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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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A “Caodaist in Black” Returns to Live in Vietnam

A “Caodaist in Black” Returns to Live in Vietnam

(p.154) Chapter 5 A “Caodaist in Black” Returns to Live in Vietnam
The Divine Eye and the Diaspora

Janet Alison Hoskins

University of Hawai'i Press

The fifth chapter explores the “Caodaists in black,” members of Tâm Tông Miếu, an esoteric temple dedicated to the “three great Asian traditions” of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism in the Sino-Vietnamese lineage. It is led by Lâm Lý Hùng, who spent three decades in California as a member of Caodai congregations. Called through a series of spirit séances to return to assume a position once held by his grandfather, Âu Kiệt Lâm, he is now a transnational religious leader (like Trần Quang Cảnh) who spends most of each year in Vietnam. The black-robed disciples of Tâm Tông Miếu practice a “religion of the shadows” that counterbalances the Caodai “religion of light” by emphasizing a blend of Chinese occult sciences, spirit mediumship, and ascetic renunciation. Guided by séance messages, they have suffered many of the same sanctions as Caodaists, and have formed their own pathway forward. It also examines the repression that Caodaism and other religions suffered after 1975, and efforts to slowly normalize relations with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Keywords:   Chinese sects, spiritism, esoteric tradition, religious repression, Vietnam’s reformation period of liberalization

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