Definitions for "Syncretism"
Attempted union of principles or parties irreconcilably at variance with each other.
The union or fusion into one of two or more originally different inflectional forms, as of two cases.
A combining of differing beliefs from two or more religions. (Fine, John V.A. Jr. The Late Medieval Balkans, 626)
A phenomenon that occurs in grammatical systems when more than one meaning is carried by the same form. Syncope The loss of word internal phonemes; for example, pronouncing "policeman" as [pli:zmcn].
When two identical morphemes refer to different grammatical categories.
Interaction of cultural elements from diverse cultures to form a new cultural entity.
Syncretism is the interworking of two or more cultural perspectives into one system. Gnosticism (and therefore Christianity), as well as Kabbalah and the Mysteries of Mithras etc grew from syncretism. This has often been confused with eclecticism but is not the same thing. The latter is a picking and choosing according to taste, without the internal framework of a genuine understanding of function. The former is when two systems come together with cultural perspectives that need to be worked out. Thus the important deeper "hard parts" of a system will still be included after syncratism, but lost on eclecticism.
In linguistics, syncretism is the agreement in form of distinct morphological forms of a word.