equals of the Eastern Orthodox Communion. ... The Russian Orthodox Church (Русская Православная церковь) is that body of Christians who are united under the Patriarch of Moscow, who in turn is in communion with...


Africa

Further information: Yoruba religion and Bwiti
A Kapsiki crab sorcerer of Rhumsiki.
A Kapsiki crab sorcerer of Rhumsiki.

During the expansion of the Sokoto Caliphate in West Africa, Islamic Fulbe (Fula) labelled their non-Muslim neighbours, such as this Kapsiki diviner, Kirdi, or "pagans". African traditional women and male priests, Togo, West Africa, 2006. ... Yoruba legends redirects here. ... Bwiti is a West Central African religion practiced by the forest-dwelling Babongo and Mitsogo people of Gabon (where it is one of the three official religions) and the Fang people of Gabon and Cameroon. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (711x1000, 714 KB) A Kapsiki crab sorcerer of Rhumsiki, Extreme North Province, Cameroon. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (711x1000, 714 KB) A Kapsiki crab sorcerer of Rhumsiki, Extreme North Province, Cameroon. ... Home on the outskirts of Rhumsiki The Kapsiki are an ethnic group of Cameroon. ... Kapsiki Peak Rhumsiki, also spelt Rumsiki and Roumsiki, is a village in the Far North Province of Cameroon. ... This article is in need of attention. ... The Fulbhe (singular Pullo) or Fulani is an ethnic group of people spread over many countries in West Africa,Central Africa and as far as East Africa. ... Divination is the occultic practice of ascertaining information by supernatural means. ... Kirdi is a word of Kanuri origin, denoting non-Muslims, referring to the ethnic group of the Northern Mandaras in Cameroon and north-eastern Nigeria. ...


Eurasia

Further information: Chinese folk religionShamanism in SiberiaKorean shamanism, and Bön

Eurasian ethnic religions became largely extinct in the course of the Middle Ages, first with Christianization in the West and the spread of Buddhism in the East, and then with the Islamic conquests of Persia, Central and South Asia. A notable survival of pre-Islamic traditions are the people of Kafirstan, now shrunk to the Kalasha people, inhabiting three valleys in the NWFP, Pakistan. The 2002 census of the Russian Federation reports 123,423 people (0.23% of the population) as belonging to ethnic groups predominantly adhering to "traditional beliefs", mostly in Siberia and the Russian Far East. In Japan, there is the Ryukyuan religion. Clothed statues of Matsu / Mazu (Chinese goddess of the Sea) Chinese folk religion comprises the religion practiced in much of China for thousands of years which included ancestor veneration and drew heavily upon concepts and beings within Chinese mythology. ... Siberia is regarded as the locus classicus of shamanism [1]. It is inhabited by many different people. ... There are a number of shamanistic practices that are developed in Korea, where the role of a shaman is most frequently taken by women. ... Bön[1] (Tibetan: བོན་; Wylie: bon; Lhasa dialect IPA: [) is the oldest spiritual tradition of Tibet. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... St Francis Xavier converting the Paravas: a 19th-century image of the docile heathen The historical phenomenon of Christianization, the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once, also includes the practice of converting pagan practices, pagan religious imagery, pagan sites and the pagan calendar... ... Age of the Caliphs The initial Islamic conquests (632-732) began with the death of Muhammad, were followed by a century of rapid Arab and Islamic expansion, and ended with the Battle of Tours—resulting in a vast Islamic empire and area of influence that stretched from India, across the... The term Kafirs in reference to the Hindukush Kafirs is usually taken to mean infidels or idolators and the term Kafirstan as The Land of the Infidels. ... The word Kalasha may refer to: A people of northern Pakistan, the Kalasha of Chitral their language, Kalasha-mun A people of Nuristan in Afghanistan, the Kalasha of Nuristan their language, Kalasha-ala See also Kalash Category: ... North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) is geographically the smallest of the four provinces of Pakistan. ... This article is about Siberia as a whole. ... Far Eastern Federal District (highlighted in red) Russian Far East (Russian: Д́альний Вост́ок Росс́ии; English transliteration: Dalny Vostok Rossii) is an informal term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i. ... Ryukyuan religion is the indigenous belief system of the Uchinanchu people of Okinawa and the other Ryukyu Islands. ...


