[Buddha-l] More on Vietnamese Buddhism

Victor Hori, Prof. victor.hori at mcgill.ca
Thu Dec 9 06:03:30 MST 2010


I passed on Bradley Clough's request for material on Vietnamese Buddhism to Prof Alex Soucy of St Mary's University. 
He sent back the message attached below.

Victor Hori

Hi Victor

You can pass on the following:
There is not single text that covers Vietnamese Buddhism more generally. There are, however, a few short essays that could be  used:
- Malarney, Shaun Kingsley. 1999. "Buddhist Practices in Rural Northern Viêt Nam." (In Liber Amicorum: Mélanges offerts au Professeur Phan Huy Lê, ed. Phillippe Papin and John Kleinen, 183-200. Hanoi: Nhà xuất bản Thanh niên.) This is a general description of Buddhist practice.
- There are three chapters on Buddhism in Vietnam in Philip Taylor's, In Modernity and Re-enchantment: Religion in Post-revolutionary Vietnam, (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2007).

- Nguyen, Cuong Tu. 1997. Zen in Medieval Vietnam: a Study and Translation of the Thiền Uyển Tập Anh. (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, The Kuroda Institute for the Study of Buddhism and Human Values.) This is the only contemporary book length treatment of Vietnamese Buddhism, and is important for shedding light on the fact that other English (and French) descriptions have falsely described Vietnamese Buddhism as Zen. It is an historical treatment that is narrow in scope, though the implications are wide. He has a chapter length treatment of the same subject: 1995. "Rethinking Vietnamese Buddhist History: Is The Thiền Uyển Tập Anh a 'Transmission of the Lamp' Text?" in Essays Into Vietnamese Pasts, ed. K.W. Taylor and John K. Whitmore, 81-115. Ithaca, New York: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University.

- Cuong Tu Nguyen and A.W. Barber wrote a chapter on Vietnamese Buddhism in North America: "Vietnamese Buddhism in North America: Tradition and Acculturation," in The Faces of Buddhism in America, eds. Charles S. Prebish and Kenneth K. Tanaka, (Berkley: University of California Press, 1998).
Janet McLellan wrote a chapter on Vietnamese Buddhism in Toronto, Canada in her Many Petals of the Lotus: Five Asian Buddhist Communities in Toronto, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999); 
Paul Rutledge wrote about Vietnamese Buddhism in the Mid-West US. in The Role of Religion in Ethnic Self-Identity: A Vietnamese Community, (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1985). Though Buddhism is cursory.

- I have published a number of papers on Vietnamese Buddhism from an anthropological perspective:
 Soucy, Alexander. 1996. "The Dynamics of Change in an Exiled Pagoda: Vietnamese Buddhism in Montreal." Canberra Anthropology 19(2):29-45.
————. 1999. "Masculinities and Buddhist Symbolism in Vietnam." In Playing the Man: New Approaches to Masculinity, ed. Katherine Biber, Tom Sear and Dave Trudinger, 123-134. Sydney: Pluto Press.
————. 2000 "The Problem With Key Informants," Anthropological Forum 10(2):179-199.
————. 2006 "Consuming Lộc – Creating Ơn: Women, Offerings and Symbolic Capital in Vietnam." Studies in Religion / Sciences Religieuses 35(1):107-131.
————. 2007. "Nationalism, Globalism and the Re-establishment of the Trúc Lâm Thiền Buddhist sect in Northern Vietnam." In Modernity and Re-enchantment: Religion in Post-revolutionary Vietnam, ed. Philip Taylor, 342-370. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
————. 2009. "Language, Orthodoxy and Performances of Authority in Vietnamese Buddhism." Journal of the American Academy of Religion.
I hope this helps,
Alec Soucy

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