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A World History of Religious Synchretism (1450-1750)

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Na, Kunho
Term Paper, World History Class, December 2011

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Definition & Scope of the Study
II.1 Definition
II.1.1 Religion
II.1.2 Religious Synchretism
II.2 Scope of Study
II.2.1 Spatial Scope
II.2.2 Horal Scope
III. Method of Study
IV. History of Religious Synchretism by Region
IV.1 South Asia
IV.1.1 Din-i-Ilahi
IV.1.1.1 Synchretic History of Din-i-Ilahi & Timeline
IV.1.1.2 Aspects of Synchretism
IV.1.1.3 Influence on society
IV.1.2 Sikhism
IV.1.2.1 Synchretic History of Sikhism & Timeline
IV.1.2.2 Aspects of Synchretism
IV.1.2.3 Influence on Society
IV.2 South America & Mesoamerica
IV.2.1 Mayan-Christian Synchretism
IV.2.1.1 Synchretic History of Mayan-Christian Synchretism
IV.2.1.2 Aspects of Synchretism
IV.2.1.3 Influence on society
IV.2.2 Afro-Brazilian religions ? Vodun & Candomble
IV.2.2.1 Synchretic History of Afro-Brazilian religions
IV.2.2.2 Aspects of Synchretism
IV.2.2.3 Influence on Society
IV.3 Southeast Asia: Diffusion of Islam in Java
IV.3.1 History of Diffusion & Timeline
IV.3.2 Aspects of Synchretism
V. Analysis of Characteristics
VI. Conclusion

I. Introduction
            Different cultures face each other when different groups of people encounter each other. Religion is no exception; religion is actually one of the most outstanding parts when describing the culture of a society, as it usually has enormous power of unifying members, and consequently is defining a society. Synchretic religions are basically fusion of several religions that usually occur on the frontier of religious belts. Thus, it is worth taking notes of them when studying the history of cultural contact. Fundamentally, this is the background of curiosity which led to study this topic.
            To briefly introduce the contents and aim of this paper, readers should be able to find answers for these questions; what kinds of religious synchretism was notable of this era, how is the process of those synchretism is like, what are their characteristics when categorized under certain criteria, and what the synchretic religions with similar characters have in common.

II. Definition & Scope of Study

II.1 Definition

II.1.1 Religion
            Religion is an abstract term which is difficult to define. Thus, rather than putting too much effort to define it clearly, a generally acceptable definition, which can also satisfy animistic and traditional beliefs, also big components of synchretism, is borrowed from Oxford Dictionaries.

            "Religion is a set of belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods, generally accepted in certain society." (1)

II.1.2 Religious Synchretism
            One most obvious and definite key word of this paper is "synchretism". Encyclopediae and dictionaries showed difference in the definition of this word.

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
            "Syncretism is the process whereby two or more independent cultural systems conjoin to form a new distinct system, especially in the history of religion." (2)

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions
            "Syncretism is the amalgamation of religious beliefs and practices in such a way that the original features of the religions in question become obscured." (3)

A Dictionary of Sociology
            "Syncretism refers to the worship of one god using the form or tradition of another god." (4)

Encyclopaedia Britannica
            "Religious syncretism is the fusion of diverse religious beliefs and practices." (5)

            All the sources basically agree on the point that synchretism, in religious context, is a phenomenon of amalgamation, where aspects of several religions are combined to form a new religion.
            However, each definition has to be modified to clearly indicate religious synchretism. The mistake of The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions is that the original features of mother religions do not necessarily need to be obscured. Actually, it is a very rare occasion that aspects of original religions are obscured; though doctrines may have been substantially changed through hybridization, rituals are hardly replaced perfectly if not in case of artificial synchretism. The problem of the definition from A Dictionary of Sociology is excessive specification. This statement is not general enough to represent the topic. In specific, this is observed from cases of imperfect synchretism (6), where two religions are rarely interwoven and characteristics of two mother religions are chosen to be combined without modification. However, in cases of perfect synchretism (6a), the religious aspects are well mingled and even the deities are confused, or identicated (like Hera, initially a monodea of certain Greek region, was identificated with the wife goddess of absolute God Zeus after the region being conquered by the Zeus-believers (6b)). On the other hand, the definition of Encyclopedia Britannica is not specified in one rather insignificant point. This definition does not show the necessity of the 'diverse religions' being independent. One counterexample is the Calixtus movement (7). Though the movement itself has synchretic characteristics, it is an attempt to unify several protestant churches, which are mutually related. Rather than visioning it as religious synchretism, this paper determines it as a modification movement inside one religion (and thus did not include this event in scope despite its relevance of period.)
            These judgments lead to the conclusion that this paper apprises the definition from New Dictionary of the History of Ideas the most, and restates the definition in accordance with it : "Religious Synchretism is the phenomenon which ideas of two or more independent religions are combined to form a new distinct form of religion."

