Religion Past and Present

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(5,112 words)

[German Version]

I. Terminology

The word syncretism in its broadest sense denotes any blend or combination of diverse cultural phenomena. This usage derives from an apparently reasonable but false etymology: syncretism is commonly derived from the Greek verb συνκεράννυμι/synkeránnymi, “mix.” In fact, however, it is a neol…

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Berner, Ulrich, Hutter, Manfred, Auffarth, Christoph, Leicht, Reimund, Roxborogh, John, Feldtkeller, Andreas, Preul, Reiner and Roest Crollius, Arij A., “Syncretism”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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