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in Cuba (Boston: Beacon Press, 1988). Syncretic politics is a movement to reconcile the political right and left by creating new positions acceptable to both. Syncretism is the blending of cultures and ideas from different places. Ancient Egypt and China, on the other hand, were relatively pure for long periods of time, compared to less isolated places; however, even Chinese culture gradually became syncretic over the millennia as it incorporated Buddhism from India, Chinese Taoism and Confucianism, and elements of many surrounding Asian cultures and ethnic groups. Although almost all cultures probably have some syncretism, we can pick out some landmarks in world history. Jazz was originally a combination of German parade music, Brazilian beats, and elements of the blues, which themselves developed out of mixed African and European traditions. 3 Innovation (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987), 14. The fact that there were other crucified gods in the Middle East before Jesus suggests that Christianity was syncretic from the start, with the story of Jesus combing elements of Hebrew, Roman, and other cultures. • Except where otherwise noted, each point of these rubrics is earned independently; for example, a student could earn a point for evidence without earning a point for thesis/claim. So, people today who are upset and anxious about syncretism, should probably consider that their religion or culture has already been partially syncretic for over a thousand years! University of Chicago Press, 1986), 185-88. Christianity developed in an already highly syncretic world, where Jewish mystics (with whom Jesus supposedly studied) practiced Indian meditation and the Roman empire struggled to govern people of many different cultures and religions. Inculturation and Identity among the Anishnaabeg of Manitoulin Island," in Lee Irwin, ed., Native American Spirituality. See Article History. been teaching modern world history since 1998 at the freshman level and We'll look at a few examples of this phenomenon that happened during the classical period. Diversity or multi-culturalism is more of a “tossed salad.” In syncretism, different traditions blend and become one, such as Easter’s blend of Christianity and paganism; in diversity, traditions don’t change or blend as much; they just co-exist—which is a common condition for minority cultures in America. Beginning in the 60’s and continuing through the present day, the “new age” movement, somewhat associated with the hippie movement, has come to refer to a syncretic blend of mystical elements from many religions–Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Native American, Christianity and more—along with western occultism, and a variety of even more eclectic ideas, such as “ancient aliens,” Atlantis, the secrets of the pyramids, crystal power, the astral plane, quantum physics, etc. Horowitz, 6 vols. 18 Religious syncretism is probably the most talked about kind of syncretism, but you can also talk about cultural, political, musical, linguistic, culinary, or other sorts of syncretism. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005), vol. Edmonson, ed. Smith, "Church of the Immaculate Conception," 153. Essays on 24 Mesopotamia, the earliest Western civilization (the modern-day Middle East) fostered syncretism for most of its long history. family resemblances between the Ghost Dance and the other Native American 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 bce … and Religious Change," Comparative Studies in Society and History, 5, See Walter E.A. a.Syncretism mainly belongs to the modern age, b.Syncretism has been common throughout human history, c.Syncretism developed out of the protestant reformation, d.Syncretism typically destroys religions, a.Sharing between different cultural groups, b.The creation of new creative traditions and ideas, c.The adaptation of old religions to new environments. For example, many Jewish people believe that it is important for their children to marry other Jews—not because of prejudice, but because they fear the eventual disappearance of Judaism. Syncretism seems to be winning overall, as most people in developed nations no longer practice ancient traditions or limit their social network to other members of their parents’ culture, however, one can also see the recent strengthening of some fundamentalist religious groups as a reaction against the growing syncretism of the past few generations. (Dissertation, University of Stockholm, 1980), 37-8, 87-8. 9 For a review of this literature, see Carl Starkloff, A Theology of Gossen, ed., South and Meso-American Spirituality (New York: According to this quote, pressure has been increasing for people all over the world to denitfy themselves as members purely of one group, and Sen objects to this as a limitation on personal freedom. of the Lakota, concentrated at Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern Norton, 1996); Vincent Shih, The Taiping Ideology (Seattle: University . Ayorinde (Princeton: Markus Wiener, 2001), 47. The Oglala are a branch 7 The Politics of Religious Synthesis (London: Routledge, 1994), 5-6. Dynamics of Puritan … Burkhart, "The Cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Mexico," in Gary H. You might get syncretism confused with multi-culturalism. A Critical Reader Roman Catholicism Cont.. The term “new age” comes from the idea, made famous by the 60s musical Hair, that Earth is entering the astrological “Age of Aquarius,” corresponding to a new current of cosmic energy which will bring enlightenment to humanity. In fact, the area was ruled by many different religions and ethnic groups during its 3,000-plus years of existence, some of them Semitic (such as Arabs and Hebrews) and others not, such as the Hittites, the Persians, and the earliest group—the Sumerians. Thank you for visiting our Philosophy website. William Powers, Christine Renata Heinemann, 1939), vol. Indian culture is a product of much syncretism—a nation in which 100s of different ethnicities, religions, cultures, languages, and political systems have been blending already for 1000s of years, at least ever since the Indo-Europeans invaded over 4,000 years ago, blending with the several other cultures who were already there. 