This paper aims to discover the various problems of the term syncretism, and its definition in anthropology, religious studies and theology in relation to the Korean Protestant inter-denominational discourse. Before being able to evaluate any case or accusation of syncretism within the Korean context, we need to realise, that even the term itself is a widely disputed concept. The first half of this paper examines the various standpoints related to the relevance or irrelevance of the scientific use of syncretism. The second half of the paper aims to shed light on the specific areas of the traditional Korean religiosity found to be in a direct or indirect relation to the Protestant Korean Christianity. The study chose to work through the traditional shamanism of Korea, since it is the tradition, that is most frequently correlated with Korean Christianity. In the last part of the study, the author brings several pro and contra examples regarding the question of the syncretic relation between Korean Protestant Christianity and the local shamanistic traditions. A Korean source-based research is still to be conducted for a more conclusive standpoint on the matter and further research on the question of the terms syncretism, inculturation and indigenization could also yield interesting results.
The Definition and Problems of Syncretism from the Perspective of the South-Korean Protestant Charismatic Movement and its Relation to the Shamanistic Heritage