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Word of the Day
Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Definitions for syncretism

  1. the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.
  2. Grammar. the merging, as by historical change in a language, of two or more categories in a specified environment into one, as, in nonstandard English, the use of was with both singular and plural subjects, while in standard English was is used with singular subjects (except for you in the second person singular) and were with plural subjects.

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Citations for syncretism
This artful procedure was known as syncretism, from a Greek word meaning something like "joining together." One of the champions of syncretism had been Mahatma Gandhi, who never went anywhere without his three sacred books: the Koran for Islam, the Gospels for Christianity, and the Bhagavad Gita for Hinduism. Catherine Clément, Theo's Odyssey, translated by Steve Cox and Ros Schwartz, 1999
… in its loftiest sense syncretism is the acknowledgment that a single Tradition runs through and nurtures all religion, all learning, all philosophy. Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum, translated by William Weaver, 1989
Origin of syncretism
Syncretism comes from New Latin syncrētismus, from Greek synkrētismós, "union of Cretan cities against a common foe" and first appears in Plutarch's Moralia in the first century A.D. It entered English in the early 1600s.
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