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The Buddha SideGender, Power, and Buddhist Practice in Vietnam$
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Alexander Soucy

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835989

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835989.001.0001

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Views of the Religious Landscape

Views of the Religious Landscape

(p.16) 1 Views of the Religious Landscape
The Buddha Side

Alexander Soucy

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter presents a background of the Vietnamese religious landscape and different conceptions about how the supernatural relates to people’s lives. Starting off with descriptions of some of the ways that people approach religion and religious practice, the chapter illustrates the widely different interpretations of being religious in Vietnam. Buddhism cannot be understood through the philosophical content of religious texts. For most practicing Buddhists, what is identified as Buddhism represents only apart of a complex interaction with a supernatural world that is also populated by various other beings that have the power to help or hinder. The chapter ends with the opposing elite view of religion, and how it has played out in recent history.

Keywords:   Vietnamese religion, supernatural, religious practice, Buddhism, religious texts, elitist religion

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