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Thread: The Battle For The Word Pagan

  1. #61
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to add this:

    The word "pagan" has absolutely NO academic or scholarly usage. The term is so ill-defined that any real scholar or academic would never use it. An educated person would refer to a religion by it's name, sub-name, and, if necessary, it's sub-sub-name.

    You might find it in scholarly works from the prior to early part of the 20th century. If you do, consider that it is used as a pejorative. For a while, anthropologists were using a system of ranking cultures based on how "advanced" they were. For western world scholars, that meant western culture, and when speaking of religion, the model for an advanced religion was the western religion - Christianity. "Pagan" would be used to describe "primitive" religions of people (assumed to be) to primitive, foolish, ignorant, or naive to have adapted Christianity.

    If you see the word used today in a scholarly text, either through the book away, or be aware that it carries the implication of "inferior." Sometimes you will run into quasi-scholarly theological writing that uses the term, always in the sense that "these pagans are wrong/fools."

    Also, in the mid-twentieth century, "pagan" was a code term used to refer to people who practiced non-standard sexuality (which, at the time, meant 1 man + 1 woman, preferably married) - especially if they were into multiple partners. In the mid-20th century, prior to the Wicca explosion, to say "I am a pagan" generally meant "I am a swinger."
    In my Intro to Funeral services class, they use this definition: one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person

    I'm waiting at least until it comes up to bring up the inaccuracy of this definition... If it comes up in a way that completely misinterprets history in a white-washed, Christocentered manner I'll be bringing it up then. If not, I'll wait until I've graduated the program.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
    -Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Curse

    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

  2. #62
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahaku View Post
    In my Intro to Funeral services class, they use this definition: one who has little or no religion and who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods : an irreligious or hedonistic person

    I'm waiting at least until it comes up to bring up the inaccuracy of this definition... If it comes up in a way that completely misinterprets history in a white-washed, Christocentered manner I'll be bringing it up then. If not, I'll wait until I've graduated the program.
    That definition suits me well. I'm not religious but I am spiritual.

    Check out my blog! The Daily Satanist

  3. #63
    Apprentice of Doom Shahaku's Avatar
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanRave View Post
    That definition suits me well. I'm not religious but I am spiritual.
    I don't feel that it suits the majority of people identifying as pagan though. It might suit a small portion, but not the vast majority. At least of those I met. Pagan is a much larger umbrella than that. (And that's not to say that I disregard your personal beliefs)
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
    -Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Curse

    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

  4. #64
    God in the baking Sean R. R.'s Avatar
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    Re: The Battle For The Word Pagan

    I know, I know

    Check out my blog! The Daily Satanist

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