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Druze and NPOV[edit]

I removed the following part of the paragraph on Druzes that I found insulting and definitely not abiding to NPOV. The Druze religion is definitely mysterious and complicated but it doesn't mean that it is "simulated". I am not Druze (nor Lebanese) but I'm currently writing about politics in Lebanon and I can imagine that the author was thinking of the shifting political allegiances of some Druze parties or figures in Lebanon. But this has nothing to do with their religion. Mbaudier (talk) 17:20, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Their practice of disguising themselves as followers of the dominant religion around them makes it difficult to distinguish belief from simulated belief.

In fact, an element of Druze religion is that core practices remain secret and that there be accommodation relative to the beliefs of neighbors, to whom the core practices are represented as non-religous social practices. It is no insult to state this; any inference to politics is conjectural rather than implicit. But this conversation belongs in "Talk" rather than the article- although it is a particularly telling example of syncretism in practice.Klasovsky (talk) 18:22, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Syncretism as a whole and the sheer length of the Christianity entry[edit]

This article really seems a bit unbalanced. The entry on Christianity is positively huge, and especially the bit about a 17th century schism doesn't seem all that relevant to the idea of syncretism, but more to Syncretism_in_Christianity. I'd like to know if anyone else feels this might benefit from being split off from the main article and moved into its own.Boombaard (talk) 02:34, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I do agree with you. Mbaudier (talk) 17:24, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

UNDUE WEIGHT on Syncretic Controversy - I also agree - made some efforts to reduce its obvious transportation from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, but it is still an example of UNDUE WEIGHT, per Wiki MOS. It doesn't seem particularly important in terms of more recent religious concerns and is hard to understand. Agree with making it a separate article - one paragraph in this one should be sufficient, and it may be needed for an article on Lutheranism and the German Reformed Church; I'm not familiar enough with them to know.Parkwells (talk) 23:29, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree too. And as mentioned, where the entry could be cut down materially is under the Syncretistic controversy section. A mention and a link to the main article would suffice. Because although that is the historic name of the controversy, the extent to which syncretism was actually involved, rather than Ecumenism, is debatable.
From the Syncretistic controversy main article:
...While the latter firmly adhered to the "pure doctrine," Calixt tended not to regard doctrine as the one thing necessary for a Christian; while in doctrine itself he did not regard everything as equally certain and important. Consequently, he advocated unity between those who agreed on the fundamental minimum, with liberty as to all less fundamental points...
From an NPOV this is not sycretism, notwithstanding the historical name that stuck, it's ecumenism. ô¿ô 14:16, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
With the above consensus having been on the table for five plus years, I am going to delete the section. ô¿ô 10:13, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
The section is still a muddle. ô¿ô 11:21, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Controversial statements concerning Christianity without sources[edit]

This part has no sources and is extremely controversial:

"Beginning about 100 A.D., the Roman Emperors and their advisors began to see potential unity in bringing the Hebrews, the various pagans, and the Jesus Movements together in an official religion of the Empire. Although not the only Emperor to help implement this syncretic strategy, Constantine was a key figure encouraging scholars to select texts from each faith tradition that would be syncretic, and to remove, ignore, condemn or destroy pagan, Judeo, or Jesus Movement texts that would stimulate hostility among the faith systems. The scholars were to create a text that would represent this Empire religion, which would become Christianity. Over several centuries, and with complex negotiations over many drafts, what we know now as The New Testament Bible was created.

The Christian Holy Trinity is a syncretion of pagan polytheism with Judeo monotheism. The Saints and angels are a pagan pantheon recast into Christian mythology. Christian Holy Communion is a syncretion of cannibalism and pagan ritual, especially eating the heart or drinking the blood of a worthy enemy who has been destroyed."

I would recommend that it is removed until someone writes something more reliable on Christian syncretism.

Syncretism vs Synthesis[edit]

As a movement, how is Syncretism different than the Synthesis idea?

