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Syncretism '07

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Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: Syncretism '07 Reply with quote

I was looking for a definition of temperance; I wanted to see if it was more like abstinence, as in the Temperance movement seemed to absolutely forbid alcohol consumption, or as in moderation as in "tempering" ones desires. It seems to be somewhere in between, such as drinking once a week.

But along the way I found this gem of a word, syncretism

The blending of one religion/philosophy/worldview with others. It's as if someone takes a pile of unrelated religious and philosophical ideas, stories, and symbols, then dumps all of them together into a sink, adds water, and stirs.

Wow...I can see all sorts of uses for that. Unfortunately, it has taken on a bit of a perjorative use in politics, where it seems to be the blending of extremes. The example given is that it's the opposite of a Centrist, who tries to find an average view, versus National Socialism, which takes the extreme ends of Fascism and an autocratic state.

Syncretism can be redeemed...maybe now more than ever. The elections of 2000, 2004 (and maybe 2008) shows that two parties, offering a somewhat moderated view of each others policies can set up a schism where very few (30%) of the people are absolutely satisfied, and a majority live in disgruntlement or lie in waiting for "their turn" as they feel left out of the power process entirely.

I think that syncretism can take on a meaning, in politics and maybe other areas, similar to the mash-up -- a mash-up of ideology that can form a coherent whole, but not an average. This is the classic mash-up architecture of doing what works, not what is logical or what seems congruent (at first).
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