Description - Pagodas, Gods and Spirits of Vietnam by Ann Helen Unger
This work sets out to reveal in text and illustrations the varied and prolific religions of Vietnam. Despite decades of government discouragement of all religions and their practices, the deeply anchored faiths of the Vietnamese people have continued to flourish and to increase their hold on the believers. Everywhere between the Red River in the north and the Mekong Delta in the south, the offerings are heaped up on altars, hundreds of thousands of the faithful stream again on pilgrimages, and there is a regular increase in the thanksgiving rites in the chuas, dinhs and dens, the pagodas, the village ceremony halls and hero temples all over the land. Vietnam is generally described as a Buddhist country, but in contrast to their neighbours in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, the Vietnamese follow a Buddhism which is far from pure. The faith and its teachings were adopted from India about 1000 years aago, but it was mingled with more ancient indigenous ancestor cults and spirit beliefs which were suitable to local customs and needs. This pantheon has produced sacred sites, architecture and religious practices of great interest.
Explaining this complex situation, this book shows how the great number of religious buildings throughout the country reflect the multiple strands of the country's religious fabric.
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Thames & Hudson Ltd
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
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Book Reviews - Pagodas, Gods and Spirits of Vietnam by Ann Helen Unger