Syncretism is a very broad concept, the definition of which can be found in various fields of science. In the general sense, syncretism means fusion, mixing, eclecticism. It is better to define this concept in accordance with the specific area in which it is applied. In art, syncretism is manifested in the fusion of different images that are not matched, of the original components into some phenomenon.

In philosophy, syncretism refers to a combination of several heterogeneous, contradictory theories and principles in one system, but without their combination, it is a kind of eclecticism that ignores differences in heterogeneous principles.

In religion, syncretism is a fusion of completely different religious trends, creeds and religious trends.

Syncretism in linguistics means the union in a single form of several symbols, distributed between different forms in relation to the earlier stages of the history of the development of a language; these forms are multivalued, multifunctional. Also here there is the concept of cumulation of grammatical meanings, which is used in the same sense with the concept of syncretism in linguistics and expresses several grammes of different grammatical categories with one indivisible indicator.

Syncretism in psychology means the indivisibility of mental processes in the early period of child development. Manifestation of children's thinking manifests itself in combining various phenomena, without having sufficient grounds for this. Many researchers have noted this phenomenon in the psychology of the child, in particular, his perception of the inseparability of the sensual image of an object, without isolating and correlating the internal connections and elements. A child who takes the connection of impressions for the connection of objects, unconsciously transfers the meaning of the word to only externally related things. By selecting in the subsequent practice syncretic connections that will correspond to reality, the child reconstructs for himself the real meanings of words.

Syncretism in cultural studies means the absence of differences in cultural phenomena.

Syncretism of primitive culture is characterized by the fusion of art, cognitive activity, magic. Also, syncretism in cultural studies is an external confusion of the diversity of cultural components, which is characterized by a high level of eclecticism and manifestation in different planes of culture.

Syncretism of primitive culture is defined in three directions. First, syncretism, as the unity of man and nature. Secondly, it manifests itself as an indivisibility of the spiritual, material and artistic systems of culture. Thirdly, the manifestation of primitive syncretism of culture is an artistic activity, inseparably embedded in material and production processes.

Syncretism in philosophy

In philosophy, syncretism is an essential characteristic that combines various philosophical trends in one system, but without combining them and this is different from eclecticism. Although the concept of syncretism is close to it, eclecticism, with the help of criticism, distinguishes the basic principles from different systems and links them into a single set.

Syncretism, in contrast to eclecticism, connects heterogeneous beginnings, but their true union never happens, because there is no need to connect them in inner unity with contradictions to each other.

Syncretism was most vividly expressed in Alexandrian philosophy, in particular, Philo of Judea and other philosophers, however, who were engaged in trying to connect Greek philosophy and Eastern philosophical trends. The same trend was present in the supporters of Gnosticism.

Religious and philosophical syncretism combines the occult, mystical, spiritualistic and other areas, unlike the traditional religious trends. In such concepts, components are derived from different religions, along with extra-scientific and scientific knowledge. Such religious-philosophical syncretism can be observed in such areas as Gnosticism, Alexandrian philosophy, theosophy, in particular Blavatsky's theosophy, the anthroposophy of Agni Yoga of the Roerichs or Rudolf Steiner. Based on syncretic religious and philosophical teachings, religious movements began to appear. For example, based on the Blavatsky Theosophy, more than a hundred esoteric religious movements appeared.

Syncretism is a principle by which it is determined how a person relates to the world around, to himself, as he relates to reproducible activity. It is an essential characteristic of the modularity’s dismemberment, it lacks understanding of how the world differs, various phenomena from logical dual-directed oppositions in simultaneous total disorder (that is, the absence of logical prohibitions) in defining phenomena, relating them to one of the opposition’s poles on principle everything and in everything.

Such an idea at first glance seems very absurd. Because in fact, how can it be possible to arbitrarily divide the world into categories of good and evil, for example, and at the same time believe that such a distinction is peculiar to the real world. But such nonsense is possible under one circumstance: if, by this logic, every phenomenon in the world is a werewolf, that is, it is not what it is, it has the ability to turn into something completely different than it is truly.

Such a phenomenon occurs when a person thinks according to inversion logic. For example, in various cultures there are such interpretations: a stone can be a totem, a bear a brother, a living wolf can be a killed man, a parrot just a man, an employee a pest, and so can be continued indefinitely.

