(from Lat. paganus, of the country, from pagus, country; village; district). 1. Since Christianity first came to cities of the Roman empire, those who lived in the country adhered longer to non-Christian religions; hence the assoc. of the word pagan with the concept of unbelief; related to heathen meaning one living on the heath, the uncultivated land, e.g., a savage or unbeliever. 2. One with little or no religion.
See also Heathenism.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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