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the combination of elements from different religions or different cultural traditions. Syncretism in religious belief and practices has been especially associated with contexts, e.g. colonialism, in which a major religion is brought into contact with local religions, but it can also be seen as a general feature of the transformation of religions or cultures and of DIASPORAS. See also CULT, CARGO CULT, POSTCOLONIAL THEORY.



(1) The absence of differentiation that characterizes an undeveloped state of certain phenomena. Examples are art during the initial stages of human culture, when music, singing, poetry, and the dance were not distinguished from one another, and a child’s mental functions during the early stages of its development.

(2) The blending or inorganic merging of heterogeneous elements. An example is the merging of different cults and religious systems in late antiquity— the religous syncretism of the Hellenistic period.

(3) In philosophy, syncretism denotes a variant of eclecticism.



in linguistics, the merging of once formally distinct grammatical categories or meanings into one form, which, as a result, becomes polysemous or polyfunctional. In Latin, for example, syncretism in the case system led to a combining of the functions of the instrumental and locative cases in the ablative case. Syncretism can occur not only in the morphology but also in the syntax of a language. The concept of syncretism is paradigmatic, differing from the syntagmatic neutralization of oppositions. Syncretism is an irreversible systemic shift in the process of the development of a language; neutralization is a living process associated with the use of linguistic units in speech.

References in periodicals archive ?
And yet all of these are present in America and Americans, in syncretist, intercrossing as well as contentious formations.
Other elements, such as the human timekeeper who watches the sky and manually turns the digits of a numerical clock, are fanciful syncretist additions in a region that prefers ritual, cyclical time to Western time.
To summarize, the reason why Islam and democracy seem to go well together in Indonesia has as much to do with broader dynamics within civil society, political parties and state institutions as it has to do with the syncretist, hence moderate forms of Islam practiced in the archipelago.
Ahora bien, es cierto que en el primer capitulo, "Peripheral (Post) Modernity and Syncretist Aesthetics: The Case of Argentina and Greece," Kefala se empena en trazar (y reivindicar) la naturaleza hibrida de la cultura de paises perifericos como Argentina y Grecia, en que resultaria casi imposible delimitar los limites entre modernidad y postmodernidad.
The Forum of Religious Confessions (The Forum) is an interfaith organization that promotes dialogue, understanding, and improved relationships among religious leaders and groups, engaging leaders of many of the country's religious groups, including Catholics, Muslims, various Protestant groups, several syncretist groups, the Association of Traditional Priests, and the Bossonists, an association of indigenous Akan religious priests.
But in important respects it was also more 'modern', syncretist and dualist in its combination of re-invented traditional ritual and advocacy of condom use--recognising the changing lifestyles among the young in both the city and the countryside.
Kaiser may think that the syncretist "theology" of some Indian or Sri Lankan Jesuit theologians merging the "best" of the world's religions into a melting pot has a great future; no one of importance in the Catholic Church I know agrees with him.
Inspired by a syncretist view of the past, these views reinforced the Pseudo-Plutarchan view of Homer as originator of all the arts and sciences, supreme poet, and unsurpassed genius.
Hampshire responded that that would be no problem "for an old syncretist hack like me.
I used to call myself an atheist," said another, "but it's more accurate to say that I'm a syncretist.
Both Ramakrishna and his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda, particularly the latter, popularized an all-inclusive, syncretist version of Advaita Vedanta and taught that it is a valid means of attaining Truth that is available to the followers of all religions, including Islam and Christianity.
Terwiel pointed out the differences between the syncretist and compartmentalist approaches to the study of the Thai religious system.