II.2 Scope of Study

II.2.1 Horal Scope
            The period of interest is 1450-1750, widely identified as the Age of Discovery or the Age of Great Navigations. This period is characterized for a widened range of commercial, biological, and cultural exchange. Virtually all the big continents (except for the Arctic) got in touch to each other and got to actively interact in this era, as the result of numerous explorations. Highly expected result of heterogeneous interactions is cultural amalgamation, if not expulsion. Thus, this paper aims on visioning cultural exchanges, which is one most important characteristics of 1450-1750, strictly, religious exchange.

II.2.2 Spatial Scope
            As the title indicates, this paper is supposed to cast glance at synchrestic religious phenomena in all part of the world. However, under the primary criteria of regional analysis, virtually only three fragmented areas out of six big continents are under the scope of study, while religions have been colliding and consequently producing synchretism everywhere ever since human beings invented religions. However, it was an inevitable choice to selectively pick up some regions. As this paper tries to find the most significant driving force of this 'world coincidental religious phenomenon' ((7a) ?) from the encounter of heterogeneous cultures following the Age of Discoveries, the viewpoint was concentrated on the results of encounters along the path of navigation. Thus, less influential non-navigational synchretic religions were exempted from the scope, with exception of significant ones (8).

III. Method of Study
            To achieve the goal, in this paper practice a three step method. First, collect general information on religions of interest with special concern to their progress of synchretism. As a part of this task, remarkable events (only the ones which relate to synchretism) are recorded in form of narrative and timeline if needed, under the personal selection preventing it from being either a biography of the religious leader or an illogical missionary writing. Second, analyze the information and categorize the religions under certain criteria. A table is used for easy comparison and contrast. Third, lead out the conclusion based on the categorization, as religions of similar characteristics tend to have similar reason, similar impact on society, and so on. As continuously mentioning, this paper also focuses on the coincidence of advent of all these fusion religions. Thus finding a common driving force and common features of majority of them is one of the biggest goals of this paper.

IV. History of Religious Synchretism by Region

IV.1 South Asia

IV.1.1 Din-i-llahi
            Din-i-Ilahi is an artificial religion, which was created by Mughal Emperor Akbar (widely known as Akbar the Great), under the purpose of creating the religion of 'highest quality' by picking out and combining recommendable doctrines of all accessible religions.

IV.1.1.1 Synchretic History of Din-i-Ilahi & Timeline

Year(s) Event(s)
1575 Akbar built the Ibadat Khana, the ground of discussion where interested people got together and had open discussions on religion
1575-1577 Ibadat Khana was operated, virtually by two overwhelming debaters, Makhdum-ul-Mulk and Shaikh Abdul Nabi, both of them orthodox Muslim scholars
1577 Climax of conflict of two factions, apparent in a caste-concerned trial
1579 Infallibility Decree of 1579, which allowed Akbar the unrestrained autocracy
Now, not only Muslim scholars, but Hindu pandits, Parsi mobeds, Jain sadhus in the court
Afterward, Jesuits from Goa joined
1580 Rebellion against the ruler, who was charged with committing blasphemy
1581 Final creation of Din-i-Ilahi

