Modernity and Re-enchantment: Religion in Post-revolutionary Vietnam

Modernity and Re-enchantment: Religion in Post-revolutionary Vietnam
Philip Taylor, editor
Date of publication:  2007
Publisher:  Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Number of pages:  492
Code:  IU24


"This volume charts a new religious geography by looking at shared logics of spiritual efficacy across a range of practices, which include ancestor veneration, spirit mediumship, Buddhist sectarianism and Catholic myths and miracles. The contributions are all of a high ethnographic standard, and offer new perspectives on the search for meaning, efficacy and authority from international scholars in anthropology, history and religion. As Phillip Taylor notes in a conceptually rich introduction, the vibrancy and diversity of current practices in Vietnam has created a space for different voices and agents to develop new beliefs and rituals in a rapidly changing society" (Paciic Affairs).

"Modernity and Re-enchantment defines, documents, and discusses each issue thus providing a huge contribution to Vietnam Studies, as well as to cross-cultural research. One of the stated goals of the book is to present a 'new wave of scholarship' based on ethnographic fieldwork and the volume is extremely successful in completing this task. The articles are rich in field data, they are clear and well written and they avoid excess jargon. The ethnographic articles cover several different religious and/or ritual practices and several different locales. This is a great addition to Vietnamese studies because although several scholars have dealt with questions of modernity and re-enchantment in Vietnam, they often focus on a particular ritual or a particular place. This book adds depth and variety to the dialogue" (Asian Ethnology).

About the publication

The richness and vibrancy of Vietnamese spirituality are vividly portrayed in these twelve essays that shed light on the remarkable reflorescence of religion in this communist country.
          Ancestor worship, mediumship, sacrifices, and communal rituals have not only survived Vietnams reintegration into the capitalist world; they are intrinsic to the dramatic reshaping of its contemporary social and cultural life. Transnational Buddhism and Christianity challenge the political status quo as they answer conflicting aspirations for enlightenment, justice, national development and cultural identity.
          Making conceptual contributions to anthropology and comparative religion, this book provides insights from post-revolutionary Vietnam into the diverse passages to re-enchantment in the modern world.


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