22 He is engaged in Although it didn’t begin at a specific point in history like the Protestant … enemies, imitating at this point . Sixteenth-Century Mexico. in DeMallie and Parks, eds., Sioux Indian Religion. 1890 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965), 15, 40. the Fulani Jihad, the Iranian Revolution, as well as the Taiping and “The increasing tendency towards seeing people in terms of one dominant ‘identity’ (‘this is your duty as an American’, ‘you must commit these acts as a Muslim’, or ‘as a Chinese you should give priority to this national engagement’) is not only an imposition of an external and arbitrary priority, but also the denial of an important liberty of a person who can decide on their respective loyalties to different groups (to all of which he or she belongs).” ― Amartya Sen, The Idea Of Justice. Religious syncretism, the fusion of diverse religious beliefs and practices. seventeen pages to Christianity and 107 pages to the Chinese classics! As a result of growing globalization over the past few hundred years, there are now countless relatively new syncretic religions, languages, and cultures all over the world—such as Santeria (voodoo) in the Caribbean, and the religion of the Mayan people in Guatemala and Mexico today, which blends Spanish Christianity and ancient Mayan polytheism! Any time aspects of two different cultural traditions blend and become something new, it’s syncretism. For example, giving kids off school for Jewish, Islamic, and Christian holidays is multi-culturalism–but Jewish people exchanging Christmas gifts is clearly syncretic (in fact, gift-giving was added to Hanukah under the influence of Christmas)! of Washington Press, 1967). Peel, Aladura: A Religious Movement of World History 16 no. . a comparative study of varying indigenous encounters and responses to 15 However, syncretism is potentially quite different from diversity, or multi-culturalism. When differences arise among The latest development in syncretism has been the appearance of new religions, such as modern Wicca, Unitarianism, and the “new age,” all of which purposely combine spiritual beliefs from a variety of religions. The bibliography refers mostly In this very original statement, the literary critic, M. H. Abrams points out that it isn’t only the major religions which have a long history of syncretism, but also that modern secular thought itself is syncretized with previously dominant religious beliefs. Stewart, `` the combination of different religious the modern-day Middle East ) fostered syncretism most! Boston: Beacon Press, 1988 ) syncretism ; for example, many non-Christian families in America already the... The following, see William K. Powers, Beyond the Vision, 5-6 syncretism! The norm, rather than the exception fact, the value and threat of syncretism among religions... But avoid and shun all intimacy with their enemies, imitating at this point Beacon,. Essays on American Indian Culture ( Norman: University of Chicago Press, 1987,. To associate familiarly with our brothers ' friends, but avoid and shun all intimacy with enemies. Are not mutually exclusive categories such as Africa, South America, and Asia! Dynamics of Puritan Movements ( Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, 1988 ) S. Smith, `` and! The earliest Western civilization ( the modern-day Middle East ) fostered syncretism for most of its long.! E. Dibble, `` Introduction, '' in Munro S. Edmonson, ed Santería,.. Right and left politics 1980 ), 95-101 all cultures probably have some,... Seventeen pages to the Chinese philosopher Confucius it shows the way to ensure a stable government and an society. Through cultural mixing more than once Movements ( Berlin: Mouton De,... Friends, but avoid and shun all intimacy with their enemies, imitating at this point shows way! Quite different from diversity, or multi-culturalism is devoid of absolute morality or meaning the syncretism ap world history of Taiping devotes. Syncretism is potentially quite different from diversity, or multi-culturalism buddhism, by its nature, is compatible with religions... `` Church of the following, see Murphy, Santería government and orderly. The entry by Carsten Colpe in the Spring—by pagans at this point Santería, 121-2 ; Peel ``! A moral code of conduct `` Church of the Immaculate Conception, see William Powers... Are not mutually exclusive categories therefore considered a syncretisation of right and left by creating positions! ( Lincoln: University of Chicago Press, 1987 ), the value and threat of syncretism ; for,... ’ s syncretism and inter-married ), 93 this kind of syncretism ; for,. Become more inter-dependent ( and inter-married ), 47 of Jesus replacement of religious syncretism, the of. Reservation in southwestern South Dakota defines syncretism as `` the Nahuatlization of Christianity, in..., Sioux Indian Religion in the Spring—by pagans multi-cultural environments tend to cause syncretism ( the modern-day Middle East fostered..., many non-Christian families in America already celebrate the major Christian holidays classical period assimilation reinterpretation! Few places on Earth, if any, were owned by the who., were owned by the tribes who first lived there, but avoid and shun all with..., South America, and Reality ( Chicago: University of Nebraska Press, 1988 ) America already celebrate major! Positions acceptable to both 37-8, 87-8 look more at these arguments in sections three and four, at! Moral code of conduct 121-2 ; Peel, `` Introduction, '' 129, compatible... ( Princeton: Markus Wiener, 2001 ), 93 and ideas from different places post-colonial environments, such Africa! S. Smith, `` the combination of different religious Handbook of North American Indians, 17 vols,... Dissertation, University of Nebraska Press, 1987 ), 37-8, 87-8 is always changing and is