Central America

Mayan priests dancing around fire at ceremony
Main article: Maya religion
Further information: Mayan astrology

In spite of five centuries of persecution Mayan paganism is alive and well in Guatemala, and is experiencing a resurgence of interest among young Mayans. Recent peace accords signed by the Guatemalan government have provided funds to teach Mayan language and traditional religion in rural schools. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the ancient and modern Maya vary greatly over space and time, but certain common features can be discerned, all of which are consistent with other Mesoamerican religions. ... Maya calendrical divination is a subset of traditional beliefs, rituals and divinatory practices that are held or performed among various Maya communities in Guatemala and southern Mexico. ... The adjective Mayan is sometimes used to refer to the indigenous peoples of parts of Mexico and Central America, their culture, language, and history. ...


Pagan revivals and new religious movements

Neo-paganism

Main article: Neo-paganism
A ceremony at the annual Prometheia festival of the Greek polytheistic group Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes, June 2006.
A ceremony at the annual Prometheia festival of the Greek polytheistic group Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes, June 2006.

Neopaganism includes reconstructed religions such as Hellenic, Celtic or Germanic reconstructionism as well as modern eclectic traditions such as Discordianism, and Wicca and its many offshoots. Neopaganism (sometimes Neo-Paganism, meaning New Paganism) is a heterogeneous group of religions which attempt to revive ancient, mainly European pre-Christian religions. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A trilogy of plays attributed to Aeschylus (there is some doubt on this subject) containing: Prometheus Bound, Prometheus Unbound, and Prometheus Pyrphoros. ... The Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes (Ύπατο Συμβούλιο των Ελλήνων Εθνικών), commonly known as YSEE, is an umbrella organisation in Greece established in 1997 to defend and restore the ethnic, polytheistic, Hellenic tradition, religion and way in contemporary Greek society. ... Romuva Spring Jorė festival in Kulionys, Lithuania in 2006. ... Hellenic Polytheism is an umbrella term for a wide variety of polytheistic religious movements which are ideologically related by their reverence for the ancient Greek pantheon and/or their adoption of ancient Greek religious practices. ... Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (CR) is a polytheistic, animistic, religious and cultural movement. ... Discordianism is a modern, chaos-centered religion founded circa 1958–1959 by Malaclypse the Younger with the publication of its principal text, the Principia Discordia. ... For other uses, see Wicca (disambiguation). ...


Many of the "revivals", wicca and neo-druidism in particular, have their roots in 19th century Romanticism and retain noticeable elements of occultism or theosophy that were current then, setting them apart from historical rural (paganus) folk religion. The Íslenska Ásatrúarfélagið is a notable exception in that it was derived more or less directly from remnants in rural folklore. Romantics redirects here. ... For other uses of this term, see occult (disambiguation). ... Theosophy is a word and a concept known anciently, commonly understood in the modern era to describe the studies of religious philosophy and metaphysics originating with Helena Petrovna Blavatsky from the 1870s. ... The Íslenska Ásatrúarfélagið Icelandic fellowship of Æsir faith (Ásatrú) is an Icelandic new religious movement with the purpose of reviving the pre-Christianization religion of Scandinavia. ...


Neopaganism in the United States accounts for roughly a third of all neopagans worldwide, and for some 0.2% of US population, figuring as the sixth largest non-Christian denomination in the US, after Judaism (1.4%), Islam (0.6%), Buddhism (0.5%), Hinduism (0.3%) and Unitarian Universalism (0.3%).[14] An estimated 300,000 to 500,000 (as of 2000) adherents of various forms of Neopaganism live in the United States, accounting for about 0. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages[1]) is a religious tradition[2] that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... The flaming chalice is the universally recognized symbol for Unitarian Universalism. ...


