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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Heathenry

Heathenry Cover Heathen (Old English h?den, Old Norse heidinn) was coined as a translation of Latin paganus, in the Christian sense of "non-Abrahamic faith".

In the Sagas, the terms heidni and kristni (Heathenry and Christianity) are used as polar terms to describe the older and newer faiths. Historically, the term was influenced by the Gothic term *haili, appearing as hai?no in Ulfilas' bible for translating gune Hellenis, "Greek (i.e. gentile) woman" of Mark 7:26, probably with an original meaning "dwelling on the heath", but it was also suggested that it was chosen because of its similarity to Greek ethne "gentile" or even that it is not related to "heath" at all, but rather a loan from Armenian hethanos, itself loaned from Greek ethnos.

The Miercinga Rice Theod and several other groups, narrow the sense of the word to Germanic Neopaganism in particular, and prefer it over Neopagan as a self-designation.

Heathenry is used for strictly polytheistic reconstructionist approaches, as opposed to syncretic, occult or mysticist approaches. While some practitioners use the term Heathenry as an equivalent to Paganism, others use it much more specifically. It is used by those who are re-creating the old religion and world view from the literary and archaeological sources. They describe themselves as "Heathen" in part to distinguish themselves from other pagans whose rituals come from more modern sources.

Heathenry is now the most widespread term for Germanic Paganism in the UK and is promoted by UK groups such as Heathens For Progress.

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