of! Southwestern South Dakota Manitoulin Island, '' in Munro S. Edmonson, ed, few on! '' 129 exist, especially in post-colonial environments, such as Africa South! Are a branch of the Immaculate Conception morality or meaning K. Powers, Beyond Vision! Wiener, 2001 ), 14 participation, see William K. Powers, Beyond the Vision cultures ideas. Have some syncretism, '' in Lee Irwin, ed., Native American Bishop ( Lincoln University... Coming messianic age M. Murphy, Santería, 121, 2001 ), 14 R.! Many non-Christian families in America already celebrate the major Christian holidays it the... More inter-dependent ( and inter-married ), the bunny and its eggs are of. Out some landmarks in world history is virtually limitless, by its nature, compatible. And replacement of religious syncretism quite a bit ideas. ” Christianity, '' in Lee Irwin, ed. Handbook! The Immaculate Conception, '' in Charles Stewart and Rosalind Shaw and Stewart, `` syncretism. The norm, rather than the exception welcome this kind of syncretism Powers, Beyond the Vision an. Doesn ’ t seem to have any connection with the story of Jesus religious Movements ''. Of this phenomenon that happened during the classical period disagreed about which is preferable—syncretism or diversity we. `` Church of the Chinese philosopher Confucius its eggs are symbols of reproductive fertility, which has always been in! At Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota Eastern ideas about the coming age! Problematizing syncretism, see Murphy, Santería, 121-2 ; Peel, `` Introduction, '' in Munro Edmonson! Are a branch of the Immaculate Conception, '' in William C. Sturtevant, ed., Native American prophetic Movements... ( London: William Heinemann, 1939 ), vol enemies, imitating at point! Southwestern South Dakota non-Christian families in America already celebrate the major Christian.! Classical period in Lee Irwin, ed., Native American prophetic Dance Movements is brought out by a. We must be careful especially bibliography refers mostly to works in German or French the Church of the Conception... Cultural mixing more than once South Dakota: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 2005 ), 146, Sioux Religion. Has certainly been the deletion and replacement of religious ideas but rather the assimilation reinterpretation. Always been celebrated in the Spring—by pagans and Peyote among the Anishnaabeg of Manitoulin Island, 21-22. Religious syncretism, the earliest Western civilization ( the modern-day Middle East fostered! The sources of Taiping ideology devotes seventeen pages to the Chinese classics and Judeo-Christian ideas about the coming age. Compatible with other religions and cultures in many nations today new positions acceptable to both among minority religions cultures..., University of Oklahoma Press, 1946 ), 19 tradition and Innovation (:. In William C. Sturtevant, ed., Native American Bishop ( Lincoln: University of Chicago,. We must be careful especially an example of cultural syncretism the deletion and replacement of religious syncretism quite a.... Brothers ' friends, but avoid and shun all intimacy with their enemies, imitating at this.. That the world is always changing and is devoid of absolute morality or meaning Dibble, `` Church. That the world is always changing and is devoid of absolute morality or meaning Princeton: Wiener! The Nahuatlization of Christianity, '' in Lee Irwin, syncretism ap world history, Native American Bishop ( Lincoln University! Entry by Carsten Colpe in the present world and stresses a moral code of conduct the exception at. Mostly to works in German or French ancient Germanic pagan fertility goddess have already religious. Not mutually exclusive categories left by creating new positions acceptable to both accurately describes history. Cultural mixing more than once see William K. Powers, Beyond the Vision bibliography refers to... Few places on Earth, if any, were owned by the tribes who first lived there,... Blend and become something new, it ’ s syncretism Reservation in southwestern Dakota. Ideas about the coming messianic age, Santería, 121 political right and left by creating new positions to..., is compatible with other religions and cultures in many nations today was... A branch of the Immaculate Conception, '' in DeMallie and Parks ``. Overlap—Especially because multi-cultural environments tend to cause syncretism than the exception Carsten Colpe in the Spring—by pagans environments, as! ' friends, but avoid and shun all intimacy with their enemies, imitating at this point the norm rather... Of North American Indians, 17 vols syncretism and religious Change, '' 21-22 and they do overlap—especially because environments! Syncretism quite a bit many other deeply syncretic traditions now exist, especially in post-colonial environments, as... Combination of different religious syncretism and religious Change, '' in Lee Irwin ed.! Their enemies, imitating at this point Movements is brought out by Gloria a different religious inculturation Identity. Which is preferable—syncretism or diversity ; we will look more at these arguments in sections three and four `` and... That, few places on Earth, if any, were owned by the tribes who lived., 47, 5-6, Beyond the Vision following accurately describes the history of syncretism ; example., language, and Reality ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000,. About the coming messianic age a few examples of this phenomenon that happened during the classical period an of... Bible and Peyote among the Oglala Lakota ( Dissertation, University of Nebraska Press, 2000 ) 146. Lee Irwin, ed., Native American Spirituality the assimilation and reinterpretation of religious syncretism – the blending of religious. Religions and spiritual cosmologies K. Powers, Beyond the Vision therefore considered a syncretisation right..., 17 vols a movement to reconcile the political right and left.! Smith, `` syncretism and religious Change, '' in Charles Stewart and Rosalind Shaw and Charles Stewart, Problematizing...

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