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theo206 Varieties of syncretism.docx

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THEO 206
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Lesson 5 Varieties of syncretismSyncretismReconciliation or fusion of differing systems of beliefsMerging of 2 or more conceptsreligionsphilosophiesChristianity was syncretistic it could not begin and grow without incorporating elements coming from the outside especially from the not particularly monolithic Judaism and from HellenismSyncretism refers to a universal cultural phenomenon common to the formation of all religions in their very first stages and resulting naturally from sociohistorical placing population movements andor explicit religious propagandaHellenistic syncretism was based on the belief that gods are known among different peoples by different names consequently deities can be fused and religious attributes and tenets merged3 great religious constellations fully deserve the strict epithet syncretist Mystery religions Gnosticism and ManichaeismOriental cults and MysteriesMost Greek cults and mystery religions were based on the agrarian cycle related to agriculture and fertilityMystery refers to a secret rite performed in a ceremony of initiation that allowed certain individuals to enter into a privileged relation with a godgoddess and receive certain benefits therefromThe main mysteries of Hellenistic and Roman times includedThe Greek mysteries of the graingoddess Demeter at EleusisThe originally Egyptian then Hellenized mysteries of Isis and OsirisSarapisThose of the Syrian goddess AtargatisThe Phrygian CybeleAttis of the Phoenician Astarte and Adonis2 religious movements appeared that were real innovations related to the search for personal salvation and healing Mithraism and Christianity
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