Syncretism differs in that a Synthesis is not felt to be essential to Syncretists. To give an example with clothes, a clothing Syncretist wouldn't mind wear contemporary Italian shoes under a Japanese kimono. A Synthetis would be like wearing clothes out of fine Japanese silk in a contemporay Italian design. --Beoran 15:43, 2004 Sep 13 (UTC)

Syncretism is often mistaken for eclecticism in this way. Wetman 19:49, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I think that a synthesis is what eclectisism tries to archieve, while syncreticm does not require synthesis, but simply the bacic assumption that differences are not neccesarily opposites. In Japan, Shinto/Buddhism syncretism is common, even though the beliefs of both religions are quite different. They do not "pick what they like" as eclectics do, but simply divide their time. This is possible because the adherents do not see the differences as being in opposition with each other. --Beoran 10:08, 2004 Sep 14 (UTC)


'Syncretism' seems to be the usual spelling, not 'Syncreticism' (by Google count) and the NODE concurs, by only listing 'Syncretism'. Changing spelling to reflect this. -- The Anome


Recent edit: "Syncretism can be contrasted with contextualization, the practice of making Christianity relevant to a culture." If it can, then it certainly should be contrasted. If it can't be, then the sentence should be deleted. As it stands, the sentence transfers little information. --Wetman 00:35, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I think that contextualization is not to be contrasted, but rather to be compared to syncretism. I would say that contextualisation is more of an effort from people who try to prostelyze their own faith, while syncretism seems more like an organic and natural for people who get in touch with new religious ideas. --Beoran 09:21, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Anyway, I think the whole artcle on Syncretism is quite messy and needs to be cleaned up.

You want a contrast? Hope this helps:

Contextualisation means not changing the doctrines/content/message, but changing the styles; so for example, it was common in the past to import European music and building styles into churches in other parts of the world. Contextualisation means, for example, building churches, singing songs, and praying in a local ethnic style. Contextualisation shows that one can become Christian without changing your culture. Syncretism means compromising the message of Christianity by merging it with not just a culture, but another religion (a common example being animism or ancestor worship); thus it can not truly be called Christianity.

Contextualisation is possible with Christianity because Christianity is based around a message not a style or outward observances, and becoming Christian does not demand that one change one's culture. This is not true of all religions; for many religions, following a religion means joining the culture of that religion. (e.g., and here I expose my lack of knowledge of other religions: I believe that one cannot become a Jew without joining the Jewish culture (certainly this was true BC; not sure about modern Judaism); Islam also demands you sing, pray, etc. in a particular style - and indeed language.).

Feel free to put any of this onto the page as appropriate. --Dan 22:20, 15 November 2009 (This comes from experience of cross-cultural Christian mission work, and talking to those involved in contextualisation.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Excisions for NPOV[edit]

I removed the following paragraphs. It is unclear, badly written and clearly does not abide to the rules of the NPOV, complaints follow after each paragraph:

Enlightened and emerging thought beyond the current constructs of the major world religions, left vs right, capatalism, communisim, socalism and so forth is clearly syncretist in nature.

(Why is it "enlightened"? Compared to what? Why is this position so obviously more "enlightened"?)

Syncretism is the adjective of common sense that has permeated human thought since humanity began. The term encapsulates the wisdom drawn from the observance and acceptance of everything.

(Whose "common sense"? How do you define "common sense"? What is wisdom in this case? What is meant by the "acceptance of everything"? Are we talking ontology, metaphysics etc? Clear it out.)

Syncretism has always existed and is older than any religious concept or adherance. It is the timeless stream of consciousness that travels in parrallel with human evolution and it's inherant historical and heirachical religious belief systems.

(According to which sources has this "always existed"? According to which sources is it older than any religious concept? What proofs exist? On the contrary -- our oldest books and works of art are clearly non-syncretist and the signs of one single religion. Define "hierarchical religious belief systems" what is included and what is not?)

