Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What is Paganism, exactly?


Paganism, according to the dictionary, is any religion non-Abrahamic in faith. In other words, if you're not an atheist, Christian, Muslim, Jew or Satanist then you would fall under the Paganism category.

It was in the first few hundred years of Christianity that the term "pagan" was first used. While the emperors, monarchs and nobility converted to Christianity the commoners remained loyal to the religion of their ancestors. It was first coined in the Roman empire as the Latin word "paganus", which literally meant country-dweller. It wasn't long until those in power began to vilify the old religions and paganus became a slur. Even the Jews, who Christianity came from, were labeled as evil.

Now, even though it's still vilified by the Christians, people are returning to the ways of their ancestors. This is where things get really confusing. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of faiths that can identify as pagan. In later posts, I will go into some of the religions I have done research on as well as the one I follow.

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