Conteùdo de sensagent
1.any of various religions other than Christianity or Judaism or Islamism
PaganismPa"gan*ism (-ĭz'm), n. [L. paganismus: cf. F. paganisme. See Pagan, and cf. Painim.] The state of being pagan; pagan characteristics; esp., the worship of idols or false gods, or the system of religious opinions and worship maintained by pagans; heathenism.
Anglo-Saxon paganism • Assyrian paganism • Assyro-Babylonian paganism • Babylonian paganism • Canaanite paganism • Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism • Christianity and Paganism • Christo-paganism • Crypto-Paganism • Death in Norse paganism • Finnish paganism • Germanic paganism • Graeco-Roman paganism • Hellenic Paganism • Hellenic neo-Paganism • Hellenic neo-paganism • Judeo-Paganism • Neo-paganism in Ireland • Norse paganism • Numbers in Germanic paganism • Paganism and Wicca in Australia • Perscution of Paganism by Theodosius I • Persecution of Paganism under Justinian I • Persecution of Paganism under Theodosius I • Public Bodies Liaison Committee for British Paganism
fait de.. (fr)[Classe...]
chose ancienne (fr)[Classe...]
religion; faith; religious belief[ClasseHyper.]
believe, be religious, have a faith[Nominalisation]
ancien culte polythéiste (fr)[Classe]
It is primarily used in a historical context, referring to Greco-Roman polytheism as well as the polytheistic traditions of Europe and North Africa before Christianization. In a wider sense, extended to contemporary religions, it includes most of the Eastern religions and the indigenous traditions of the Americas, Central Asia, Australia and Africa; as well as non-Abrahamic folk religion in general. More narrow definitions will not include any of the world religions and restrict the term to local or rural currents not organized as civil religions. Characteristic of Pagan traditions is the absence of proselytism and the presence of a living mythology, which informs religious practice.
Ethnologists often avoid the term "paganism," with its uncertain and varied meanings, in referring to traditional or historic faiths, preferring more precise categories such as polytheism, shamanism, pantheism, or animism.
In the late 20th century, "Paganism", or "Neopaganism", became widely used in reference to adherents of various New Religious Movements including Wicca. As such, various modern scholars have begun to apply the term to three groups of separate faiths: Historical Polytheism (such as Celtic polytheism, Norse Paganism, and Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism also called Hellenismos), Folk/ethnic/Indigenous religions (such as Chinese folk religion and African traditional religion), and Neopaganism (such as Wicca and Germanic Neopaganism).
The term pagan is from the Latin paganus, an adjective originally meaning "rural", "rustic" or "of the country." As a noun, paganus was used to mean "country dweller, villager." The semantic development of post-classical Latin paganus in the sense "non-Christian, heathen" is unclear. The dating of this sense is controversial, but the 4th century seems most plausible. An earlier example has been suggested in Tertullian De Corona Militis xi, "Apud hunc [sc. Christum] tam miles est paganus fidelis quam paganus est miles infidelis," but here the word paganus may be interpreted in the sense "civilian" rather than "heathen". There are three main explanations of the development:
The post-classical Latin paganismus gave rise to both paganism and to its synonym paynimry. Paynimry may be used of paganism, its practises, and pagans, as well as for the domain or realm of pagans.
In their origins, these usages derived from pagus, "province, countryside", cognate to Greek πάγος "rocky hill", and, even earlier, "something stuck in the ground", as a landmark: the Proto-Indo-European root *pag- means "fixed" and is also the source of the words page, pale (stake), and pole, as well as pact and peace.
While pagan is attested in English from the 14th century, there is no evidence that the term paganism was in use in English before the 17th century. The OED instances Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776): "The divisions of Christianity suspended the ruin of Paganism." The term was not a neologism, however, as paganismus was already used by Augustine.
Less than twenty years after the last vestiges of Paganism were crushed with great severity by the emperor Theodosius I Rome was seized by Alaric in 410. This led to murmuring that the gods of Paganism had taken greater care of the city than that of the Christian God, inspiring St Augustine to write The City of God, alternative title "De Civitate Dei contra Paganos: The City of God against the Pagans", in which he claimed that whilst the great 'city of Man' had fallen, Christians were ultimately citizens of the 'city of God.'
Heathen is from Old English hæðen "not Christian or Jewish" (c.f. Old Norse heiðinn). Historically, the term was probably influenced by Gothic haiþi "dwelling on the heath", appearing as haiþno in Ulfilas' bible as "gentile woman" (translating the "Hellene" in Mark 7:26). This translation was probably influenced by Latin paganus, "country dweller", or it was chosen because of its similarity to the Greek ἐθνικός ethnikos, "gentile". It has even been suggested that Gothic haiþi is not related to "heath" at all, but rather a loan from Armenian hethanos, itself loaned from Greek ἔθνος ethnos.
