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I'm wanting to refer to someone who would not appreciate anyone overlooking the fact that monks altered Beowulf and I'm wanting to say "be sensitive to the originalists" when speaking about Christian elements in the poem; however, "originalists" is term existent and referring to constitutional opinions, so I can't use that, right? I don't think traditionalist feels right either but maybe that's all I have.

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    Beowulf shows, IMO, two waves of Christian influence, the earlier syncretic, blending Christian and pagan views of justice and virtue, the later demonizing pagan beliefs and practices. So the situation is rather more complicated than an "originally pagan poem" monkeyed with by monks.
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 8 at 0:56
  • But I suppose you could use "pagan-traditionalists" to refer to those who regard all of the monotheistic elements as unoriginal and monkish meddling.
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 8 at 1:11
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    Couldn't you just call them historians? Commented Jan 8 at 1:54
  • virginista?...
    – Drew
    Commented Jan 8 at 23:33
  • Historians doesn't convey any sense of the preference for the (putative?) "original" oral poem that is adapted and changes by later poets.
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 9 at 0:51

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Purist - according to Merriam-Webster: "a person who adheres strictly and often excessively to a tradition".

Its page quotes the Washington Post in 2023: "The rock music in this production will, no doubt, make a buzzkill out of the Shakespeare purist." Here referring to somebody who's excessively concerned about authenticity and tradition in Shakespeare plays.

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    Perhaps over-broad; 'fundamentalist' certainly carries too much baggage. Commented Jan 10 at 12:39
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Maybe you can try originalist; Wordnik gives the sense:

One who aims to discover how the writers of a document intended it to be interpreted, and to interpret it in that way.

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  • This is the definition given in most dictionaries; it is the original interpretation / understanding of a document's meaning at the time of writing rather than the original form of language (so archaic words and forms are validly updated if the original sense is retained/reinstated) that is considered crucial. Commented Jan 10 at 12:22

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