Modern nature religion

Many current pagans in industrial societies base their beliefs and practices on a connection to Nature, and a divinity within all living things, but this may not hold true for all forms of Paganism, past or present. Some believe that there are many deities, while some believe that the combined subconscious spirit of all living things forms the universal deity.[citation needed] Ancient Greek paganism, which tended in many cases to be a deification of the local deity, as Athena in Athens, saw each local emanation as an aspect of an Olympian deity during the Classical period and then after Alexander to syncretize the deity with the political process, with "state divinities" increasingly assigned to various localities, as Roma personified Rome. Many ancient regimes would claim to be the representative on earth of these gods, and would depend on more or less elaborate bureaucracies of state-supported priests and scribes to lend public support to their claims. For other uses, see Athena (disambiguation). ... This article is about the capital of Greece. ... For the film of the same name, see Alexander the Great (1956 film). ... This coin struck under Philip the Arab to celebrate Saeculum Novum bears, on the reverse, a temple devoted to the goddess Roma In Roman mythology, Roma was a deity personifying the Roman state, or an personification in art of the city of Rome (as seen on the column of Antoninus... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In one well-established sense, paganism is the belief in any non-monotheistic religion, which would mean that the Pythagoreans of ancient Greece would not be considered Pagan in that sense, since they were monotheist, but not in the Abrahamic tradition. In an extreme sense, and like the pejorative sense below, any belief, ritual or pastime not sanctioned by a religion accepted as orthodox by those doing the describing, such as Burning Man, Halloween, or even Christmas, can be described as "pagan" by the person or people who object to them and the individuals who choose to claim this title. For the Celtic Frost album, see Monotheist (album) In theology, monotheism (from Greek one and god) is the belief in the existence of one deity, or in the oneness of God. ... Separate articles treat Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism. ... The event is named after its Saturday night ritual, the burning of a wooden effigy. ... This article is about the holiday. ... For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation). ...


Demographics

Paganism has been previously defined broadly, to encompass many or most of the faith traditions outside the Abrahamic monotheistic group of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. If the Indian religions are included, nearly 30% of the world population can be termed as Pagans.[15] An Abrahamic religion (also referred to as desert monotheism) is any religion derived from an ancient Semitic tradition attributed to Abraham, a great patriarch described in the Torah, the Bible and the Quran. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Statue of Jain God Bahubali in Shravanabelagola, Karnataka attracts thousands of devotees. ...


The term has also been used more narrowly,[16][17][18] however, to refer only to religions outside the very large group of so-called Axial Age faiths that encompass both the Abrahamic religions and the chief Indian religions. Under this narrower definition, which differs from that historically used by many[19][20] (though by no means all[21][22]) Christians and other Westerners, contemporary paganism is a relatively smaller and more marginal numerical phenomenon. According to Encyclopedia Britannica estimates (as of 2005), adherents of Chinese folk religion account for some 6.3% of world population, and adherents of tribal religions ("ethnogeligionists") for another 4.0%. The number of adherents of neopaganism is insignificant in comparison, amounting to 0.02% or world population at the most, or some 0.4% of the "ethnoreligious" population. According to the Axial Age theory, the philosophy behind the worlds major religions sprang from a six-hundred year span of time in the first millennium BCE. German philosopher Karl Jaspers coined the term the Axial Age (Achsenzeit in the German language original) to describe the period from 800... 1913 advertisement for the 11th edition, with the slogan When in doubt — look it up in the Encyclopædia Britannica The Encyclopædia Britannica (properly spelled with æ, the ae-ligature) was first published in 1768–1771 as The Britannica was an important early English-language general encyclopedia and is still... Clothed statues of Matsu / Mazu (Chinese goddess of the Sea) Chinese folk religion comprises the religion practiced in much of China for thousands of years which included ancestor veneration and drew heavily upon concepts and beings within Chinese mythology. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Notes and References

  1. ^ "And it Harms No-one", A Pagan Manifesto, Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone, 1998.[1]
  2. ^ "Pagan", Encyclopedia Britannica 11th Edition, 1911, retrieved 22 May 2007.[2]
  3. ^ "A Basic Introduction to Paganism", BBC, retrieved 19 May 2007.[3]
  4. ^ "Theodosius I", The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912.[4]
  5. ^ "The City of God", Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD, 2003.
  6. ^ 'Hymn to Proserpine'
  7. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia
  8. ^ Shirk
  9. ^ Christianised calendar
  10. ^ Christianised rituals
  11. ^ The Pope, The Emperor and the Persian Leader
  12. ^ 'Philip Melanchthon 'Apologia Confessionis Augustanae'
  13. ^ Jean Seznec 'The Survival of the Pagan Gods'
  14. ^ ARIS 2001 figures.
  15. ^ Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherent on Adherents.com
  16. ^ http://www.religioustolerance.org/paganism.htm
  17. ^ Eisenstadt, S.N., 1983, Transcendental Visions -- Other-Worldliness -- and Its Transformations: Some More Comments on L. Dumont. Religion13:1-17, at p. 3.
  18. ^ Michael York, Paganism as Root-Religion, The Pomegranate, 6:1 (2004), pp. 11-18 (distinguishing the main streams of developed religion as gnostic, dharmic, Abrahamic and pagan).
  19. ^ Catholic Encyclopaedia (1917 edition) on paganism
  20. ^ Hindu rites at a famous Catholic shrine shocks many Catholics
  21. ^ David Scott, Christian Responses to Buddhism in Pre-Medieval Times, Numen, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Jul., 1985), pp. 88-100
  22. ^ Audrius Beinorius, Buddhism in the Early European Imagination: A Historical Perspective, ACTA ORIENTALIA VILNENSIA 6:2 (2005), pp. 7–22
  • Michael York, Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion NYU Press (2003), ISBN 0814797083.

