This paper intends to explore the multi dimensioned and many layered contexts of reciprocally shared cultural realms and syncretistic religious formations, which have been taking place since medieval period and which have great functional value in contemporary India. Syncretism, as implied in this paper, signifies a belief in multiple religious assumptions, dogmas and doctrinal systems as also intercommunion between multiple religious denominations, sects, culture-traits and religious practices. The empirical evidences are drawn from northern, southern, eastern, and northeastern India mainly and they pertain to major and minor religions as pursued by the Tribal and Dalit communities generally. The paper aims to show how religious ideas/practices, and cultural traits mediate between diverse communities, sects and cultural regions and give rise to a complex unity. It also attempts to ascertain the historical contexts and multiple level and extent of culture-contact, and the resultant patterns of inter-faith blending and harmony......... more
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