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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 Divine Eye on the Internet

The Divine Eye on the Internet

Visions and Virtual Realities in the Shadow of Disneyland

(p.188) Chapter 6 The Divine Eye on the Internet
The Divine Eye and the Diaspora

Janet Alison Hoskins

University of Hawai'i Press

The sixth chapter includes a number of newer Caodai followers, many of them women. In “The Divine Eye on the Internet,” I examine the influence of new technology on the creation of deterritorialized sacred communities, whose “holy land” may no longer be anchored to a specific landscape. Rival Caodai overseas groups now debate the importance of ties to their homeland on the Internet, and shoot television shows to proselytize on a global scale. This allows religious communities in Vietnam and the diaspora to define each other—sometimes by reaction and exclusion—and also allows an originally “Vietnamese” set of religious images to interact extensively with many other forms of iconography that float around in cyberspace. The Internet has attracted many non-Vietnamese Americans, including several converts who have been ordained as ministers, worked as translators of Caodai scripture, and helped to broaden the appeal of a once very “Vietnamese” vision of global unity.

Keywords:   Internet connections, cyberspace spirituality, American converts to Caodaism, female spirit mediums

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