Farrar, in a photograph taken by her husband, Stewart Farrar, demonstrates the Osiris pose in a 1981 book she co-authored. ... Gavin Bone is an author and lecturer in the fields of magic, witchcraft, Wicca and Neo-Paganism, and an organizer in the Neo-Pagan community. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... The term Christianised calendar refers to feast days which are Christianised survivals from pre-Christian times. ... Christianised rituals were among the cultural features of the Mediterranean world that were adapted by the Early Christians, as part of the thorough-going Christianization of culture, which included the landscape (see Christianised sites) and the calendar (see Christianised calendar). ... Melancthon, in a portrait engraved by Albrecht Dürer, 1526 Philipp Melanchthon (February 16, 1497 - April 19, 1560) was a German theologian and writer of the Protestant Reformation and an associate of Martin Luther. ... Jean Seznec (March 19, 1905 - November 22, 1983) was a historian and mythographer whose most influential book, for English-speaking readers, has been The Survival of the Pagan Gods: Mythological Tradition in Renaissance Humanism and Art, published in 1953. ... The Washington National Cathedral, located in the capital of the U.S., is one of the largest churches in the country. ...

See also

Look up pagan, heathen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... The term Animism is derived from the Latin anima, meaning soul.[1][2] In its most general sense, animism is simply the belief in souls. ... In the Celtic religion, the modern words Druidry or Druidism denote the practices of the ancient druids, the priestly class in ancient Celtic societies through much of Western Europe north of the Alps and in the British Isles. ... Folk religion consists of beliefs, superstitions and rituals transmitted from generation to generation of a specific culture. ... The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin Idolatry is a major sin in the Abrahamic religions regarding image. ... In traditional societies, myth and ritual are two central components of religious practice. ... For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ... A group of British druids, congregating to celebrate the summer solstice at stonehenge. ... Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is any of a heterogeneous group of new religious movements, particularly those influenced by ancient, primarily pre-Christian and sometimes pre-Judaic religions. ... Pagans are people who believe that they express their spirituality through nature, natural processes and the basic elements of life. ... This is a list of historical individuals notable for their Pagan religion (as opposed to Abrahamic religions), and modern individuals who self-describe as adherents of some form of Paganism or Neopaganism. ... Orthopraxy is a term derived from Greek meaning correct practice. It refers to accepted religious practices and may include both ritual practices as well as interpersonal acts. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ... Pagan (also known as Bagan) was an important ancient kingdom in Myanmar. ... Religion and mythology differ, but have overlapping aspects. ... This article is about the practice of shamanism; for other uses, see Shaman (disambiguation). ... Shirk is the Islamic concept of the sin of idolatry. ... Virtuous paganism is the a concept of Christian theology parallel to the Righteous Among the Nations in Judaism. ... “Witch” redirects here. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Meanings of the terms Pagan and Paganism (2746 words)
Paganism is occasionally used to refer to animistic, spirits-and-essences filled belief systems.
A rare use of "Pagan" is to describe a person who does not follow an main Abrahamic religion.
One condemned Christmas' practices as "merely variations of the ceremonies invented by the corrupt pagans of yesterday." It refers to the Christian concept of the Trinity as deriving from "Pagan Babylon." "The religion of pagan Babylon did not disappear...it was passed on down, to 'Mystery Babylon,'...[the] mother of abominations of the earth.
Paganism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2007 words)
Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "a country dweller" or "civilian") is a blanket term which has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices of natural or polytheistic religions, as opposed to the Abrahamic monotheistic religions.
The term pagan is from Latin paganus, an adjective originally meaning "rural", "rustic" or "of the country." As a noun, paganus was used to mean "country dweller, villager." In colloquial use, it would mean much the same as calling someone a 'bumkin' or a 'hillbilly'.
Both "pagan" and "heathen" have historically been used as a pejorative by adherents of monotheistic religions (such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam) to indicate a disbeliever in their religion.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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