Each of the following definitions comes from various sources. Each in its own right, own time and place of history. Pulling from the English Language as always a dynamic symbol of our ever increasing state of relationship with our partners on this Earth.
1. Common Sense Dictionary
Edited by Prof. C.M. Stevans Ph.D.
Pagan, A worshiper of false gods; one who is neither a Christian, a Jew nor a Mohammedian; a heathen; an idolator. - a. Pertaining to pagans or heathens. - paganish, a. Heathenish,- paganism, n. The religious opinions and worship of pagans, -paganize v.t. To render pagan or heathenish.
Heathen, n. A pagan; one who worships idols; an idolator. -a. Gentile; pagan. -heathendom, n. That part of the world where heathenism prevails. -heathenish, a.- heathenism, n.- heathenry.
Gentile n. A worshiper of false gods. -a. Pertaining to a family, race or nation; pertaining to pagans or heathens.
Religion n. An acknowledgment of our obligation to God, accompanied
by a feeling of reverence and love; godliness; devotion.
2. The New Universities Webster Dictionary
Edited by Joseph Devlin M.A.
Pagan, n. a heathen; idolater: adj. heathen; idolatrous.
Paganish, adj. heathenish.
Paganism, n. heathenism: idolatry.
Heathen, n. one who does not believe in the God of the Bible; one who
is neither a Christian, Jew, nor Mohammedian; an irreligious person; pagan;
adj. pertaining to customs of heathens; irreligious; unenlightened; heathenish.
Heathendom, n. the state or condition of being a heathen; that part of the world being inhabited by heathens.
Heathenish, adj. pertaining to heathens; rude; ignorant, or uncultured.
Heathenism n. the rites and customs of heathens; paganism; idolatry.
Heathenize v.t. to render heathen.
Gentile n. to the Jews, one outside their race or faith; to the Christians, one who is neither Jew nor Christian -- a pagan; to the Mohammedians, a non Mohammedian; to the Mormons; a non Mormon; adj. belonging to, or relating to, all races in general, Jews excepted.
Religion n. any system of faith or worship; the outward manifestation of belief of a Supreme or Superior Being; love and obedience toward God; piety; monastic vow or state; conformity to Biblical precepts; devotion; fide
3. Websters New Collegiate Dictionary
John P. Bethel General Editor
Pagan n. [LL. paganus heathen, Fr. L. paganus civilian, also peasant, Fr. pagus village, district.] 1. Formerly, one not of a Christian people; now, one who is neither a Christian, a Mohammedian, nor a Jew; a heathen. 2. An irreligious person. -- adj. 1. Of or pertaining to pagans or their worship; heathen; idolatrous. 2. Irreligious; heathen. -- paganish adj.
Heathen n. [AS. haethen, prob. connected with haeth heath meaning orig. one who lives in the country or on the heaths.] 1. An unconverted member of a people that does not acknowledge the God of the Bible; a pagan; specif., Bib., an idolator. 2. An unenlightened or irreligious person. -- adj. 1. gentile; pagan; hence unenlightened; irreligious. 2. Of or pertaining to the heathen.
Gentile n. [L. and F.; F. gentil. Fr. L. gentilis of the same clan or race.] 1. as used by the Jews, one of the non-Jewish faith or race; as used by the Christians, one not a Jew; esp. a Christian as distinguished from a Jew; formerly, as used by Christians, a heathen. 2. Among the Mormons, a non-Mormon. --adj. 1. [often cap.] Belonging to the nations at large, as distinguished from the Jews; by extension, belonging or pertaining to Christians, as distinguished from Jews; by extension, belonging or pertaining to non-Mormons. 2. Heathen; pagan. 3. Pertaining to a nation, tribe, or clan
Religion n. [OF., Fr. L. religio, prop., taboo, restraint.] 1. The service
and adoration of God or god as expressed in forms of worship. 2. One of
the systems of faith and worship. 3. The profession and practice of religious
beliefs; religious observance collectively; pl. rites. 4. Devotion or fidelity;
conscientiousness. 5. An awareness or conviction of the existence of a
supreme being, arousing reverence, love, gratitude, the will to obey and
serve, and the like; as, man only is capable of religion.
