This is when a constructed fictional religion is clearly a mix of any number of real-world religions. An author will often use this by combining various interesting bits of existing religions, belief systems, and philosophies, and changing the names and places to make the new religion fictional. That Other Wiki
knows this process as it happens in Real Life
Differs from Crossover Cosmology
in that this creates a 'new' cosmology from pieces of established idea systems. Popular in Space Opera
and Science Fiction
as representative of alien cultures. A subtrope of Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot
and a Sister Trope
to Culture Chop Suey
. Can also be Truth in Television
since there are few religions that don't share certain rituals or beliefs with other religions.
This seems to come up a lot in anime fantasy settings
, though it could (and oftentimes appears to) just be a cultural misunderstanding of Western ideas and philosophies
while substituting familiar concepts (like Buddhism and Shintoism) into the knowledge gaps. Also, sometimes in anime
, instead of All Christianity Being Catholic
, you'll see a mix-mash of ideas from various Christian denominations all pooled into a single faith. This probably has a lot more to do with the aforementioned Critical Research Failure
- In Tintin in America. It's a mixture of Judaism, Buddhism and Islam, they claim they were the fastest growing religion, and want Tintin to become a member of them.
- The Church of Slag-Blah in Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire who are "militant agnostics" and celebrate a different religious holy day every day.
- Their definition of "religion" also bears questioning:
Louisa Dem Five:
I've caused so many moral dilemmas the Slag-Blah have declared me a religion!
- The Force, once described by Mark Hamill as "Religion's Greatest Hits!" The religion of the Force has strong elements of Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Daoism and a bunch of other mystical traditions, with Christian symbology (the Jedi are Knights In Brown Robes and not for nothing is the hero named Luke).
- The Matrix movie trilogy is all over the place, embedding clear (in order of dominance throughout the series), Buddhist, Christian and Gnostic philosophies not only throughout the characters and plot, but including the music score, especially in The Matrix Revolutions soundtrack, which uses Ominous Latin Chanting, Sanskrit flavored, while the Big Bad ridicules the hero about being a Messianic Archetype.
- Invoked consciously by Gandhi: "I am a Muslim and a Hindu and a Christian and a Jew and so are all of you!"
- The Film of the Book What Dreams May Come blends Eastern mystical concepts of reincarnation with Judeo-Christian concepts of monotheism, heaven and hell, as well as an Epiphanic Prison for those that commit suicide. Dogs go to heaven, too. The film starts with a Downer Ending.
- Pitch Black has 'Chrislam' pilgrims heading for the planet of New Mecca.
- The Thursday Next series has the Global Standard Deity (GSD), a church that openly and shamelessly mixes and matches elements of various faiths apparently at will — her brother "the Very Irreverent Joffy Next" is basically a hedonist. This is partly down to the fact that in this world literature is the major Serious Business in people's lives, with sport, religion and television distant runners-up.
- The end of the Pendragon series has Ravinia, in which people see life in the rest of the universe (Halla) for the first time. This is not a religion in itself, but something that attracts people regardless of religion into one group. On the other hand, it divides people based on social class.
- The Church of God Awaiting in David Weber's Safehold series is an In-Universe example. It is a mash-up of real religions that was created for the purpose of putting ultimate power in the church's hands and precluding the possibility of technological advancement.
- The far future religions in the Dune series are either this (i.e. The Orange Catholic Bible) or the Coca-Pepsi, Inc. type (Zensunni). The Coca-Pepsi, Inc. ones are the more numerous though (the Orange Catholic Bible seems to be more dominant in the first novel, but then a Zensunni branch ends up overrunning the known universe. There is also the fact that the Orange Catholic Bible was created to be the most universal holy text reasonably possible, not necessarily the most universal religion reasonably possible).
- The Videssos books, being chockablock with Fantasy Counterpart Cultures, have lots of these. The religion of Videssos proper (the fantasy analogue of the Byzantine Empire) looks a lot like Orthodox Christianity (with bishops, monks, ecumenical councils, schisms over variations in the Creed), but the dualistic belief system is much more like Zoroastrianism (two powerful gods, one good and one evil, at war). There are heresies with variant understandings of the war (Videssians believe the good god is sure to win, Khatrishers believe the two gods are perfectly balanced, Namdaleni believe the gods are balanced but you ought to act as if you're sure the good god will win). The main other empire starts out as practically-Muslim (with belief in a single God and four supreme Prophets), but ends up being dominated by a diabolist religion that worships the evil Videssian god.
- In Life of Pi, the title character manages to be a practicing Hindu, Christian, and Muslim all at once, to the confusion of most of the other characters.
- In The Unincorporated War by Dani and Eytan Kollin, the various religions in the Outer Alliance get together for a conference in order to come up with something like this. Mostly the Abrahamic religions but others as well. Unfortunately it's interrupted by an attack from the United Human Federation resulting in slaughter.
- Peter F. Hamilton's Confederation Universe has more a case of intra faith smoothies, with the various factions of Christianity and Islam reconciling their differnces and each forming a single religion.
