vocabulary

Word to the Wise: pagan

pagan (1)Kam Abbott

pagan (noun) [pronounce pay-gan] – an unbeliever or someone who believes in gods that don’t belong to one of the three big religions (Christianity, Islam or Judaism).

pagan or paganistic (adjective) – connected to pagans

paganism (noun) – the belief in other gods or not believing at all

Note: This word is often offensive.

Here are some examples of how you’ll find pagan used:

The pagans were dancing around a big burning tree.

The Celts were pagans who had druids for priests and who believed in lots of different gods and heroes.

Christian monks in the Middle Ages were ignorant of pagan rituals among the peoples they preached to.

Archaeologists have found signs of paganistic sacrifices outside the temple.

He believes in a strong determining force that doesn’t come from God. So essentially what he believes is a form of paganism.

pagan2Ann Wuyts
Druid Ceremony at Stonehenge, UK

Note: Other Words for Pagan

The three monotheistic religions that I mentioned all have their own favourite word for a person who doesn’t believe in their particular brand of god-worship:

Christians like to call nonbelievers (in Christianity) heathen.

Muslims call nonbelievers infidel.

And Jews call nonbelievers gentile.

All these three words can be pretty offensive, depending whom you are speaking to.

Finally, if you’re looking for a word for nonbelievers that is inoffensive and not connected to any religion, use atheist. (This literally means non believer in a god.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s