Both "pagan" and "heathen" have historically been used as a pejorative by adherents of monotheistic religions (such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam) to indicate a disbeliever in their religion; although in modern times it is not always used as a pejorative. "Paganism" frequently refers to the religions of classical antiquity, most notably Greek mythology or Roman religion; and can be used neutrally or admiringly by those who refer to those complexes of belief. However, until the rise of Romanticism and the general acceptance of freedom of religion in Western civilization, "paganism" was almost always used disparagingly of heterodox beliefs falling outside the established political framework of the Christian Church.
"Pagan" came to be equated with a Christianized sense of "epicurean" to signify a person who is sensual, materialistic, self-indulgent, unconcerned with the future and uninterested in sophisticated religion. The word was usually used in this worldly and stereotypical sense, particularly among those who were drawing attention to what they perceived as being the limitations of Paganism. Thus G. K. Chesterton wrote: "The Pagan set out, with admirable sense, to enjoy himself. By the end of his civilization he had discovered that a man cannot enjoy himself and continue to enjoy anything else." In sharp contrast, Swinburne the poet would comment on this same theme: "Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has grown grey from thy breath; We have drunken of things Lethean, and fed on the fullness of death."
Christianity itself has been perceived at times as a form of polytheism by followers of the other Abrahamic religions because of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (which at first glance appears indistinguishable from Tritheism, though this is variously condemned as heresy or apostasy by the main Christian denominations) or the celebration of Pagan feast days and other practices – through a process described as "baptizing" or "christianization". Even between Christians there have been similar charges of idolatry levelled, especially by Protestants, towards the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches for their veneration of the saints and images.
In the Christian perspective the term has been used historically to encompass all non–Abrahamic religions. The term pagan is a Christian adaptation of the "gentile" of Judaism, and as such has an inherent Abrahamic bias, and pejorative connotations among monotheists, comparable to heathen and infidel. Words such as kafir (كافر) and mushrik (مشرك) are similarly used by Muslims. Peter Brown observes:
The adoption of paganus by Latin Christians as an all-embracing, pejorative term for polytheists represents an unforeseen and singularly long-lasting victory, within a religious group, of a word of Latin slang originally devoid of religious meaning. The evolution occurred only in the Latin west, and in connection with the Latin church. Elsewhere, "Hellene " or "gentile" (ethnikos) remained the word for "pagan"; and paganos continued as a purely secular term, with overtones of the inferior and the commonplace.
Ludwig Feuerbach (1833) defines "Paganism" (Heidentum) in the context of classical antiquity as "the unity of religion and politics, of spirit and nature, of god and man", qualified by the observation that "man" in the Pagan view is always defined by ethnicity, i.e. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Jew, etc., so that each Pagan tradition is also a national tradition. Feuerbach goes on to postulate that the emergence of monotheism and thus the end of the Pagan period was a development which naturally grew out of Hellenistic philosophy due to the contradiction inherent in the ethnic nature of Pagan tradition and the universality of human spirituality (Geist), finally resulting in the emergence of a religion with a universalist scope in the form of Christianity.
The developments of Late Antiquity in the religious thought in the far-flung Roman Empire needs to be addressed separately, as this is the context in which Early Christianity itself developed as one of several monotheistic cults, and it was in this period that the concept of "pagan" developed in the first place. Christianity as it emerged out of Second Temple Judaism (or Hellenistic Judaism) stood in competition with other religions advocating "pagan monotheism", including Neoplatonism, Mithraism, Gnosticism, Manichaeanism, and the cult of Dionysus.
Dionysus in particular exhibits significant parallels with Christ, so that numerous scholars have concluded that the recasting of Jesus the wandering rabbi into the image of Christ the Logos, the divine saviour, reflects the cult of Dionysus directly. They point to the symbolism of wine and the importance it held in the mythology surrounding both Dionysus and Jesus Christ; Wick argues that the use of wine symbolism in the Gospel of John, including the story of the Marriage at Cana at which Jesus turns water into wine, was intended to show Jesus as superior to Dionysus. The scene in The Bacchae wherein Dionysus appears before King Pentheus on charges of claiming divinity is compared to the New Testament scene of Jesus being interrogated by Pontius Pilate.
