What Paganism Isn’t
- Eclectic New Age religions.
- “Religion without rules.”
- Vague “earth-based” spirituality.
What Paganism Is
Over the decades Contemporary Paganism has moved further away from the New Age movement until it became distinctly separate. As such, this website uses Michael York’s categorization of “Pagan” from his book Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion: an umbrella term for many different contemporary religions that are either inspired by (e.g., Wicca or Druidism) or revivalisms of (as in reconstructionist polytheism, e.g., Heathenry, Kemeticism, Hellenism, etc) the ancient cultures in the European-Mediterranean-Near East cultural basin that were displaced by Abrahamic religions.
Indigenous non-Abrahamic religions outside of this cultural basin often possess their own identity, especially if conversion or attacks haven’t eradicated them. For example, it would be offensive if you called a Hindu, Zoroastrian or Nahua a pagan, and unless they explicitly said that they’re okay with it, do not do it.
Note: The terms “Neo-Pagan,” “Neopagan,” or any derivation will not be used on this website. At its best these terms are misrepresentative, implying a “new” pre-Abrahamic, and at worse these terms are derogatory, implying contemporary Paganism is merely reactionary.
TheLettuceMan. “Paganism as a Religion.” Of Axe and Plough. June 18, 2017. Accessed February 15, 2018. https://thelettuceman.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/paganism-as-a-religion/.
York, Michael. Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion. New York: New York University Press, 2005.