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Tribal Religions

(1,733 words)

Author(s): Sundermeier, Theo
1. History of Research and Definition The religions of so-called primitive peoples, which G. W. F. Hegel (1770–1831; Hegelianism; Idealism 6) would not recognize as religion according to his definition, became an object of research in the 19th century, not on their own account, but to offer material for wide-ranging theories and to provide an answer to the question of the origin of religion as such. The presuppositions of the Enlightenment and the concept of evolution included the idea that these reli…


(1,999 words)

Author(s): Sundermeier, Theo
1. Term The term “syncretism” (Gk. synkrētismos) appears first in the Moralia (490ab) by Plutarch (ca. 46-after 119). Popular opinion or perhaps Plutarch himself derived the term on the basis of a false etymology from the Cretans, who in times of danger would set aside all differences in order to make common cause against the enemy. The term appears first in its theological meaning in the late Middle Ages (Erasmus), where it means the mixing together of various confessionally related doctrines that originally …