Syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contradictory beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. The term may refer to attempts to merge and analogize several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, and thus assert an underlying unity.
Syncretism also occurs commonly in literature, music, the representational arts and other expressions of culture. (Compare the concept of eclecticism.) Syncretism may occur in architecture as well. There also exist syncretic politics, although in political classification the term has a somewhat different meaning.