4. Thorndike Barnhart Advanced Junior Dictionary
Clarence L. Barnhart
Pagan n. 1. person who is not a Christian, Jew or Moslem; one who worships false gods; heathen. The ancient Greeks and Romans were pagans. 2. having to do with pagans; not Christian, Jewish, or Moslem. 3, person who has no religion. 4. not religious. 1,3 n. 2,4 adj.
heathen n. 1. person who does not believe in the God of the Bible; person who is not a Christian, Jew or Moslem. 2. people who are heathen. 3. of having to do with the heathen; not Christian, Jewish, or Moslem. 4. an irreligious or unenlightened person. 5. irreligious; unenlightened. 1,2,4 n., pl., heathens or heathen; 3,5 adj.
Gentile n. 1. person who is not a Jew. 2. not Jewish. 3. heathen; pagan. 4. among Mormons, a person who is not a Mormon. 5. among Mormons, of or having to do with those outside the Mormon community. 1,3,4, n., 2,3,5, adj.
Religion n. 1. belief in God or gods. 2. worship of God or gods. 3.
matter of conscience: She makes a religion of keeping her house neat.
4. a particular system of faith and worship: the Christian religion.
5. American Heritage Dictionary
Edited by William Moriss
Pagan n. 1. A person who is not a Christian, Moslem, or Jew; a heathen. 2. One who has no religion. 3. Formerly, any non-Christian. -- adj. 1. Not Christian, Moslem, or Jewish. 2. Not religious; heathen. [ Middle English, from Late Latin paganus, civilian (i.e. not a "soldier of Christ"), from Latin paganus, country dweller, from pagus, village, country.
Heathen n. 1. One who adheres to the religion of a tribe or nation that does not acknowledge the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. b. Such persons collectively; the unconverted. 2 a. One who is regarded as irreligious, uncivilized, or unelightened. b. Such persons collectively.
Gentile n. 1. Anyone who is not of the Jewish faith or is of non-Jewish nation. 2. A Christian as distinguished from a Jew. 3. A pagan or heathen 4. Among Mormons, a person who is not a Mormon. --adj. Of or relating to a Gentile. [Middle English gentil, gentyle, from Late Latin gentiles, pagans, heathens, from gentilis, pagan from Latin, of the same clan, from gens, clan, Gens.]
Religion n. 1. The expression of man's belief in and reverence for a superhuman power recognized as the creator and governor of the universe. 2. Any particular integrated system of this expression: the Hindu religion 3. The spiritual or emotional attitude of one who recognizes the existence of a superhuman power or powers. 4. Any objective attended to or pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion: A collector might make a religion of his hobby. 5. Obsolete. Sacred rites or practices. [Middle English religioun, from Old French religion, from Latin religio, bond between man and the gods, perhaps from religare, to bind back : re-, back + ligare, to bind, fasten]
6. The Scribner Bantam English Dictionary
Edwin B. Williams
Copyright 10 Printings through December 1985
Pagan n. [L. paganus peasant] 1. heathen; 2. idolator or worshiper of many gods; 3. one who is not a Christian, Jew , or Muslim; 4. one who has no religious beliefs
Heathen n. [OE haethen heath dweller, because people living remote from cities were the most resistant in adopting Christianity] 1. one who is not Christian, Jewish, or Mohammedian; pagan; 2. irreligious, uncultured person.
Gentile n. [L. gentilis of the same clan] 1. one not a Jew; spec. a Christian; 2. ( among Mormons) one not a Mormon; 3. pagan.
Religion n. [L. religio (-onis) piety] 1. any system of belief and worship
based on revelation and faith; 2. outward acts or practices of life by
which men indicate their recognition of faith in God or gods; 3. conformity
to the teachings of religion.
I know that this is somewhat of a limited source list from which to choose. But at the present our resource library is confined to these particular points in this past century. I would welcome and encourage more information (factual please) on this particular subject matter.
What is my Point?
To create an open education forum on the origin of thought towards the Pagan practices, past, present and future.
For the past 20 years I have been a practicing Earth Pagan, my beliefs are basically that of the Wiccan Creed along with a beautiful prayer by
Francesco Bernadone of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your Peace
Where there is hatred, Let me show Love
Where there is injury, Let me give Pardon
Where there is doubt, Let me have Faith
Where there is darkness, Let me spread Light
Where there is sadness, Help me find Joy
Grant that I may not so much seek to be understood
as to understand
to be Loved -- as to Love
miracle shall follow miracle
wonders shall never cease
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