Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(780 words)

1. Concept

The category of paganism, highly influential in religious history, emerged from a discourse of definition in anthropology and theology. The Latin paganus may reflect the socioreligious conditions of late Greco-Roman antiquity, distinguishing “city-dwellers” (urbani) who converted to Christianity at an early date from “country-dwellers” (pagani) who held to the old religion.

“Heathen,” synonymous with “pagan” but deriving f…

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Stuckrad, Kocku von, “Paganism”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_020780>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721

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