Syncretism can not exist within any specific religious sect or order - "The capacity of individual sects Syncretist for survival was also weakened by the syncretist acceptance of all religious myths as being valid and true"

(I can't even understand how this paragraph fits together. Why can't it fit into any specific religious sect or order? On the contrary, several such "sects and orders" exist.)

Harvester 18:36 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Grouping some religions under the word "syncretic" might be useful for some purposes, but it seems to me that it's too ambiguous to convey any actual information about a particular religion, without specifying precisely what characteristics of the religion it refers to. For information purposes, it would be much better to list those characteristics. What "syncretic" does do, what it's notorious for doing when applied to a particular religion, is to convey a feeling that predisposes people to discount or devalue that religion, without conveying any actual information about it. It seems to me it would be contrary to the purposes of the Wikipedia to allow the word "syncretic" to be passed off as information, about any particular religion. At best, it might be said that "In view of (list considerations, or link to a discussion of considerations), some people call it 'syncretic'" JimHabegger 12:26, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

==World religions== Why is there no mention of Sikhism? Not only is it the 5th largest religion in the World, the Sikh beliefs and practices are significantly relevant to the concept of Syncretism! Kindly review. Thanks!

This needs more on syncretism in the mainstream world religions, which is the sense the term is often used by religious scholars. For example, things like Yule being integrated into Christmas; the conquistadors integrating Incan and other indigenous beliefs into the Roman Catholicism of the New World; etc. I've added a sentence, but lots more could be said. --Delirium 12:23, Feb 23, 2004 (UTC)

How about the syncretism that is integral to Hinduism? Although Hinduism is loosely organized and opinions may vary, Hinduism definitely allows for the practice of any other religion as an adjunct to, or in combination with, itself. Also, it can be argued that Hinduism "melds or reconciles" monotheism and polytheism. --Smithfarm 12:37, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Removed etymology[edit]

The following text has been removed more than once from the article, so let it stand here, for information:

The word Syncretism comes from Latin syncretismus, which formed on the same model as "concrete" (con + cretus the past participle of crescere, "to grow," giving "grown together") or "accretion" ( a + crescere) "grown towards [a nucleus]]." Plutarch (1st century CE) apparently overlooked these analogies when he was writing his essay on "Fraternal Love" in his Moralia. Reaching for a source, he found it in the example of the Cretans who were reconciliated in their differences and came together in alliance when faced with external dangers. "And that is their so-called "Syncretism.'" So the word was in circulation when Plutarch wrote in the late 1st century CE, though we have no other examples.
Blindly following Plutarch, Syncretism is often said to come from the Greek συγκρητισμός (synkretismos), which means that two join a pact against a third.


The word Syncretism comes from Latin syncretismus, which in turn comes from the Greek συγκρητισμός (synkretismos), which means that two join a pact against a third. The elements are the syn ("together") and cretus (the past participle of crescere, "to grow"); the latter also occurs in "concrete" and "accretion".

But syn is Greek and crescere is Latin. They didn't mix. -- Error 23:42, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I agree with Error. The Greek syn or συγ (together) , Kret- or Κρητ-, the truncate of Κρητικά (Cretan), and the suffix -ism or ισμός come together to form this word. This entry should be modified. Brad O. 07:38, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The corollary to this reasoning, then, is that there is no analogy with "concrete, concretion" or "accretion" etc? Or is the unlikelihood being offered, that the inhabitants of the island of Crete are involved in those words too, in some fashion? I do agree with Error that the macaronic mix of Greek and Latin in syncretism is deplorable, like "homosexual" and many other linguistically barbaric coinings. --Wetman 12:23, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Yes, homo- and hetero- were solid Greek prefixes for ages, and then some boob joined them with the Latin –sexual. American Heritage and Merriam-Webster dictionaries list the Cretan-related origin of syncretism. Disparate Cretans were known to unite against common foes to defend their island. We’ll see what others say, now that the word is on today’s main page. Cheers to the Sox. -- Brad O. 16:04, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I removed the following bit of etymology since it did not seem to help much, and that paragraph was already too heavy:

and συγκρητίζειν (synkretizen)