Philosophical thinking allows people to believe so, because there is a difference in culture, as the accumulated experience of humanity, the people and the experience of the person and the appearance of phenomena. This allows every person to interpret every day every meaningful for him in cultural ideas, provided that such a phenomenon can be compared, correlated with a specific component of this culture, and its meaning is “played” by each pole of the opposition. The significance of such a phenomenon is constantly twisted in the head, constant awareness and reinterpretation takes place in human activity.

If a person did not have this ability, he would not be a person with philosophical thinking.

Syncretism is an essential characteristic of social, cultural, philosophically filled life, formed by the desire of man to connect with the most important for him natural and social rhythms. It is not an independent person, separate from the social whole. It is typical for him to analyze every difference through the seriousness of the danger of weaning, cutting off communication with the cosmos, the world around, with himself and his soul.

Syncretism is revealed as the reason for the uncomfortable sensation of the state, a stimulus for greater activity, oriented towards initiation and participation, adherence to a single whole. Syncretism does not distinguish the universal from the individual. The essential single phenomenon is for a person a signal by which certain undifferentiated general systems of considerations and ideas are caused in consciousness. It also refers to the return to the past, mainly through the fear of separation from the whole, the focus on returning to the totem, the leader, the social order. This is precisely the basis of syncretic humanity, which, if departed from the philosophy of syncretism, at least did not try, using its foundations, return to a state that is based on the priestly-ideological orientation.

Religious syncretism

In religion, this phenomenon means a mixture and inorganic combination of heterogeneous religious trends, religious positions and dogmas in the process of interaction of religions in historical development, for example, Shintoism.

Syncretism in religion is a link connecting diverse religious teachings of an anthropological and cosmological nature.

The concept of religious syncretism with its boundaries in religious studies is the subject of discussion. There is a point of view according to which all religions exist as syncretic, because as a result of their development, influences from other religions have been revealed. In order to cope somehow with the subject of this discussion, differentiation is carried out within the concept itself according to different characteristics, taking into account the level of syncretism.

There is also a controversial question whether the term “religious syncretism” and the concept of “dual faith” (a combination of basic faith and components from other beliefs) are synonymous. In the modern world, this concept is treated both negatively and positively, depending on the direction in which it is spoken of in religious or scientific tradition.

Orthodox theologians consider religious syncretism as an external, artificial and inorganic compound that is not connected, without a clear and precise characterization of spiritual foundations, consider it inconsistent as to the content of the fragments involved.

Publicists sometimes use the term "religious syncretism" in the meaning of religious omnivorous.

You should also pay attention to the fact that it is necessary to distinguish between the concept of religious syncretism and religious pluralism, which implies quiet coexistence or separation of areas of influence and influence between certain religions or several religions without merging them.

Throughout the long history of religion, there has been known such a general cultural phenomenon as religious syncretism. From the most primitive epoch up to modern modern religious movements. It is expressed in the combination of heterogeneous doctrinal teachings and religious positions from various religious trends, defining the main provisions of dogmas.

Historically, in Hellenistic religions, syncretism was very widespread in the Inca state, while the incorporation of gods on the conquered lands into their own religious worship was maintained even at the level of state policy.

In the early Middle Ages, Manichaeism became widespread, which subsequently influenced the widespread medieval syncretic heresy.

In the period of New time began to appear a lot of various syncretic religious movements. Of those that have recently emerged and become widespread religious trends, which are characterized by religious syncretism.

Chinese religious syncretism finds its origins from ancient history. The millennial war between supporters of Confucianism, religious Taoism, and Buddhism demonstrates that none of these teachings can become the only one in order to oust the competition from this particular sphere. And none of these trends at the same time was a monotheistic directed religion, accordingly this suggested the possibility of a compromise.

Thus, at about the end of the Tang era, Chinese religious syncretism was formed. This unique direction, connecting all religious teachings, and in which sociology and political morality were proposed for Confucianism, for Taoism - everyday, everyday people's concerns for Buddhism, which absorbed the heritage and experience of ancient Taoist philosophy, remained a teaching on the meaning and questions of life, besides this, Buddhism was engaged in comforting the oppressed and justifying the world. Although the jury ministers of the three represented philosophical and religious movements continued to quarrel among themselves, but in the heads of ordinary believers, all three with their pantheons got along quite freely. The same syncretic belief system was formed in other countries with a characteristic Chinese cultural sphere, only Taoism was replaced by local pagan beliefs, for example, in Japan - it was Shintoism.