Because pagan religions can be broadly described as spiritual beliefs which worship nature, it is reasonable that some persons believe that living in urban areas presents an obstacle to connecting with nature. One such pagan is Baz Bardoe who asserts that ‘the city is a warzone, and as in any warzone, one’s ability to fully explore individual potential is compromised’ (Cavandish & Conneelay 2012). However, some pagan authors argue that is an assumption and not a fact (Scarlett 2010). Furthermore, urbanism and technological advances should be regarded as part of the natural flow of things and not a divorce from them (Cunningham 2012). Ultimately, religion is about a personal spiritual connection. Therefore, there is no objectively correct way to practice paganism or any other religion. Instead, it is for each person to decide for themselves how they understand their religion and how to best engage with it.
This blog post will focus on the etymology and historical usage of the word ‘pagan’. If you would like more information about what constitutes a pagan religion today, please visit the What is Paganism? section of the PAN website.
There is consensus among pagans, scholars and amateur historians that the word pagan comes from the Latin word paganus which means country dweller (Marriam-Webster 2017; Cavendish & Conneeley 2012; Boin 2014; Wikipedia 2017).