BTW, the quote of Plutarch seems to be rather out of proportion -- I understand that he used the word to mean a simple political pact, not in the sense of the article. Do we need a whole paragraph for that?
Jorge Stolfi 23:19, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Plutarch to the contrary notwithstanding, syncretism has nothing to do with Crete. We are all guilty of folk etymology sometimes, and even Plutarch may nod. It just takes a few words to disambiguate such an entrenched idea. Wetman 23:36, 23 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I am still confused about the etymology. I gather that the word's earlier and isolated appearance is in Plutarch, who used it with a different meaning and perhaps with a bogus etymology (or intentional wordplay) mixing "Cretans together" and "growing together". Then the word was re-introduced by Erasmus, who took it from Plutarch but gave a very different meaning. Is that right?
Jorge Stolfi 09:24, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Yes indeed. On the nose. --Wetman 12:23, 28 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I have read that Cretans had the reputation of liars, hence the liar paradox originally features a Cretan. Thus "to syncretize" would have an element of lying. -- Error 00:37, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC) odd conclusion. There's a false syllogism there. The "Cretan" element in "syncretism" is a red herring, anyway, as I explained in the suppressed passage that is quoted above. Wetman 19:49, 13 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I will remove the external link, since it is in french. And even if you understand french, like you do, the actricle is not really a good intruduction to syncretism, but rather a personal view of a person on it.

A link removed simply because the available Web information happens to be in a widely-known language that's not English bodes poorly for the thousands of such references in the English-language Wikipedia. A link removed because its misleading inaccuracies is more acceptable: many Christianist links fall under this rubric.

I can confirm that synkretismos originally actually meant 'pact of Cretans'. It is true that by popular etymology it was connected with kerannumi (not crescere) early on, but the correct etymology is definitely from Crete. The meaning of the word changed from 'pact' to , well, syncretism under the influence of the association with kerannumi. dab () 11:50, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

An optimistic assertion! We await its confirmation! --Wetman 15:12, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)
fair enough. hold your breath :) I resolve to deliver after Christmas. dab () 19:35, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)
ok, so far I included the information on [1]. the kretismos seems to be disputed, and I am not sure if I can produce definite proof. But I know some linguists favour a direct connection with Crete. The cresecere connectoin seems rather far-fetched, on the other hand. dab () 22:06, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I removed the section saying it is derived from "syn" and "chronos" meaning at the same time. Whoever typed that obviously confused "syncretism" with "synchrony." Could someone please finally post an etymology (or at least a discussion of it) to the article? Jbenhill 14:21, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I could not find a reference for the "Cretan Federation" etymology anywhere outside this page. The paragraph is written in a way to give the impression that the source is the Oxford English Dictionary, but checking from their online version, this is not the case. -B, 2011-01-20


Should Hinduism have an entry here? From the little I know about it, Hinduism seems to incorporate a number of world religions past and present. -- Tim McCormack 00:32, 2004 Oct 13 (UTC)

Well, in most religions there are some influences from other religions. I think that this is perhaps rather a form of "assimilation" of foreign elements rather than syncretism. The way I see it, a religion can only be called syncretist if it allows or at least does not forbid to also have other religions. According to, say, Konkokyo you can be a follower of Konkokyo and christianity or any other religion at the same time. That makes Konkokyo a syncretist religion. --Beoran

Ananda Marga[edit]

I don't see how this is syncretism, bringing 'different yogas together'(as all yogas form part of hinduism), this idea formed the basis for raja yoga, even BKWSU,Brahma Kumaris or poss. Sri Aurobindo's aim at an Integral Yoga...Domsta333 (talk) 11:50, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

The Bahá'í Faith[edit]

I'm going to remove the statment in the main text that says that the Bahá'í Faith is trying to unite Judaism, Islam and Christianity. This is not true. The Bahá'í Faith believes that the source of Judaism, Islam, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith is one, the one God, but that each religion was revealed at a different time and place according to the exegencies of the day, and thus there will be differences.

