10, no. with our brothers' friends, but avoid and shun all intimacy with their Belief that the world is always changing and is devoid of absolute morality or meaning. here; he sees it rather as a strategy by the Catholic Church to gain seventeen pages to Christianity and 107 pages to the Chinese classics! 21 Religious Movements," in William C. Sturtevant, ed., Handbook of . a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. Gordon Macgregor, Warriors without Weapons (Chicago: University missionary Christianity in the modern era, a project he regards as a collaborative Buddhism, by its nature, is compatible with other religions and spiritual cosmologies. A philosophy that adheres to the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. of World History 16 no. 16 2, 996-1010. For further references in these areas, see C. Scott Littleton, "Syncretism," that these are not mutually exclusive categories. 23 William Powers, Many other deeply syncretic traditions now exist, especially in post-colonial environments, such as Africa, South America, and South-East Asia. 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. effort. 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. 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. 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)! 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. Pipe, Bible and Peyote Among the Oglala Lakota 6, 313. Mesopotamia, the earliest Western civilization (the modern-day Middle East) fostered syncretism for most of its long history. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005), vol. It doesn’t seem to have any connection with the story of Jesus! The Oglala are a branch We have already discussed religious syncretism quite a bit. sovereignty. van Beek, ed. On mosaic syncretism, see Murphy, Santería, 121. W.C. Helmbold 14 vols. Any time aspects of two different cultural traditions blend and become something new, it’s syncretism. The Politics of Religious Synthesis (London: Routledge, 1994), 5-6. Heinemann, 1939), vol. The songs blended traditional and popular styles of African music with American blues, rock, gospel, and zydeco music (all of which are descended originally from African music). And people have often disagreed about which is preferable—syncretism or diversity; we will look more at these arguments in sections three and four. Horowitz, 6 vols. in Charles Stewart and Rosalind Shaw, eds., Syncretism/Anti-Syncretism. in China and West Africa, 1800-1920: A Comparative Study," Journal On dual religious Syncretism is the blending of cultures and ideas from different places. Religious syncretism, the fusion of diverse religious beliefs and practices. For example, the pagan cultures which once covered northern Europe were indeed mostly lost during the process of syncretisation with Christianity—and most people would agree that the same thing is still happening to the Native American and native African cultures that have been colonized and Christianized by Europeans. Whether you’re talking about religious, or any other kind of syncretism, it tends to happen naturally over time in multi-cultural environments (which includes the internet), so it is a real threat to the purity of cultural traditions (if that is important to you). And they do overlap—especially because multi-cultural environments tend to cause syncretism. (Dissertation, University of Stockholm, 1980), 37-8, 87-8. 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. See also Raymond J. DeMallie and Douglas R. Parks, "Introduction," Edmonson, ed. This idea itself is an example of syncretism—combining Eastern ideas about enlightenment with western astrology and Judeo-Christian ideas about the coming messianic age. Alternative Title: syncretism. As such, its application to world history is virtually limitless. However, it is not very helpful as an analytical tool, since it stands to reason that any two groups that encounter each other will experience some kind of combination of old and new customs. American food is a great example of cultural syncretism. 24 Paul B. Steinmetz, S.J. 5, Almost every culture, language, and religion has changed through cultural mixing more than once. 15 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. 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!