            In 1575, Akbar the Great buited Ibadat Khana, as a worshiping house for a contemporary saint Shaikh Salim Chishti. Under the order of Akbar, this worshiping house was utilized as a ground of discussion where all kinds of Muslim scholars assembled and had discussion. (9) For the first two years of its operation, the religious discussion was virtually a two-sided slander quarreling between two parties led respectively by Makhdum-ul-Mulk and Shaikh Abdul Nabi, both of them eminent contemporary Muslim scholars. Some find Akbar's motivation of creating a 'heretic' religion, disillusioned by the armchair arguments of orthodoxy from this debate. (10) And then in 1577, a controversial trial, determining the penalty for a caste-violator, took place with the Ibadat Khana parties as jury. This caused the most serious quarrel between parties, and suggests the watershed of the status. Feeling the necessity of strengthening authority, in 1579, Akbar proclaimed The Infallibility Decree of 1579, which at last allowed him autocracy. After the proclamation, Akbar called scholars of other religions to Ibadat Khana, in purpose of (1) further extension of his religious knowledge but more decisively (2) in purpose of restraining the power of old two parties. Thus, until the end of the year 1579, scholars of Hindi origin, Parsi origin, of Jain origin and Jesuits were discussing in Ibadat Khana. In 1580, a rebellion arose in Jaunpur region, blaming the king for stop believing in Islam doctrine. This left Akbar the reason to rapidly formalize his belief, which he finally achieved in 1581. (11)

IV.1.1.2 Aspects of Synchretism
            As is his purpose, Akbar the Great made a chance for several religious scholars to find out the best answer for certain religious matters. The belief of Din-i-Ilahi itself which is borrowed from several religions and put together is one significant aspect of synchretism.
            In a more specific view, In The Infallibility Decree of 1579, Akbar the Great mentions that his judgments are to be primarily based on Quran, the Islam holy script. (12) However, the object of veneration, which is one most important characteristic of a religion, is light and shine, which is a feature borrowed from Hindu belief and at the very first from Zoroastrianism. Followingly, The ritual of reciting a thousand names of sun is common in Hinduism and Din-i-Ilahi. (13) This shows that though several believes were amalgamated to from Din-i-Ilahi, the main ingredients were Islam and Hinduism, which were the contemporary conflicting religions of issue.

IV.1.1.3 Influence on Society
            The Mughal dynasty is not indigenously Indian; it is invader royalty, which the name itself means "Mongolian" in Farsi. Since the dynasty is of Turkic origin (Akbar himself was half Turkish, half Mongolian), the whole dynasty and most of the loyalties were Muslims, while the invaded, ruled people (of central area of empire) were mostly Hindus by religion. Even though tolerance was practiced in the society, tolerance did not mean equality regardless of religion; unfavorable laws ? for instance, higher tax imposition on non-Muslims - were applied to Hindis compared to Muslims. Akbar was on the route of coming up with a new social structure suggesting an equal treatment of all religions.
            Though not a wide spread religion (14), it can be said that this synchretic religion was in the chain of King Akbar's egalitarian policy, forming an atmosphere of progressivism among the nobles.

IV.1.2 Sikhism
            Sikhism is a newly arisen religion of the late 15th century, which found a core followership in Punjab, India. Though quite many Sikhs do not agree on Sikhism being a synchretic religion, in this paper assumes that common points seen between Sikhism and the Bhakti movement of Hinduism, Islamic doctrines justify it to be treated as synchretic.

IV.1.2.1 Synchretic History of Sikhism & Timeline

Guru Event(s)
Nanak (1st) Guru Nanak met Kabir, the contemporary saint
Around 1499, Guru Nanak went on his sermon trip, visiting several religious key position including Mecca
Arjan (5th) Guru Arjan officialized Sikhism
Guru Arjan compiled the holy granth
Har Govind (6th) Recruited the Khalsa

            To trace back, the very first stimulus to Guru Nanak, the creator of Sikhism, maybe his meeting with Kabir, the contemporary saint who was respected from both Hindis and Muslims. As Kabir was a pioneer in radical Bhakti movement, which is basically insisting on the unification of God and religion (15), Guru Nanak might have been implanted the idea of unification. Passying by all the mysticism factors, the second to earliest record of Guru Nanak working on synchretism is found from the record that he travelled over several Hindu and Islam cities, preaching and collecting his followers to work on his new religious movement (16). His dream finally came true when the fifth Guru, Guru Arjan got the power and officialized the status of Sikhism from temporary movement to a religion (17). Afterward, Guru Arjan compiled the first draft of what will be the holy script of Sikhism: the holy granth, which contains the teachings from several Muslim and Hindu saints at the same time (18). When Aurangzeb ascended the throne of Mughal India, he abolished religious tolerance and started to threaten Sikhs. Guru Arjan resisted and ended his life as a martyr (19). This provoked the leading Guru, Har Govind to unify the Sikhs and recruit the "holy army" to secure them ? which is Khalsa (20).