Does Bahá'í allow practising other religions together with itself? If yes, then it is a syncretist religion,and then it should not be removed. If not it is not, and then you were right to remove it. --Beoran 00:04, 2004 Dec 31 (UTC)

  • While the Bahá'í Faith respects the divine nature of other religions, as a Bahá'í you do not practice the beliefs of other religions, you practise Bahá'í beliefs. --Navidazizi 00:17, 2004 Dec 31 (UTC)

The Unitarian/Universalist Church is a syncretist religion, as all spiritual traditions are welcomed; religious pluralism is one of it's many liberal characteristics.

If this article is to be limited to religions that explicitly allow sharing beliefs or practices rather than religions resulting from mixings, it should be made clearer.
Many Unitarian Universalists would object to being labelled a "religion" at all. Members are welcome to to express and share any personal beliefs, from any established religion or none at all. There is a large "Humanist" and atheist segment of UUs that espouse no overtly religious beliefs, as opposed to spiritual aspirations. The "affirmations" adopted by all UU members do not incorporate or aggregate the doctrines of any formalized religions. Lyn (talk) 23:06, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Kakure Kirishitan[edit]

The Kakure Kirishitan mixed Japanese Buddhisma and ancestor cutl with Catholicism, either as a disguise or because of lack of contact with mainstream Catholicism.

in Judaism[edit]

I'd like some information on the origins of Judaism. Are there any good sources on how it came be, and what elements it gained from other religions?--generally, I mean outside of biblical sources. there is.. lots of work being done on comparative religion (searching for links between regional alternatives to stories found in the OT specifically).. famous examples there are the flood mentioned in the Gilgamesh Epic (look at it as either 'independent verification' or a fear of water that was relevant to more than one culture, and that the Jewish culture acquired and interpreted in its own way.)Boombaard (talk) 02:27, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

in greco/roman religion/culture[edit]

it's sort of a shame there's almost nothing on the nearly wholesale appropriation of Greek mythology by the Romans, as well as the interesting differences between the two views on the purpose of religion. for me they probably were the first religions that i noticed the 'extended/sive borrowing' going on, but i can't really say i know enough about it myself to write anything up. Boombaard (talk) 02:59, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I actually just threw in a appositive that the Catholic Saints are probably just Greek/Roman gods by another name. --Colin, Latin Teacher --Mrcolj (talk) 14:09, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

in Christianity[edit]

User:Gschadow removed from Syncretism#Syncretism in Christianity with summary remove mention of Easter as a recent syncretist tradition, nothing syncretist about it, and not recent, Halloween is not a Christian celebration)

For Easter, see Eostre. Halloween is linked to the Christian eAll Hallows Day. --Error 00:34, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

O.K. but Easter is still not a good example. I took it out. It needs to be explained better. True, one could say "certain elements of the modern celebration of Easter provides examples for syncretism", if you mean Easter-eggs and bunnies etc. But the Easter holiday stands as the only Christian holiday which is rooted in the foundational scriptures and whose date is undisputed. This is quite in contrast to Christmas. And certainly Halloween and Carnaval need to be distinguished and not muddled with Christmas, certainly not with Easter. Gschadow 20:42, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Removed some text that was arguing issues of theology and seemed non-neutral. 1 June 2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:08, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

The first two paragraphs talking about the original syncretism of Christianity do not seem neutral. They also make a generic, unsupported statement about "most scholars," and seem to back all this up with one statement about Thomas Aquinas and no discussion of the Christian Bible itself. (talk) 06:58, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Any possible chance we can have mentioned of 'The Lords Resistance Army?'or would we have to include the IRA and other christian paramilitary groups. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

