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January 19, 2022

Paganity (lat. Paganitas) refers to the practice of non-Christian religions, but usually neither Judaism nor Islam. With the exception of non-Christian religions, Judaism and Islam in general, pagan religions and their practitioners are often referred to as pagans, although pagans are sometimes also called people who have renounced all religions or are indifferent to religion. Most commonly, pagan religions refer to early, usually polytheistic and pantheistic religions. Today, these are also sometimes referred to as old-pagan religions as a distinction from the trends that have emerged in recent decades, called neo-paganism. Neo-paganism is a term used since the 1950s for consciously developed religious trends in modern times that seek to imitate, revive, or restore the original historical European pagan and ancient religions. Trends in neo-paganism include Wicca, Neo-Shamanism, Aasainism, and Druidism. Accordingly, especially when talking about the earliest Christians, the terms Judeo-Christian and Gentile-Christian are often used, the latter referring to those who converted from pagan religions to Christianity.

Origin of the word

The word pagan is derived from the Latin adjective Paganus, meaning rural or villager. The designation is due to the fact that Christianity in its early days was a religion especially for the townspeople, while those living in the countryside were supporters of the old religions. Even before the word got its religious meaning in the language of Christians, it had been associated with strong images of uncivilization in the same way as, for example, in Finnish with the words moukka or juntti. The word has come to Finland through Russia. In medieval Russia, the word appeared in Latin in the form poganu. The word also appears in some close Finnish languages, of which in Estonia it means the same as in Finland, but in the Karelian language, for example, it has also acquired the meaning evil or filthy. Along with a few other old Russian quotations related to Christianity, such as the priest and the cross, it has been considered an indication that Christianity was preached in the Baltics inhabited by Baltic Finns as early as the end of the first millennium of the Christian era. The word has appeared in the Finnish literary language since the time of Agricola. Similar terms in other languages ​​ From early times Jews have used the Hebrew term Goy (Hepr. גוי) for other peoples, and goyim (Hepr. גוים) for the plural. Originally, the word meant a people or a tribe, but already in the Hebrew original text of the Old Testament, it meant specifically foreign peoples who followed customs and beliefs forbidden to the Jews. The word usually had a negative meaning, although several prophets emphasized that the salvation promised by God would eventually apply to the Gentiles as well. The same word often appears to refer to nations other than Jews in the Greek original text of the New Testament. This word, too, actually means a nation or a tribe, but in medieval Latin it was given the same religious meaning by the Bible as the Greek Ethnos. In this sense, it is also quoted in England, among other places, where it occurs in the form of gentiles.

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