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Those who did not polytheist, monotheist, or atheist were outsiders to the Church and thus pagan. They would have considered the priestly colleges such as the College of Pontiffs or Epulones and cult practices more meaningful distinctions. Referring to paganism as pre-Christian indigenous religions is equally untenable. Not all historical pagan traditions were pre-Christian or indigenous to their places of worship.

Owing to the history of its nomenclature, paganism traditionally encompasses the collective pre- and non-Christian cultures in and around the classical world ; including those of the Greco-Roman, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic tribes. Paganism came to be equated by Christians with a sense of hedonism, representing those who are sensual, materialistic, self-indulgent, unconcerned with the future, and uninterested in more mainstream religions.

Pagans were usually described within this worldly stereotype , especially among those drawing attention to what they perceived as the limitations of paganism. By the end of his civilization he had discovered that a man cannot enjoy himself and continue to enjoy anything else. Ludwig Feuerbach defined the paganism of classical antiquity , which he termed Heidentum 'heathenry' as "the unity of religion and politics, of spirit and nature, of god and man", [43] qualified by the observation that man in the pagan view is always defined by ethnicity , i.

Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Jew, etc.

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Modern historians define paganism instead as the aggregate of cult acts, set within a civic rather than a national context, without a written creed or sense of orthodoxy. The developments in the religious thought of the far-flung Roman Empire during Late Antiquity needs to be addressed separately, because 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. As Christianity emerged from Second Temple Judaism or Hellenistic Judaism , it stood in competition with other religions advocating pagan monotheism, including the cult of Dionysus , [45] Neoplatonism , Mithraism , Gnosticism , and Manichaeanism.

They point to the symbolism of wine and the importance it held in the mythology surrounding both Dionysus and Jesus Christ; [46] [47] 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.

Old Norse religion - Wikipedia

Arabic paganism gradually disappeared during Muhammad 's era through Islamization. Dhul Khalasa is referred to as both an idol and a temple, and it was known by some as the Ka'ba of Yemen, built and worshipped by pagan tribes. Interest in pagan traditions was first revived during the Renaissance , when Renaissance magic was practiced as a revival of Greco-Roman magic. In the 17th century, the description of paganism turned from the theological aspect to the ethnological one, and religions began to be understood as a part of the ethnic identities of peoples, and the study of the religions of so-called 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 relics that were in principle capable of shedding light on the historical paganism of Classical Antiquity. Paganism resurfaces 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. 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.

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 revolutions , leading to the creation of national epics and national myths for the various newly formed states. Pagan or folkloric topics were also common in the Musical nationalism of the period.

Modern Paganism , or Neopaganism, includes reconstructed religions such as Roman Polytheistic Reconstructionism , Hellenism , Slavic Native Faith , Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism , or Heathenry , as well as modern eclectic traditions such as Wicca and its many offshoots, Neo-Druidism , and Discordianism. However, there often exists a distinction or separation between some polytheistic reconstructionists such as Hellenism and revivalist Neopagans like Wiccans.

The divide is over numerous issues such as the importance of accurate orthopraxy according to ancient sources available, the use and concept of magic, which calendar to use and which holidays to observe, as well as the use of the term pagan itself. 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.

Most modern pagans, however, believe in the divine character of the natural world and paganism is often described as an Earth religion. There are a number of neopagan authors who have examined the relation of the 20th-century movements of polytheistic revival with historical polytheism on one hand and contemporary traditions of folk religion on the other. Isaac Bonewits introduced a terminology to make this distinction. Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick in their A History of Pagan Europe classify pagan religions as characterized by the following traits:.

In modern times, Heathen and Heathenry are increasingly used to refer to those branches of neopaganism inspired by the pre-Christian religions of the Germanic, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon peoples. 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. Odinism has been established on a formal basis in Australia since at least the s. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Pagan disambiguation.

Not to be confused with Pagani. A Very Short Introduction, [15]. Religion in ancient Greece , Ancient Roman religion , Hellenistic religion , and Roman imperial cult. Decline of Hellenistic paganism and Hellenic philosophy and Christianity. Religion in pre-Islamic Arabia. The Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 18 July O'Donnell , Paganus: Evolution and Use , Classical Folia , A Guide to the Postclassical World.


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Between Pagan and Christian. A Very Short Introduction. Narratives of Russian Rodnoverie. New Age Religion and Western Culture: Esotericism in the Mirror of Secular Thought. Persecution of Heresy, State of the Church. Some More Comments on L. Synesius of Cyrene; VI: Barbarians and Politics at the Court of Arcadius. University of California Press. Philostratus, in Honour of Apollonius," in Apologetics, p. It shaped the way they tried and tested Christians.

Thus the mosaic helps to substantiate the existence of Pagan monotheism. Ein Beitrag zur Kontextualisierung des Johannesevangeliums". With new translations of ancient texts by Herbert M. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Al-Baqarah to Al-Baqarah 2nd Edition , p. Kitab al-tabaqat al-kabir, By Ibn Sa'd, Volume 2. Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia. The life of Mahomet.