IV.1.2.2 Aspects of Synchretism
            Belief of Sikhism shows faces of both Islam and Hinduism. Monotheism and universal fraternity among devotees are concepts that were borrowed from Islam. However, the concept of soul in Sikhism is highly analogous to Hindi counterpart; the transfiguration, unity with God, and so on. (21)

IV.1.2.3 Influence on Society
            One major idea of Sikhism ? equality ? was almost foreign to Indian people as there had been strict caste system ever since Aryans invaded the country of the Dravidians. A society where no caste discrimination for women exists was simply a sensation to Indians. As a long-term consequence, in the 18th century Punjabi people finally gained their freedom after centuries of foreign domination. (22)

IV.2 South America and Mesoamerica

IV.2.1 Mayan-Christian Synchretism
            Mayan-Christian Synchretism is a term personally coined to describe the combination of the culture of Mayan descendents and the counterpart of European new comers in Mesoamerica.

IV.2.1.1 Synchretic History of Mayan-Christian Synchretism
            Mayan Christianity starts with Spanish conquistadores who landed in Yucatan. After enslaving the natives, under one of their auxiliary purposes of proselytizing the heathens, the Spanish rulers forced their slaves to convert. However, it was hard to expect perfect communication between the rulers and the groups of Mayans, who were totally foreign to each other's language. It is believed that the miscommunication between the forcer and forced is maximized in case of Mayan-Christianity, causing the forced not understanding what the forcer preaches, the forcer not being able to monitor whether the forced is rightfully practicing Christianity. (23)

IV.2.1.2 Aspects of Mayan-Christian Synchretism
            The concept of Mayan-Christian deities is somewhere between Mayan traditional belief and Christianity, but still not in the middle. (The plural form 'deities' obviously denies the characteristic doctrine of Christianity - monotheism.) Saints and holy beings of Christianity were overlaid over traditional animistic gods; usually even several animistic souls and vice versa. For example, in Santiago, Maximon, the greatest deity shows the features of Jesus Christ, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot at the same time. (24) Also, the fact that Maximon has differing characters from town to town, it is inferable that the deities are rather folk spirits, over the pseudonyms of Catholic saints.
            The ritual also shows certain degree of miscibility, outstandingly from offerings. In Mayan churches, soda, liquor and dead animals are offered to the God, which are displayed tradition of Mayan codices, but cannot be expected to be seen from typical Christian mass. (25) Still, the rites (hard to qualify as a divergent modification of 'mass') are practiced under the special setting of church, with icons of Jesus and saints stand just like any other churches in Spain.

IV.2.1.3 Influence on Society
            Actually, Mayan Christianity is hard to be considered as part of Christianity. This shows that this superficial synchretism actually served an unintended function of protecting, and preserving original Mayan culture. As the result of analysis displays, large part of Mayan tradition is still practiced in churches of Yucatan peninsula, with sacrifice of rather small part being discarded, or blended with Western Christian (usually Baptist, or Jesuit) culture.

IV.2.2 Afro-Brazilian religions ? Vodun & Candomble
            Afro-Brazilian religion is the generic term of the religions that were formed in Latin America as a result of African Diaspora, based mainly on African culture, Christian belief, and some indigenous cultural aspects of Latin America. Though there are several Afro-Brazilian religions like Santeria, Lucumi, Umbanda, and Quimbanda, since almost all of them followed virtually almost identical principles of formation, the case of two representative groups (namely Vodun and Candomble) were investigated.

