Religion Past and Present

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(562 words)

[German Version]

As a term in the systematic study of religion, pagandom (like Ger. Heidentum) is inappropriate, since it inherently conveys connotations of religious “otherness” and the truth of Christian theology. As a descriptive historical term, it is useful for religions of antiquity other than Judaism and Christianity when discussing their conflicts with Christianity; this is also the context in which the term originated. Initially the Latin equivalent pagani served as a (pejorative) term describing the rural population (only recently converted to Christia…

Cite this page
Löhr, Gebhard, “Pagandom”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 November 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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