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date: 16 October 2021

p. 1066. Return of the old godslocked

p. 1066. Return of the old godslocked

  • Owen Davies


‘Return of the old gods’ points out that though 19th-century enthusiasts studied, reconstructed, and romanticized a pagan past, no one actually converted or reverted to paganism in the West even if they rejected Christianity. The term ‘neo-paganism’ had been used to describe Renaissance humanists, 18th-century religious sceptics, and Victorian pre-Raphaelite artists, but it was only in the 20th century that a truly new paganism emerged in Europe. For the first time, people began to identify themselves as pagans and the faiths they followed as pagan. Paganism was no longer only a definition of the ‘other’ but an expression of the self. In this context, Pagan requires a capital P.

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