Sikhism, Syncreticism, & NRMs

Lesson Objectives

• Define Key Terms

• Understand how different religious traditions often combine rituals and beliefs

• Appreciate the Punjabi tradition of Sikhism

• Appreciate the ways Northern Europe shaped Western Christianity

• Appreciate how African slaves maintained and evolved their rituals

• Understand how the LDS Church began as a New Religious Movement

• Appreciate the evolution of the New Religious Movement of Wicca

Key Terms


Bahá'í Faith

Cao Đài


Celtic Cross

Christmas Tree


New Religious Movement

Book of Mormon


Syncretism: Better Together


The combining of different socio-cultural beliefs or practices.

Bahá'í Faith | 1844: org. Iran, now Haifa, Israel

• Bahá’u'lláh (1817-1892): a religion that followed the teachings of the Báb

     • Faced exile from Iran for promoting the Báb’s teachings which the Iranian

     regime claims distorts Islam with its syncretic foundation.

     The Báb claimed to be the return of Elijah (Judaism), the Mahdi (Islam),

     John the Baptist (Christianity), and the Shoshyant (Zoroastrianism)

Cao Đài | 1926: Vietnam

• Established by mediums contacted by God in 1926

• Adherents follow the wishes of Cao Đài, the Supreme God

     • Practices include prayer, nonviolence, and vegetarianism

     • Connections to Buddhism, Daoism, Catholicism

     • Buddhism: Freedom from samsara is a chief goal

     • Daoism: utilizes the teachings of yin and yang

     • Catholicism: Cao Đài has a Pope, cardinals, and bishops