IV.2.2.1 Synchretic History of Afro-Brazilian religions
            The history of Afro-Brazilian religions starts from replantation of African people in Latin America caused by slave trade. Even after forcedly moving to South America, slaves tried to practice their own religious belief. However, the slave owners did not allow their slaves to practice these heathen (in their perspective) beliefs and persecuted, or threatened the slaves to convert. Slaves sought for their own ways to endure and avoid this persecution, and the success led to synchretism both in interior and exterior way (26).
            The interior synchretism, the synchretism inside African religions, was the solution for mixed ethnic groups. As an indirect method of persecution, the owners blended and dispersed the ethnic groups of their slaves both intentionally and unintentionally, the former case, with the consciousness that recombination of ethnic groups will curb the unity among slaves and consequently will decrease the peril of rebellion and religious defiance to refind their own belief, and the later case, because of total ignorance of the incredible variety of African ethnicity and cultures. Nevertheless, these mixed groups of Africans achieved unity by reorganizing their beliefs and recombinating it into one. In Brazil, this resulted in the root of Candomble, the combination with three dominant component; Yoruba, Fon, and Bantu religions. (27) In several regions, most outstandingly in Caribbean areas like Haiti, this resulted in Vodun, the combination of numerous ethnicities including Fons, Nagos, and Ibos. (28)
            The exterior synchretism, the remix between the result of interior synchretism and Christianity, was the method to avoid the direct persecution. The slave owners banned the slaves from holding their own rituals, and coerced them into Christianity, especially Roman Catholic. However, the slaves were viewing the mass in a different way to their owners; they found similarity between Christian ritual of praying to several saints and their own culture of praying to their animistic Gods and ancestral Gods. This observation inspired them to unitize their own Gods to Christian Saints, so that they could disguise their rites in form of mass. Especially in Candomble, Catholic saints are superimposed on Yoruban Gods to create their unique deities called 'Orixas'. (29)

IV.2.2.2 Aspects of Synchreticism
            The name Candomble means "Dance in honor of God". (30) The fact that the name of religion itself is 'dance' indicates that dance is a fundamental method of worshiping, or an important part of the rituals. Not only this one example, but also many forms of African art take huge portion of Candomble rituals. High tempo music (partially synthesized with Brazilian music), dancing, and drumming are few examples of Afro-Brazilian style ritual, which are the last to be speculated from typical Roman Catholic mass. While these methods of rituals are highly borrowed from African art, the trace of Christian impact still rests, in form of halidoms. The Cross, bells made of steel, and candles, some of most outstanding holy matters of Christianity, are observed from both Vodun and Candomble mass. (31)
            Synchretic features are also well displayed in Afro-Brazilian beliefs. Though they practice baptism and believe in the resurrection of the savior (under the name of Jesus), they also believe in possessing of spirit and they still pray to their last ancestors (32), and one important role of priests is to foresee the fortune of believers (33) in these synchretic religions.

IV.2.2.3 Influence on Society
            One major function of Afro-Brazilian religions can be evaluated to be the alleviation of White-Black conflict. If the enslaved Africans were forced to convert and discard their identity helplessly, malice between whites and blacks would have been even worse. However, as they secretly developed a system through which they can keep their identity and their traditional belief, they could endure the difference and tension with better ease.
            On the other hand, Afro-Brazilian religions also helped boosting unity of the enslaved Africans in South America. Africans, who show dynamic divergence in their ethnicity, language, and religion, virtually did not have much point common than their state of being a slave. However, as synchretic Afro-Brazilian religion put together several African religious features together through the mechanism of interior synchretism, arranged a chance for Black society integration.

IV.3 Southeast Asia: Diffusion of Islam in Java
            Mainly two arguments come to the fore concerned with the origin of Islam in Southeast Asia; European historians claim that Islam was dispersed to SE Asia in second hand over India, while native scholars claim that Islam directly flew in from Arabia (33a). However, the common point of both theories is that Islam started to vigorously permeate into Southeast Asia (except for the Philippines) during the period of 1550-1650 and aborigine animism was substantially amalgamated in the process. (34)

IV.3.1 History of the Diffusion
            Javanese Islam was formed over a long period since the transferring media were merchants from Arab or India. No coercion was practiced, and people started to form their own, rather unorthodox version of loose Islam, which later named "Abangan" Islam by anthropologist Geertz. The second move of synchretism was made by the refugees from dooming Majapahit kingdom. As more than 2.5 million people pushed into Java with their own Hindu-Buddhism, suddenly Hindu-Buddhism became a major religion in Java, and they were gradually dyed into Javanese animistic Islam, exuding their identity to result in an even more hybridized form of Islam. (35)