- Daniele Bolelli's Create Your Own Religion is all about doing this on a personal level. The author's own belief system of preference seems to be a combination of Buddhism, Taoism, Native American spirituality and the philosophies of Freidrich Nietzche and Thomas Paine.
- In one of the Uplift novels a crazy alien evangelist preaches that a single Creator made humans without one of the sinful Galactic species uplifting them, a species-wide virgin birth. And cites not only Jesus but also Moses, Buddha, Mohammad, Tipler, and Weimberg-Chang.
- Philip K. Dick was particularly fond of this: in several novels (notably The Divine Invasion) there was a merger between the Catholic Church and the Soviet Union in the backstory.
- The Life Of Pi's main character, Piscine Molitor Patel, was born a Hindu but chooses to simultaneously practice both Islam and Christianity as he grows up. His reason: he "just wants to love God."
- Enigma Babylon One World Faith in the Left Behind books, which consists of Roman Catholicism merged with various Christian sects that would not hold to fundamentalist doctrine (as defined by the books' authors and the Tribulation Force characters) as well as other world religions.
- Stranger in a Strange Land has Valentine Michael Smith form a union of every single religion called "The Church of All Worlds," which eventually inspired a real religious community of the same name.
- The Janissaries by Jerry Pournelle has a world that has both Christians and pagans, with the pagan religion being very loosely based on Classical Mythology. When a Christian nation enters into a political alliance with two pagan nations, a bishop has a rather convenient revelation that the two religions in fact worship the same god, resulting in the creation of a politically backed syncretic religion.
- A Song of Ice and Fire seems to do this with fictional religions in the cult of the Many Faced God. The temple includes shrines to gods from all over, and his adherents believe that all gods (or at least all death gods) are avatars of him. There's also some implication of the religion taking elements from other faiths in the universe in its theology and worship.
- Wayism in Andromeda was this. It was mostly Buddhist 'peace in suffering' teachings, with a few other things thrown in. In universe it was created by a Magog who was taught the concepts of various religions to him by the human host he was spawned from.
- The Klingon belief system seems to be an odd mish-mash of Shinto and Norse mythology, with a Messianic Archetype figure (Kahless) and a Nay-Theist quirk (they had gods, but killed them as too much of a bother) thrown in. Vulcan spirituality seems to have elements of Shinto ancestor worship within a predominant Buddhist philosophy, with 'logic' substituted for Dharma. The Bajoran faith which features prominently in nearly every episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine may be the ultimate example of this trope, combining elements of all three Western monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) together with Eastern Hindu/Bhuddist mysticism.
- LOST always favored the archetypal over the specific, and throughout its run contained references to many different religions and philosophies, hinting that there's some universal basis to all of them, even John Locke's personal shamanistic and prophetic belief system. The finale reinforces this by showing a stained glass window with symbols of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism on it, all radiating outward from one single source (that's also the same color as the light at the heart of the island).
- Firefly is a subtle example, as the only explicitly religious ceremony it shows is a funeral which combines Christian and Buddhist elements, which may just be Artistic License - Religion.
- George Harrison's song "My Sweet Lord" features background vocals that begin by chanting "Hallelujah," gradually shift to chanting "Hare Krishna," and eventually become a Vedic prayer to Vishnu, all while the main vocal continues in the same prayer to "my Lord."
- The Handbook: House Davion sourcebook for BattleTech details a religious movement in the Federated Suns called the "Unfinished Book Movement" which is a literal mash-up of a number of existing religions (most of which still exist elsewhere in the setting, even within Davion Space) into a single entity with a single, collected, holy scripture. Apparently it's becoming quite a major player in the realm by the time the book was set.
- Solatorobo's Oshilasama seems to be one part the Buddhist-Shinto amalgam common to Japan and one part Functional Magic. Oh, and something about an evil dog-god who loses his powers if you turn his statues upside-down.
- Oracle Of Tao has a strange mix of Shintoism, Taoism, and Christianity. They call it Aiken (based on Japanese ai ken, not Clay Aiken). It's basically very heavily into nature and love (and ancestor worship).
- In Escape Velocity: Nova , the Church of Krim-Hwa is this in-universe.
- The heroine of Hatoful Boyfriend describes herself and her family as Shin-Buddhist, but is perfectly willing to celebrate Christmas if given the opportunity.
- In Koan Of The Day, the guru is an amalgamation of Jesus, the Buddha, and Socrates.
- In an xkcd strip, this discussion takes place:
“I’m the kind of Christian who only goes to church on Christmas and Easter, and spends the other 363 days at the mosque.”
“… I don’t think that’s a thing.”
“Our rabbi swears it’s legit.”
- The Eastern Dragon in Sinfest is a living embodiment of all East Asian religions.
- Pangaeism, the most politically correct religion ever, is briefly mentioned in Last Res0rt, apparently they have a minor holy war every time a new species is contacted and the scripture needs to be revised to include their mythology.
