Paganism is a term that first arose among the Christian community of southern Europe during late antiquity as a descriptor of religions other than their own, or the related Abrahamic religions; i.e., Judaism and Islam. There has been much scholarly debate as to the origin of the term paganism, especially since no one before the 20th century self-identified as a pagan. Once the Abrahamic religions started to become more widely adopted (in processes known as Christianization and Islamization), various names to describe those who did not adhere to them started to develop; some of these included Hellene, pagan, and heathen, and at times these names were used as slurs. In the 19th century, paganism was re-adopted as a self-descriptor by members of various artistic groups inspired by the ancient world. In the 20th century, it came to be applied as a self-description by practitioners of contemporary pagan, or neopagan, religious...
Source: Wikimedia Commons
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