IV.3.2 Aspects of Synchretism
            As many orthodox Muslims criticize, many part of original Muslim ritual operation is deleted, notably diminished, or exchanged by indigenous animistic beliefs. As shown from a book written in 17th century Babad Tanah Jawi, a Javanese convert did not have to go through the official and traditional converting rite; they did not need to get circumcision (36), they do not need to learn the operation of rituals; which leads to conclusion that they were hardly respected in Javanese Muslim society.
            Also, rituals of Islam, Hindu-Buddhism and animism were intermingled so that not much Javanese people actually cared to selectively participate; Suro, the new year's day of Javanese animistic tradition is a national feast day, where all the people including the Sultan (obviously Muslim) participated and dedicated offerings to the traditional goddess of sea (37).

V. Analysis of Characteristics
            Four criteria were used to categorize synchretic religions analyzed above.
1.       What class of society was the leading force of synchretism ?
2.       Was it formed artificially, naturally, or forcedly ?
3.       What social class is the target of the religion ?
4.       Was it perfectly or imperfectly synchretized ?

1. What class of society was the leading force of synchretism ?
Sikhism : merchants, or commoners
Din-i-Ilahi : royalty
Mayan : slaves
Afro-Brazilian : slaves
Indonesian : merchants, refugees.

            Sikhism was started by Guru Nanak, who is of Khatris origin, succeeded by Gurus who were also all Khatris, and most popular among Khatris at first. The role of Khatris in society is closest to Vaishya of caste system. (38) Din-i-Ilahi was created by Akbar the king to be followed by his vassals. Both Mayan Christianity and Afro-Brazilian religions were formed by slaves who were forced to convert. The factors contributed the most to Indonesian synchretic Islam are Indian merchants who initially brought in Islam, and the refugees from doomed Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms.

2. Was it formed artificially, naturally, or forcedly ?
Sikhism : artificially
Din-i-Ilahi : artificially
Mayan : forcedly
Afro-Brazilian : forcedly
Indonesian : naturally

            Sikhism and Din-i-Ilahi are amalgamated by human of certain purpose, respectively Guru Nanak and Akbar the Great. Mayan Christianity and Afro-Brazilian religions were formed in the process of forcing Christianity to foreigners. Indonesian Islam was gradually and naturally formed by continuous, long-term commercial interaction and sudden influx of population.

3. What social class is the target of the religion ?
Sikhism : all classes
Din-i-Ilahi : nobles
Mayan : slaves
Afro-Brazilian : slaves
Indonesian : all classes

            One major idea of Sikhism is equality of all humans, which means it is open to people of any hierarchic origin. Devotees of Din-i-Ilahi were selected members, devoted lieges of Akbar the great. Mayan Christianity and Afro-Brazilian religions were unique culture of enslaved people, and Indonesian Islam was open for all classes, as classic Islam is

4. Was it perfectly or imperfectly synchretized ?
Sikhism : perfect
Din-i-Ilahi : perfect
Mayan : imperfect
Afro-Brazilian : perfect
Indonesian : perfect

            Sikhism and Din-i-Ilahi are obviously perfect synchretism, as they were artificially formed by combining selected features of several religions. Mayan Christianity is far from perfect synchretism, as aspects of Christianity is scarcely shown, while Afro-Brazilian religions are perfect, as several African religions are intermingled to form a distinct form of religion. Indonesian synchretism is considered to be 'rather perfect', as it is considered nonidentical by orthodox Arabian Islam society, which means successful mixture with native belief.

VI. Conclusion
            Religious Synchretism is one important measure to indicate mutual relationship among newly met cultures. As new continents get into active contact to each other in period 1450-1750, religious synchretism of this era is worth paying attention.
            The majority of researched religions were directly related to the Great Navigation, as it occurred in new continents like America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. However, synchretisms in Africa and Oceania usually do not fit in the settled time, even if they are consequences of the Great Navigations. Thus, main focus was America and Asia. The continent which had significant interaction with Africa was Europe. Usually, synchretic religions in America were raised by coerced Christianity. Persecuted native people and implanted Africans built their own closed society, in which they preserved their own culture secretly. The area of most frequent interaction with Southeast Asia was South Asia. Islam was exported to Southeast Asia from South Asia as they had frequent commercial interaction by the merit of short distance. But a strong factor, which is indigenous animism, played a deranging force, making the synchretism imperfect, though open to big range of social position.
            But minority religions, still not small, occurred independently, well showing that the Great Navigation is not a decisively dominant momentum of religious synchretism of this era. Both Sikhism and Din-i-Ilahi are created by human will, or artificial mechanism. These artificial religions tend to have a stronger message of social integration, as it was created for need, created to dissolve vivid friction.