- In Freefall omniquantism is the idea that if God is omnipotent and all things are possible, then it is possible that all religions are correct simultaneously. One in three AIs lock up after hearing the concept, Florence managed to make sense of it though.
- Sanshinto or Tritheism in Tasakeru is based primarily on Shinto, but has elements from Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. The species' differing beliefs draw from everywhere., even, according to the author, the Cthulhu Mythos.
- The Chaos Timeline has the Indian Chandramoorthy develop his own religion, which combines elements from Hinduism, Islam, Catholicism and the classical Greco-Roman religion.
- Gamzee's religion in Homestuck seems to be based around fundamentalist and Rapturist Christianity, with a little Islam for flavour (he gets very upset about seeing video depictions of his Messiahs), and perhaps with a little Judaism (his ancestor was responsible for the persecution of the Troll Jesus), mixed up with stoner / hippie culture, and then all applied to Juggalo fandom. A parody, obviously. Word of God is that is was inspired by an Eldritch Abomination and his Manipulative Bastard Dragon, arguably making it a Religion of Evil.
- Parodied in Gaia Online by the Church of Non-Specific Worship.
- A recent plotline may have incidentally justified this by showing that not only do Physical Gods exist in Gaia, they're numerous and varied enough to make categorization and organized religion difficult.
- Futurama plays with a somewhat joke-y version of this trope in the First Amalgamated Church, headed by Father Changstein El-Gamal. Supposedly created from the merging of major 20th Century religions - Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism as well as agnosticism, and the logo shows it. Differs from more serious examples in that part of the joke appears to be that the Church doesn't have even a semi-coherent belief system and mostly just tries to be as generically 'spiritual-ish' as possible.
Father Changstein El-Gamal: Dearly liked, we stand here before one or more gods, or fewer; to join this couple in pretty good matrimony. If anyone objects to this union, may they speak now, or forever hold their peace; or do something else.
- The only thing you can definitively say about Reverend Lovejoy's church in The Simpsons is that it's some variety of Protestantism. In an episode where Bart and Homer convert to Catholicism, the Rev describes the One True Faith as being "the Western Branch of the Reformed Church of American Presbo-Lutheranism".
- Certain Unitarian Universalist congregations can end up like this. Since UUism rejects the idea of central dogma in favour of emphasising the value of spiritual community, nothing stops any individual from being a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan or even atheist/agnostic and still a practising UU. It's not too far from the truth to joke that UUs begin their prayers with "To whom it may concern..."
- Messianic Judaism, which combines the main tenets of Judaism with a belief in Yeshua, or Jesus as Messiah. It's considered heretical by some rabbinic groups, and they're not covered by the Israeli Law of Return.
- Messianic Jewish converts aren't covered, but if you're of Jewish descent you are covered—confusingly, it is possible that being of Jewish descent but not halachichally Jewish might mean you have a better case (as you hadn't coverted away from Judaism)
- The proper term for this trope is Syncretism. As you can see, there are enough examples of it in Real Life.
- In the 19th century, it was very common among scholars of world religions to gain a complete understanding of God by bringing the knowledge of all religions together to create a unified whole. While certainly admirable, religious authorities of all religions were mostly unimpressed and didn't share the belief that other religions had anything to contribute to "their" already perfect models.
- This (text: "Basics of religious cultures and secular ethics") was a reaction on the introduction of this experimental "obligatory facultative" school course — which, obviously, managed to unite everyone, if only in condemnation of this offence.
- Very common in East Asian cultures. While Judaism, Christianity, and Islam forbid syncretism, major East Asian religions like Shintoism, Buddhism, and Taoism have no such restrictions.
- The Baha'i faith is arguably an example of this. It basically recognizes the prophets of a wide range of other religions (including Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, and others) and claims that they all founded "the religion that was necessary (and possible) at the time", in a scheme of a humanity's collective evolution, whereas Baha'i is (obviously) the appropriate religion for our own time. The actual belief system seems to be a syncretic mish-mash of (primarily) the monotheistic religions, with all the nasty bits taken out and a pinch of rationality and egalitarianism thrown in.
- The currently under-construction Temple of All Religions in Russia aims to offer services for, well, all religions.
- Historically, this was the case for most non-monotheistic religions. An ancient German could adapt very well to Celtic, Tengri, Greek, or any other gods you could name. Exactly what the relationship between the various pantheons was depended on the priests, but most lay simply accepted that All Myths Are True until their local priest told them otherwise.
- It helps that polytheistic pantheons often included the same basic archetypes (Love Goddess, War God, patriarch deity in the sky etc.) and thus could easily be mashed together with explaining the foreighn gods as alternate names for your own ones, as the Romans were particularly fond of doing, especially with their War God Mars, whom they believed themselves to be descended from.
- Chapels in public facilities such as hospitals or airports have to accommodate anyone who wants to visit and pray, regardless of their religion. So they can become like this simply out of necessity— if four patients' families are Muslim, Hindu, Catholic, and Protestant, it can make for a rather eclectic prayer service.