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Muslims and Christians in the Bulgarian Rhodopes. by Magdalena Lubanska

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10 Conclusions

10.1  ‘’Shallow’’ Syncretism

Based on my research I argue that the mutual influence of Islam and Christianity in the Western Rhodopes (with the exception of the kurban or blood sacrifice) does not involve ‘deep’ syncretism. ‘Shallow’ syncretism is the dominant form, making the emergence of a new form of Muslim-Christian or Christian-Muslim religion unlikely.

By examining personal, first-hand interpretations behind the apparently syncretic religious gestures, religious syncretism is revealed as an ambiguous phenomenon masking contradictory feelings about the other group and its religion. In practical terms, most of the apparently syncretic gestures are engaged in mimetically for a variety of motives. For instance, traditional festive ...

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