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Paganism
(2,282 words)

1. Term

It is impossible to precisely define “paganism” or its related term “pagan.” The LLat. paganus derives from pagus, “country district.” Pagans, so we may deduce, practiced the religion of the countryside. When town or city dwellers in the late Roman Empire called someone a pagan, they were perhaps dismissively alluding to that person’s beliefs and practices as those of yokels, which sophisticated urbanites had outgrown. Indeed, the terms “paganism” and “pagan” have …

Cite this page
Forward, Martin, “Paganism”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 22 November 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_P.4>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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