Syncretism

Caesar of Bread

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In history, syncretism has been really important. Neo-Confucianism, prevalent in China from the Warring States on, was a mix of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. The Delhi Sultanate created a Muslim version of the Hindu caste system. In Japan, Confucianism and Buddhism mixed with traditional Shinto beliefs. How would a game like Civ portray this?
 
In history, syncretism has been really important. Neo-Confucianism, prevalent in China from the Warring States on, was a mix of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. The Delhi Sultanate created a Muslim version of the Hindu caste system. In Japan, Confucianism and Buddhism mixed with traditional Shinto beliefs. How would a game like Civ portray this?

That really depends on how the next game (because it's way too late for Civ VI) portrays religion in general.

For purposes of discussion, let's assume that they use the same pick and choose your own beliefs and dogmas approach that Civ VI uses, with each Belief being allowed to be used only once in a game.

Then Syncretism or any other modification of a religion could be represented in-game by having a mechanic that allowed your religion to swap out or add a Belief from another religion.

That could result in a variant of your original religion and, of course, both the original and variant religions regarding the other as Vile Heretics and tearing your Civ apart in civil religious war.

It all ties in neatly with my contention that Religion should be something that happens to your Civ, not something you have near-complete control over . . .
 
I have Syncretism as part of a system of Ideologies that encompasses elements from what we use to see as government, religion and culture. Those are linked to Denizens as the core element of the whole game mechanics, these essential population units have three identitarian parameters; Class(social caste), Belief(religion) and Heritage(ethno-cultural) that should be taken in consideration to trigger decision events that allows you to change your ideologies.
So the change and personalization of your ideologies is driven by your population management (also diplomatic actions/decisions) tunring it into a narrative process. Also designed to be more about pros and cons of your ideologies that are many times mutually exclusive to have less but more significative ones (some even unlock unique game mechanics), instead of be a progressive blind accumulation of lots of contextless and even contradictory civics/policies.

With this context we can have things like:
- RELIGIOUS CONFLICTS, considering Beliefs (religions) ideologies like Proselytism and Fundamentalism would anger denizens of others beliefs while others ideologies as Secularism, Pluralism and Syncretism could help to reduce tension between different beliefs in your empire (note that Secularism would still annoy your previous state religion and Syncrestism would distance diplomatically others civs with theirs state religions being syncretized in your empire). Talking about diplomacy, of course oppress religious minorities could cause wars like also declare war on a civ with certain religon as official would enrage your denizens of such religion.
- RELIGION SCIENCE INTERACTIONS, Other example is the use of Dogmatism that could benefits your own culture (key for cultural victory) but at the cost of reduced science yield. While Laicism helps you against foreign religious influence (for enemy cultural and diplomatic victories) but this time at the cost of your use of religious gain (for own cultural and diplomatic victories). On the positive relation of religion and technological advance are others ideologies like Monasticism and Esotericism. While Skepticism add for science and Pluralism help with diplomacy, and Syncretism provide culture(defensive) and inner politics benefits.
 
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Syncretism is very strong in Americas between catholic faith and african traditional religions.

The history in Americas is as that: The Christians alwarys was intolerant and don't accept the africans faith in new world, so the africans need to disguise their gods in catholic images.

So, some saints of Catholic Church as Saint George is syncretized in Ogum, the god of Iron and war (at least Ogum is Saint George in Rio de Janeiro).
Some other countries as Haiti use different saints to be different gods, as for Saint Patrick who is Damballah Wedo in Haiti.

I could make a big list of who each saint is in afro-american religion, but, thats changes a lot for country to country and some times it changes even inside a country. As the example I gave of Ogum be Saint George in Rio de Janeiro, at Bahia Ogum is Saint Sebastian. (Saint Sebastian in Rio de Janeiro is Oxóssi).
 
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