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Gods, Heroes, and AncestorsAn Interreligious Encounter in Eighteenth-Century Vietnam$
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Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190677602

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190677602.001.0001

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Of Gods and Heroes

Of Gods and Heroes

Worship in Traditional Vietnam

(p.76) 3 Of Gods and Heroes
Gods, Heroes, and Ancestors

Anh Q. Tran

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 analyzes the many religious rites, including the worship of Heaven, nature, spirits, heroes, and religious figures in public cults as well as domestic rituals. It gives an introduction to the cultic life of the Vietnamese and a Christian evaluation of traditional worship. In particular, it describes prominent sacrifices—to Heaven and Earth; to the Divine Farmer and other spirits of nature; to imperial ancestors—as well as some of the important cults in Vietnamese society: the cults of Confucius and the military; of the three ranks of spirits (supreme, middle rank, and lower rank); and of religious figures: Mother Goddess, Lady Buddha of Compassion, and Jade Emperor. From a Christian perspective, these rites challenge the notion of monotheistic worship and display a reluctance on the part of the Christian to completely dismiss these rites.

Keywords:   cult of spirits, civic ceremony, domestic ritual, ancestor worship, monotheism

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