B.S. (Bachelor of Science)
Department of Anthropology
This thesis is a survey of seven examples of Christian syncretism within the geographical context of the United States. I begin by explaining the definitions of syncretism and mainline, traditional Christianity in terms of their use in the rest of my discussion. With the aid of secondary source research, I then discuss the origin, defining characteristics, and syncretic aspects of the seven examples. The religious cases I discuss are: I) Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Christ, 2) Easter Celebrations, 3) CaoDaism, 4) Unitarian Universalism, 5) the beliefs of the Aquarian Concepts Community, 6) Santeria, and 7) Baha’ism. Ultimately, this survey enhances the understanding that syncretism, as a definable process, is highly varied in its forms. A salient variable within the topic of syncretism, evidenced by the examples discussed in this thesis, is whether or not syncretism justified or ignored by those participating in it.
Spears, Chaya, "The mythical melting pot : Christian syncretism in American religious belief and ritual" (1998). Honors Capstones. 1237.
Northern Illinois University
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