Syncretism
(1,742 words)

1. The term. The word “syncretism” was first used by Plutarch (De Fraterno Amore, 19) to describe a combination of Cretan communities against a common enemy, a rare and in fact historically uncertain event, as the Cretans were usually fighting among themselves. The term began therefore by signifying a political alliance in which mutual differences were overlooked in the face of a threat to all. The term then occurs again in the 16th century in Erasmus (Opus Epistolaram), who derived it from a verb συν-ϰίφάννυμι (which does not occur in classical Greek) and transposed it …

Cite this page
John Charles Maraldo, “Syncretism”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 30 April 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-483X_smuo_COM_004310>
First published online: 2016



▲   Back to top   ▲