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The Divine Eye and the DiasporaVietnamese Syncretism Becomes Transpacific Caodaism$
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Janet Alison Hoskins

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824840044

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824840044.001.0001

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The Fall of Saigon and the Rise of the Diaspora

The Fall of Saigon and the Rise of the Diaspora

(p.126) Chapter 4 The Fall of Saigon and the Rise of the Diaspora
The Divine Eye and the Diaspora

Janet Alison Hoskins

University of Hawai'i Press

The fourth chapter looks at Đỗ Vạn Lý (1910–2008), an important Caodai leader during the period of American military intervention in Saigon, whose career mixed religion and politics in ways reminiscent of Phạm Công Tắc, especially in the intensity of his commitment to Vietnamese nationalism. He was appointed to be South Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diẹm’s last ambassador to the United States, and served as a diplomat in India, Indonesia, and Japan. After Diệm was killed, he embraced Caodaism as a “modern” synthesis of the diverse religious perspectives he had experienced in other Asian countries. As the leader of the first congregation in Los Angeles, he crafted a “diasporic theology” by interpreting Caodai history from a more international perspective. His father, Đỗ Thuần Hậu, had been a famous Taoist master, who also had disciples in many different countries, but in his case the father-son dynamic was one of rupture rather than continuity. Both chapters 3 and 4 deal with pairings of a father and son.

Keywords:   American war in Vietnam, the fall of Saigon, Ngô Đình Diẹm, diasporic theology, nationalism

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