For these reasons, it is difficult if not impossible to draw a clear line between "Christianity" and "Paganism" for the period of the 3rd to 4th centuries when Christianity was in its formative phase. Only with the emergence of Orthodox Christianity as reflected in the Apostle's Creed and the final decline of Hellenistic paganism by the 6th century does "Paganism" become a concept clearly distinct from Christianity.
In addition, folklore that is not any longer perceived as holding any religious significance can in some instances be traced to pre-Christian or pre-Islamic origins. In Europe, this is particularly the case with the various customs of Carnival or Fasnacht and the Yule traditions surrounding Santa Claus/Sinterklaas. By contrast, the Christmas tree in spite of frequent association with Thor's Oak cannot be shown to be an innovation predating the Early Modern period.
Interest in pagan traditions was revived in the Renaissance, at first in Renaissance magic as a revival of Greco-Roman magic. In the 17th century, description of paganism turned from the theological aspect to the ethnological, and a religion began to be understood as part of the ethnic identity of a people, and the study of the religions of "primitive" peoples triggered questions as to the ultimate historical origin of religion. Thus, Nicolas Fabri de Peiresc saw the pagan religions of Africa of his day as relicts that were in principle capable of shedding light on the historical Paganism of Classical Antiquity.
Paganism re-surfaces as a topic of fascination in 18th to 19th century Romanticism, in particular in the context of the literary Celtic and Viking revivals, which portrayed historical Celtic and Germanic polytheists as noble savages.
The 19th century also saw much scholarly interest in the reconstruction of pagan mythology from folklore or fairy tales. This was notably attempted by the Brothers Grimm, especially Jacob Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology, and Elias Lönnrot with the compilation of the Kalevala. The work of the Brothers Grimm influenced other collectors, both inspiring them to collect tales and leading them to similarly believe that the fairy tales of a country were particularly representative of it, to the neglect of cross-cultural influence. Among those influenced were the Russian Alexander Afanasyev, the Norwegians Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe, and the Englishman Joseph Jacobs.
Romanticist interest in non-classical antiquity coincided with the rise of Romantic nationalism and the rise of the nation state in the context of the 1848 revolutions, leading to the creation of national epics and national myths for the various newly formed states. Pagan or folkloristic topics were also common in the Musical nationalism of the period.
Contemporary Paganism, or Neopaganism, includes reconstructed religions such as Hellenic polytheism, Slavic neopaganism (i.e. Slavianstvo, including Rodnovery), Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism, or Germanic religious reconstructionism, as well as modern eclectic traditions such as Discordianism, Wicca and its many offshoots.
Many of the "revivals", Wicca and Neo-druidism in particular, have their roots in 19th century Romanticism and retain noticeable elements of occultism or theosophy that were current then, setting them apart from historical rural (paganus) folk religion.
Neopaganism in the United States accounts for roughly a third of all contemporary Pagans worldwide, and for some 0.2% of US population, figuring as the sixth largest non-Christian denomination in the US, after Judaism (1.4%), Islam (0.6%), Buddhism (0.5%), Hinduism (0.3%) and Unitarian Universalism (0.3%).
In Iceland, the members of Ásatrúarfélagið account for 0.4% of the total population, which is just over a thousand people. In Lithuania, many people practice Romuva, a revived version of the pre-Christian religion of that country. Lithuania was among the last areas of Europe to be Christianized.
There are a number of Pagan authors who have examined the relation of the 20th-century movements of polytheistic revival with historical polytheism on one hand and contemporary traditions of indigenous folk religion on the other. Isaac Bonewits introduces a terminology to make this distinction,
Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick in their A History of Pagan Europe (1995) classify "pagan religions" as characterized by the following traits:
In modern times, "Heathen" and "Heathenry" are increasingly used to refer to those branches of Paganism inspired by the pre-Christian religions of the Germanic, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon peoples. (Ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/paganism/subdivisions/heathenry_1.shtml)
Paganism has been previously defined broadly, to encompass many or most of the faith traditions outside the Abrahamic religions.
The term has also been used more narrowly, however, to refer only to religions outside the very large group of so-called Axial Age faiths that encompass both the Abrahamic religions and the chief Indian religions. Under this narrower definition, which differs from that historically used by many (though by no means all) Christians and other Westerners, contemporary Paganism is a smaller and more marginal numerical phenomenon. According to Encyclopædia Britannica estimates (as of 2005), adherents of Chinese folk religion account for some 6.3% of world population, and adherents of tribal religions ("ethnoreligionists") for another 4.0%. The number of adherents of neopaganism is insignificant in comparison, amounting to 0.02% of world population at the most, or some 0.4% of the "ethnoreligious" population.
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