Marcus S wrote:Generally I mean labels, such as in various world religions:
Christianity - Christians
Judaism - Jewish
Islam - Muslim
Buddhism - Buddhist
Hinduism - Hindu
Doaism - Doaist
Wicca - Wiccan
Heathenism - Heathen
Paganism - Pagan
FIrst nitpick: in your second example, I'd put "Jew" rather than "Jewish" on the right (all the other right-hand items are nouns: a
Daoist, etc., whereas "Jewish" is an adjective).
Then I'd try to order each pair of words to put the basic one first and the derived one second, e.g.:
Christian - Christianity (a Christian is a follower of Christ; Christianity is his belief system)
Jew - Judaism (a Jew is a member of a certain people; Judaism is his belief system)
Heathen - Heathenism (a Heathen is a believer in the Old Gods; Heathenism is his belief system)
That is, the belief system is defined via the believer.
Daoism - Daoist (Daoism is a defined belief system; a Daoist is someone who follows this system)
Buddhism - Buddhist (Buddhism is defined as the teachings of Buddha (et al.); a Buddhist is someone who follows this system)
Here, the believer is defined via the belief system.
And what about Islam - Muslim? Is one of these "labels" derived from the other, or is it rather that "Islam" is the religion founded by Mohammet, and "Muslim" is a person who follows Mohammet? It follows - logically, rather than by definition - that Islam is the Muslim's belief system.
In the case of "Druid - Druidry - Druidism," the basic word is obviously "Druid," and the "labels" for the belief system / spiritual Path are derived from it. But does this make "Druid" analogous to "Christian," "Muslim," "Jew" or "Heathen?" These terms apply to the entire community of adherents to the respective religion, whereas "Druid" designates a member of a certain profession in pre-Christian Celtic society.
So is "Druid" perhaps better seen as a parallel to "Clergyman" (in Christianity), "Rabbi" (in Judaism), "Imam" (in Islam) or "Lama" (in Buddhism)?
"Druidry" would then be the activity of Druids, and "Druidism" the belief that Druids and Druidry are essential to spiritual life - irrespective of whether your notions of the Divine and polystheistic, monotheistic, pantheistic or otherwise.
Just some thoughts, based more on linguistics than on comparative religious studies! Do they make sense?