I came to this page seeking information about the early Christian church and the way it merged with local pagan beliefs in Europe, but I was surprised to find absolutely nothing. What about Celtic crosses, Easter, etc.? The section on Christianity suggests that there was no issue until the Reformation. Is this an issue about deletions? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:28, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

in Islam[edit]

Could somebody please expand this section? Right now it's one phrase about Islam as syncretic religion, and then two phrases (80% of text) stating that Muslims do not see this as syncretism. This surely could be interpreted as undue weight. I'm sure many would like to see some examples of elements incorporated from Judaism/Christianity/other religions. --Smokopilomidanek 00:20, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, this is not written from a NPOV with the author's own bias woefully apparent in the text. Muslims believe that Christianity, Judaism, and many other religions come from a single trunk of faith (monotheism) that have been revealed by Messengers from the same God. Islam is simply the last of these fundamentally identical teachings. What are differences in fundamental teachings between branches of the same trunk are the result of the corruption of text and human understanding *not* a syncretic mish-mash of contradictions.

actually, there is a difference in how islam explicitly states they're the best and the latest when it comes to the Abrahamic religions. Jews/Christians seem to (theologically) gloss over inconsistencies a bit more, though islamic theology (officially, that is.. I don't believe very many of of the vocal ones approve of that notion) is set up in such a way that more recent insights supposedly supersede previous ones (wrt the shari'a/fiqh distinction).Boombaard (talk) 02:59, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

I've made additions to this section with sources from the Quran.

I've changed the info without any reference: According to that info the name of "Allah" comes from the word "Allat", a goddess of pre-Islamic period. That is not true, because there is no pre-islamic god or goddess who's name is "Allat". The confused Arabic goddess is called "Lat" in original. With its article it may be pronounced or written as "el-Lat ", but it is not a noun as "Allat" in original. (actually that's like rooting the word "the mention" from "dimension") Look at Wiki's page: "". Allah is a derived special noun from the Arabic word "ILAH" (=god). So it has the meaning like "the only definite god". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Earendill (talkcontribs) 18:38, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I've added an Islamic example from Trinidad which is a good example of syncretism and anti-syncretism.--Dam59 (talk) 23:17, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Norse syncretism[edit]

What about the syncretism in Norse or Germanic religion as apparent in Vanir and Aesir religion? --Tlatosmd 04:53, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

And its blending with Christianity, as mentioned in various places in Ragnarök, and the ambiguous Thor's hammer / cross pendants that exist, the Christ-like character of Baldr, and possible influence of Norse mythology from the Greek. (talk) 22:05, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Gospel of Mani[edit]

There really should be some mention of the Gospel of Mani. It was an attempt by Mani to syncretise Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Judaism. Not sure what section to put it in though...freestylefrappe 00:16, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

"External Links"[edit]

The link to is a dead link. I visited the site, but I cannot find the described essay on syncretism anywhere. I am removing this link. I could not find any other suitable external link to replace it. --Euthydemos 14:27, 1 November 2005 (UTC)


Is Chrismukkah an example of syncretism? Also, the interfaith article notes its distinction from syncretism, but the inverse is not true. (talk) 08:20, 31 May 2008 (UTC)


Does anyone else find it odd that the "Latter Day Movement" is refered to as a syncretism of Christianity? To me, its the same as calling Islam a syncretism of Christianity (After all, Jesus Christ was a prophet in the Quran). Morminism is more like the 4th Book religion (Judasim, Islam, Chrisianity, Mormanism). Maybe its just me as an outsider looking in, but it does seem wierd. SGT Justin Gregory Blodgett, US Army Infantryman (talk) 20:00, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Great point - this was incorrect. As a Latter-Day Saint, I'll try to clarify without being too verbose. Yasashiku (talk) 00:28, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Masonic Order[edit]

Suggest adding something about the Masonic Order, syncretism of these beliefs with that of a religious order that bears some similarities otherwise. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:03, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Map graphic[edit]

What's it there for? Cdh1984 (talk) 19:27, 30 October 2014 (UTC)