religious syncretism


religious syncretism

      the fusion of diverse religious beliefs and practices. Instances of religious syncretism—as, for example, Gnosticism (a religious dualistic system that incorporated elements from the Oriental mystery religions), Judaism, Christianity, and Greek religious philosophical concepts—were particularly prevalent during the Hellenistic period (c. 300 BC–c. AD 300). The fusion of cultures that was effected by the conquest of Alexander the Great (4th century BC), his successors, and the Roman Empire tended to bring together a variety of religious and philosophical views that resulted in a strong tendency toward religious syncretism. Orthodox Christianity, although influenced by other religions, generally looked negatively upon these syncretistic movements.

      Syncretistic movements in the Orient, such as Manichaeism (a dualistic religion founded by the 3rd-century-AD Iranian prophet Mani, who combined elements of Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Buddhism) and Sikhism (a religion founded by the 15th–16th-century Indian reformer Guru Nānak, who combined elements of Islām and Hinduism), also met with resistance from the prevailing religions of their respective areas.

      In the 17th century a movement led by the German Protestant theologian George Calixtus aimed at reconciling the differences between the Protestants in Germany, but his efforts were disparaged by orthodox Christian leaders as syncretistic.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Syncretism — For the linguistic term, see syncretism (linguistics). Syncretism (English pronunciation: /ˈsɪŋkrətɪzəm/) is the combining of different beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term means combining , but see below …   Wikipedia

  • Syncretism — • An explanation is given by Plutarch in a small work on brotherly love ( Opera Moralia , ed. Reiske, VII, 910). He there tells how the Cretans were often engaged in quarrels among themselves, but became immediately reconciled when an external… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Religious pluralism — This article is about religious pluralism. For other uses of the term, see Pluralism (disambiguation). The cross of the war memorial and a menorah for Hanukkah coexist in Oxford. Religious pluralism is a loosely defined expression concerning… …   Wikipedia

  • Religious education — This article is about the teaching of religion. For the educational subject, see Religious Education. Convicted prisoners receiving Qur anic education in Central Jail Faisalabad, Pa …   Wikipedia

  • Religious studies — Various religious symbols Religious studies is the academic field of multi disciplinary, secular study of religious beliefs, behaviors, and institutions. It describes, compares, interprets, and explains religion, emphasizing systematic,… …   Wikipedia

  • Religious violence — The Crusades were a series of a military campaigns fought mainly between Christian Europe and Muslims. Shown here is a battle scene from the First Crusade. Religious violence is a term that covers all phenomena where religion, in any of its forms …   Wikipedia

  • Religious conversion — The Conversion of Saint Paul, a 1600 painting by Italian artist Caravaggio (1571–1610) Part of a series on the Religious conversion Types …   Wikipedia

  • Religious assimilation — In religion, assimilation refers to the passive or active inclusion of persons or aspects of another religion as members or elements within a particular faith or belief system. Assimilation includes the normal religious indoctrination of children …   Wikipedia

  • syncretism — In a religious context, syncretism refers to the worship of one god using the form or tradition of another god. Thus, for example, the Hebrew prophets constantly condemned the tendency to revert to worshipping Yahweh using forms associated with… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • syncretism —    This word (from the Greek synkrētismos, meaning union of communities ) refers to the mixing or combining ofbeliefs and practices from different religious systems; some regard such mixture as inherently contradictory, while others consider… …   Glossary of theological terms


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.