The History Of Syncretism

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The enslaved Africans had long contact with Catholicism which lead to syncretism between their aboriginal religious beliefs, doctrines, and rituals. According to Nathaniel Murrell (2010) Syncretism “implies the blending of different religious elements into an undifferentiated religions”. In order words, syncretism is the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties as in philosophy or religion. Religious syncretism is the blending of a foreign belief and an indigenous belief systems and teachings. Syncretism has been a key part of the survival of African practices on the plantation. The enslaves were forbidden to practice their faith publicly. The planters believed that the Africans were Eden or primitive people because they had a pantheon of Gods along with practices that seemed evil (which was voodoo/black magic) that threaten slave revolts. Apart of the enslaved process was to Christianize the Africans, therefore, they were taught the basic elements of the Christian faith. This was what led to the rise of syncretism as the Africans took the Christian teachings and juxtaposed it with their African Traditional beliefs.
Voodoo is seen as a culture and a religion. The history is very important as it goes way back to West Africa. In the 16th century slave trade, Africans were transported to the Caribbean to work as slaves on European owned plantations. They were taken from different tribes, regions and countries in West Africa

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