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Author Topic: General/Non-Specific: ''p''aganism or ''P''aganism?  (Read 727 times)

arete

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''p''aganism or ''P''aganism?
« on: August 29, 2018, 11:36:12 am »
What exactly is paganism or Paganism? I'd say ''p''aganism with a low p is non-Abrahamic. And ''P''aganism with a capital P is a modern religion based on nature and magic.
What is Paganism?
I pray that religious animosity will end.

Darkhawk

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Re: ''p''aganism or ''P''aganism?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 12:47:33 pm »
What exactly is paganism or Paganism? I'd say ''p''aganism with a low p is non-Abrahamic. And ''P''aganism with a capital P is a modern religion based on nature and magic.
What is Paganism?

A sociocultural movement arising from the consequences of the industrial revolutions, the invention of modern warfare, and the mass social disruption of the 19th century into the early 20th, melding aspects of historical romanticism and nostalgia, responses to the codification of modern science (both the physical sciences and the social sciences), nationalism, the occult revival, the invention of nature, and social revolution into a matrix responsive to a perceived spiritual void in the modern world.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Louisvillian

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Re: ''p''aganism or ''P''aganism?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2018, 03:20:09 am »
What exactly is paganism or Paganism? I'd say ''p''aganism with a low p is non-Abrahamic. And ''P''aganism with a capital P is a modern religion based on nature and magic.
I'd go with Darkhawk's appraisal of big-P Paganism above. Though I personally would add to it the influence of the Modernist intellectual paradigm, specifically James George Frazer, and how that inspired a surge in popular and scientific interest in pre-Christian religion at the turn of the century. It's by no means the dominant influence, and it arose from the other things Darkhawk mentioned. I just think that Frazer in particular and Frazerian anthropology act as a bridging vehicle between Romanticism and Pagan Revivalism.

Now, for small-p paganism, I'm hesitant to acquiesce to that definition. There's a lot of different definitions of what "paganism" could mean-- certainly the definition of "non-Abrahamic religion/practice" is the major one at play. But there's also "nature-based religion/spirituality", or "ethnic religion" (as opposed to the transcultural organized religion of Christianity), or the Latin root meaning "rustic/countryside" and the religion/spirituality thereof, or use of it as a synonym for polytheism. I feel that the term is borderline useless as an academic term. It's better replaced by something more specific, e.g. "indigenous religion" or "ethnic religion" for religious traditions that are part of the culture of a particular ethnic group.

arete

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Re: ''p''aganism or ''P''aganism?
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2018, 09:26:14 am »
I'd go with Darkhawk's appraisal of big-P Paganism above. Though I personally would add to it the influence of the Modernist intellectual paradigm, specifically James George Frazer, and how that inspired a surge in popular and scientific interest in pre-Christian religion at the turn of the century. It's by no means the dominant influence, and it arose from the other things Darkhawk mentioned. I just think that Frazer in particular and Frazerian anthropology act as a bridging vehicle between Romanticism and Pagan Revivalism.

Now, for small-p paganism, I'm hesitant to acquiesce to that definition. There's a lot of different definitions of what "paganism" could mean-- certainly the definition of "non-Abrahamic religion/practice" is the major one at play. But there's also "nature-based religion/spirituality", or "ethnic religion" (as opposed to the transcultural organized religion of Christianity), or the Latin root meaning "rustic/countryside" and the religion/spirituality thereof, or use of it as a synonym for polytheism. I feel that the term is borderline useless as an academic term. It's better replaced by something more specific, e.g. "indigenous religion" or "ethnic religion" for religious traditions that are part of the culture of a particular ethnic group.
paganism with low p is very vast, an umbrella term. a loose term to use.  :)
I pray that religious animosity will end.

Jabberwocky

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Re: ''p''aganism or ''P''aganism?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 07:39:03 pm »
Now, for small-p paganism, I'm hesitant to acquiesce to that definition. There's a lot of different definitions of what "paganism" could mean-- certainly the definition of "non-Abrahamic religion/practice" is the major one at play. But there's also "nature-based religion/spirituality", or "ethnic religion" (as opposed to the transcultural organized religion of Christianity), or the Latin root meaning "rustic/countryside" and the religion/spirituality thereof, or use of it as a synonym for polytheism. I feel that the term is borderline useless as an academic term. It's better replaced by something more specific, e.g. "indigenous religion" or "ethnic religion" for religious traditions that are part of the culture of a particular ethnic group.

I'd disagree that it's not a useful term academically.  But I'd see it as mostly having utility in sociology and cultural studies, which isn't what people seem to look at when analysing low p paganism.

The pagan "community" fits pretty snugly into most definitions of a subculture.  In particular, it easily fits all of Ken Gelder's identifiers.

So when I use the term "pagan" I really just mean "members of the pagan subculture". A bit circular, but it works for me.
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