Syncretism designates the making of religions or cultures through the mixture. In today’s context of globalization, people, practices, and ideas increasingly circulate; it is therefore more important than ever to understand how religions and cultures change by direct contacts, borrowing, and interplay. In addition to syncretism, metaphors such as hybridity and bricolage are also used to denote processes of cultural and religious intermingling.

Theologians initially referred to syncretism to designate the blending of indigenous beliefs or practices with Christianity, in particular in colonial and missionary contexts. Thought of as the contamination of a pure Christian religion, the usage of the term syncretism was clearly pejorative. Later on, historians and anthropologists appropriated the term to signify the intermixing of cultures and religions. Early anthropology in particular aimed ...

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