(1)      Oxford Dictionaries, Article : religion
(2) Article : Syncretism
(3)      ibid.
(4)      ibid.
(5)      ibid.
(6)      imperfect synchretism, perfect synchretism : terms created by the author of this paper
(7)      Calixtus movement is protestant movement aimed on unifying the dispersed and varying protestant churches
(8)      for instance, Sikhism and Din-i-Ilahi
(9)      Wikipedia Article : Din-i-Ilahi
(10)      Muslim civilization in India - XII. Religion at Akbars Court
(11)      ibid.
(12)      ibid.
(13)      Britannica Online, Article : Din-i-Ilahi
(14)      actually 19 was the largest number of devotees ever in Din-i-Ilahi
(15)      The Sikh Encyclopedia, Article : bhakti and sikhism
(16)      Wikipedia, Article : Sikhism
(17)      Index of World Religions ? Sikhism, the religion of Nanak
(18)      Sikhism Guide - Sri Guru Granth Sahib
(19)      same as (17)
(20)      ibid.
(21)      Indianet Zone - Influences on Sikhism
(22)      The Sikh Review - Impact of Sikhism on Indian Society
(23)      Lake Atitlan Guatemala - Mayan Religion
(24)      ibid.
(25)      Vagabond Journey - Maya and Catholic Religious Syncretism at Chamula Mexico
(26)      These days, there rises movements which purpose in warding off Christian aspects to purify the religions and reform a perfectly African religions. However, this paper is about the history of formation, or synchretism of religions. Thus, fusion of Christianity with African religions was also discussed.
(27)      BBC religions - History of Candomble
(28)      African Holocaust - Voodoo
(29)      Types of Religion - Candomble
(30)      Leicester Shire Together - Candomble
(31)      Science Encyclopedia, Article : Santeria and Voodoo
(32)      same as (30)
(33)      ibid.
(34)      Northern Illinois University - islam : a worldwide religion and its impact in southeast asia
(35)      Country Studies : Indonesia
(36)      Kim 2011, p.162
(37)      Van Java - Syncretism in Indonesia where Islam Mixes with Old Rituals
(38)      Khatris does not have a clearly corresponding counterpart in Brahmin Caste System; they are neither Brahman nor Kshatriya nor Vaisya, nor Shudra. However, for convenience, this paper assumes they are closest to Vaisyas, as there role in society is focus on commercializing

Bibliography The following websites were visited in November 2011

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10.      Muslim civilization in India - XII. Religion at Akbar's Court
11.      Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, Article : Din-i-Ilahi
12.      The Sikh Encyclopedia, Article : bhakti and sikhism
13.      Wikipedia Article : Sikhism
14.      Index of World Religions - Sikhism, the religion of Nanak
15.      Sikhism Guide - Sri Guru Granth Sahib
16.      Indianet Zone - Influences on Sikhism
17.      The Sikh Review - Impact of Sikhism on Indian Society
18.      Lake Atitlan Guatemala - Mayan Religion
19.      Vagabond Journey - Maya and Catholic Religious Syncretism at Chamula Mexico
20.      BBC religions - History of Candomble
21.      African Holocaust - Voodoo
22.      Types of Religion - Candomble
23.      Leicester Shire Together - Camdomble
24.      Science Encyclopedia, Article : Santeria and Voodoo
25.      Southeast Asia Site, Northern Illinois University - islam : a worldwide religion and its impact in southeast asia
26.      Library of Congress, Country Studies - Indonesia
27.      Van Java - Syncretism in Indonesia where Islam Mixes with Old Rituals
28.      HyeongJun Kim, Responses of Javanese Muslims to Islam, Gangwon National University Press, Wonju, Korea, 2011

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