The Brill Dictionary of Religion

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Heathen
(316 words)

Heathen are always the ‘others’: Muslims, freethinkers and atheists, cannibals—even Catholics or Protestants, as you prefer. ‘Heathen’ is a collective, ‘exclusive’ (excluding) concept: in the Hebrew Bible, the ‘others’ are the goyim (Gen 10:5, Isa 14:26); in the Greek New Testament, they are ta éthne (‘the tribes’), or, as the part for the whole, hoi Héllenes (‘the Greeks’: John 7:35, Mark 7:26), the ‘(other) peoples,’ those who do not belong to one's own (religious) community. ‘Heathen,’ then, is one of those collective appellations that sets up a …

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Mohr, Hubert, “Heathen”, in: The Brill Dictionary of Religion, Edited by Kocku von Stuckrad. Consulted online on 27 January 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5287_bdr_SIM_00031>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124332, 20051223



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