By Charles Stewart, Rosalind Shaw
Syncretism - the synthesis of different religious traditions - 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.