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Christopher Hartney

Abstract

From 1926, Caodaism (Đạo Cao Đài) has flourished as the centre of new religious development in Vietnam. Its vast and complex syncretic theology continues to serve as a meeting ground between an East Asian tradition revivified (animism, Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and ancestor worship) and a colonialist modernity localised (Catholicism, French Masonry, Theosophy, and Spiritualism). One of the significant paradigms through which this sacred re-narration of Vietnamese religious history can be conceptualised is through the great mural of the religion. Created to adorn the vestibule of every temple to God, the mural contains three historical figures that represent in essence the wider Caodaist religious and cultural project. In this chapter I examine in detail the symbolic relevance of these figures, Vietnamese poet and seer Nguyễn Bỉnh Khiêm [1491-1585], leader of the Chinese nationalist revolution Dr Sun Yat Sen [1866-1925], and French author Victor Hugo [1802-1885]. Separately they signify certain aspects of the modernist hope of those Vietnamese who came to worship them as saints of the new faith. Together in one mural, this chapter will reveal how these figures additionally symbolise a very specific global, modernist, and millenarian hope.

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Edited by Christopher Hartney and Daniel Tower

This volume significantly advances the academic debate surrounding the taxonomy and the categorisation of ‘indigenous religion’. Developing approaches from leading scholars in the field, this edited volume provides the space for established and rising voices to discuss the highly problematic topic of how indigenous 'religion' can be defined and conceptualised. Constructing the Indigenous highlights the central issues in the debate between those supporting and refining current academic frameworks and those who would argue that present thinking remains too dependant on misunderstandings that arise from definitions of religion that are too inflexible, and from problems caused by the World Religion paradigm. This book will prove essential reading for those that wish to engage with contemporary discussions regarding the definitions of religion and their relations to the indigenous category.
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Religion and Retributive Logic

Essays in Honour of Professor Garry W. Trompf

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Edited by Carole Cusack and Christopher Hartney

Garry Winston Trompf (b.1940) in his outstanding academic career has inspired scholars in the fields of Stduies in Religion and the History of Ideals. In this volume his collegues and students critique and expand upon the world of this outstanding academic. The book is divided into four parts, Melanesia, Ancient World Studies, Philosophical and Methodological Considerations and Historiography. Authors address Trompf's research in works such as "The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought", "Early Christian Historiography" and themes of Melanesian religion that Trompf address in "Payback". No study in the religions of oceania or ideals of millenialism should ignore this critical assessment of Garry Trompf's work.
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Christopher Hartney and Daniel J. Tower

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Christopher Hartney and Daniel J. Tower