Syncretism - the synthesis of different religious - is a contentious word. Some regard it as a pejorative term, referring to local versions of notionally standard `world religions' which are deemed `inauthentic' because saturated with indigenous content. Syncretic versions of Christianity do not conform to `official' (read `European') models. In other contexts however, the syncretic amalgamation of religions may be validated as a mode of resistance to colonial hegemony, a sign of cultural survival, or as a means of authorising political dominance in a multicultural state.
In Syncretism/Anti-Syncretism the contributors explore the issues of agency and power which are integral to the very process of syncretism and to the competing discourses surrounding the term.
Contributors: Mariane Ferme, University of California, Berkeley; David Guss, Harvard University; Wolfgang Kempf, University of TUbingen; Jim Kiernan, University of Natal, South Africa; Klaus-Peter Koepping, University of Heidelberg, Birgit Meyer, Amsterdam School for Social Research; David Mosse, University of Wales; Rosalind Shaw, Tufts University, USA; Charles Stewart, University College London; Peter van der Veer, University of Amsterdam; Richard Werbner, University of Manchester; Lale Yalsin-Heckmann, University of Bamberg