MILLENARIAN MOVEMENTS IN POLYNESIA. THEIR RISE AND SPREAD IMMEDIATELY AFTER CHRISTIANIZATION
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Syncretic religions seem to be a universal phenomenon typical of the post-contact period in various parts of the world. They share quite a few typological features (despite their different genesis) since they represent a reaction to very similar if not identical circumstances, inevitably combining features of Christianity with some aspects of local religions. In Polynesia they arose as millenarian movements blending a variety of local motifs and mythological elements with various ideas of Christian provenience and appeared in several archipelagoes in the era of Christianization. The rise of syncretic sects may also be interpreted as a defensive mechanism and occasionally as a rejection of the new religion.
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