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When the Moon Split. The new encyclopedia of Islam. The book of idols: Miller, History of Religion Becomes Ethnology: Retrieved 25 March There is no evidence of a professional priesthood among the Norse, and rather cultic activities were carried out by members of the community who also had other social functions and positions.

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Among scholars, there has been much debate as to whether sacral kingship was practiced among Old Norse communities, in which the monarch was endowed with a divine status and thus being responsible for ensuring that a community's needs were met through supernatural means. Gods and goddesses were depicted through figurines, pendants, fibulas, and as images on weapons.


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  • Another image that recurs in Norse artwork from this period is the valknut the term is modern, not Old Norse. During the romanticist movement of the nineteenth century, various northern Europeans took an increasing interest in Old Norse religion, seeing in it an ancient pre-Christian mythology that provided an alternative to the dominant Classical mythology. As a result, artists featured Norse gods and goddesses in their paintings and sculptures, and their names were applied to streets, squares, journals, and companies throughout parts of northern Europe. The mythological stories derived from Old Norse and other Germanic sources provided inspiration for various artists, including Richard Wagner , who used these narratives as the basis for his Der Ring des Nibelungen.

    Tolkien , who used them in creating his legendarium , the fictional universe in which he set novels like The Lord of the Rings. Research into Old Norse religion has been interdisciplinary, involving historians, archaeologists, philologists, place-name scholars, literary scholars, and historians of religion. Interest in Norse mythology was revived in the eighteenth century, [] and scholars turned their attention to it in the early nineteenth century.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For religions in present-day Norway, see Religion in Norway. For the country's national church, see Church of Norway. This article may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. The discussion page may contain suggestions. Extension of Norse language in A. Western Norse in red and Eastern Norse in orange.

    Death in Norse paganism. Norse-English relations in the period before the Conquest. University Press of America. European Sources of Icelandic Saga-Writing: An Essay Based on Previous Studies. Genuine sources sources from the time of North Germanic paganism runic inscriptions, ancient poetry etc. DuBois , pp. Mythological Poems II , Oxford: Dronke, The Poetic Edda , Volume 2: Mythological Poems , Oxford: Oxford University, , repr. A New Approach", Folklore 70—84, p. He became their priest and chieftain, so he was given the nickname Frey's-Priest. Before the water rite, a child could be rejected; infanticide was still permitted under the earliest Christian laws of Norway, p.

    Essays on Old Norse Mythology , ed. European Perspectives , ed. Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus' c.

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    Price, The Viking Way: European Journal of Archaeology. Myths of the Pagan North: The Gods of the Norsemen. New York and London: Archaeological Studies of Old Norse Religion". In Timothy Insoll ed. Oxford and New York: Tracing Old Norse Cosmology: Some Problems and Prospects". Uses editors parameter link Bek-Pedersen, Karen The Norns in Old Norse Mythology.

    Place and Space of Cult and Myth". In Michael Stausberg ed. Conversion Among the Germanic Peoples. London and New York: Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. Davidson, Hilda Roderick Ellis Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe: Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions.

    Davidson, Hilda Ellis In Martin Carver ed. The Age of Sutton Hoo: The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe. De Vries, Jan [, ]. Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte 2 vols. Grundriss der germanischen Philologie 12 3rd, reprint of 2nd, ed. Nordic Religions in the Viking Age. University of Pennsylvania Press. Ellis, Hilda Roderick The Road to Hel: University of Birmingham Historical Journal. Central Places in the Migration and the Merovingian Periods. Uses editors parameter link Hedeager, Lotte Iron Age Myth and Materiality: An Archaeology of Scandinavia AD — In Stefan Brink and Neil Price eds.

    New Haven and London: In Paul Cavill ed. Approaches to Current Scholarship and Teaching. In Daniel Anlezark ed. Myths, Legends, and Heroes: University of Toronto Press. Popular Religion in Late Saxon England: Elf Charms in Context. University of North Carolina Press. In Aleksander Pluskowski ed. The Ritual Killing and Burial of Animals: Uses editors parameter link Lindow, John Uses editors parameter link Lund, Julie Signals of Belief in Early England: Uses editors parameter link Magnell, Ola Uses editors parameter link Meaney, Audrey Journal of Religious History.

    How to Study Old Norse Religion". Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis. The Great Goddess of the North. Clock and Rose Press. Syncretistic Traits of the Old Norse Religion". From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths. In Helena Hamerow, David A. Hinton, and Sally Crawford eds.

    Uses editors parameter link Price, Neil; Mortimer, Paul Rooth, Anna Birgitta Loki in Scandinavian Mythology. Schnurbein, Stefanie von A Theory between Ideological Camps". Dictionary of Northern Mythology new ed. Symbol of Christianization and Political Delusion". In Gro Steinsland ed. Towards a Dialogue between Archaeology and History of Religion. An Arena for Higher Powers: Studies in the History of Religions.

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