Perspectives of Syncretism and its Modern Trend: A Case of Christian and African Traditions

  • E Ezenweke
  • I Kanu


One of the major goals of the western missionaries was to plant the kernel of the Christian message within a given indigenous historical tradition without losing the essence of the gospel traditions. However, Christian churches initially failed to remove the aspects of the western culture that constitute stumbling blocks for the desired integration in the indigenous soil or to assimilate the aspect of indigenous properties that are essential for its survival. The result of this raises some theological problems. In the attempt to ascertain a balance, most times, the Christian missions in Africa for instance, find themselves oscillating between protecting the redeeming gospel of Christ with its superiority tendency and the astringent African traditions, often in contrast to the other. Thus, African Christianity is characterized by syncretism whereby African and western theologies mixed to the point that both systems seem to lose their basic structures and identities. Within this observed situation, what is the trend of this syncretism and its implications? This is the main question this paper intends to answer. Using evidence from the literature, this paper exposes and examines the modern trends of syncretism. Accordingly, it further identifies the major implications of syncretism on sustainable spiritual developments and concludes with some strategic choices that would hopefully improve the existing situation. Keywords: syncretism, perspectives, Christian, African, traditions

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eISSN: 1595-1413