What is Syncretism, Syncretism?

What is Syncretism, Syncretism?

June 29, 2021 Off By Felso

Syncretism is the attempt to unite or combine disparate or conflicting beliefs, often by mixing the practices and ways of various schools of thought.

This term can also be used for movements and essays, especially in theology and mythology of religion, which are primarily aimed at combining and comparing different traditions, thus asserting a fundamental unity in different beliefs and advocating a more inclusive stance against different beliefs.

The term is simply defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “a combination of different religions, cultures or schools of thought”, while it is defined as “a system of philosophy that tries to fuse separate thoughts, beliefs or teachings” in the Turkish Language Association Actual Turkish Dictionary.

As a cultural phenomenon, syncretism can also occur in literature, music, architecture, representational arts, and other cultural expressions. However, it differs from eclecticism. Although syncretic politics can also be mentioned, the meaning of the term in this context is slightly different in terms of political classification.

Syncretism, which is a concept related to religious interaction processes, is met as “combinationism” in Turkish and gains different meanings according to different approaches. In general, it means “mixed” or “hybrid” and means that certain symbols, discourses or cults belonging to different cultures are melted into a new cultural potra and form a new “alternate”.

From an anthropological point of view, it can be said that syncretism is a religious equivalent of the concept of “culturation”, which has an important place in cultural relations models.

Syncretism is divided into three basic groups in terms of derivatives:

Natural interactions that occur as a result of communicative activity between communities at social, cultural and economic levels.
“Degenerations”, “corruptions” that result from the assimilation of weak cultures by the dominant culture
As a result of conversion (conversion), fusions that occur by reconciling similar and close elements of old and new belief systems.

Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Year 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Year 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook