Dai Dao Tam Ky Pho Do [The Great Way of The Third Amnesty Era] (shortly Caodaism) is an indigenous religion established in southern Vietnam in the early 20th century. Being one of the new religions in the region, Caodaism has been constantly developing and attracting quite a great number of followers of over three million.
The doctrine of Caodaism is a synthesis of the Three Religions, e.g. Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism together with elements from some other religions. The doctrine is not only shown in scriptures, religious structure, but also expressed through symbols in architecture, rituals and costumes. To a certain extent, it is thus essential to understand the symbolism of the Holy Temple – the most important one of the symbolism system so that we can fully comprehend Caodaism.
The Temple is the most solemn and sacred place in Cao Dai Tay Ninh Holy See. It carries both philosophical and esoteric meanings as an emblem of cultural syncretism. The study of the Holy Temple symbol will elaborate further Caodaist doctrines in a relationship with the cultural context of the Southern region.
Caodaism was established in the South in 1926. It has been considered as one of indigenous religions in Vietnam in the first half of 20th century. In the first days, trend of Caodaism was to develop in foreign countries through missionary campaigns. Cao Dai’s dignitaries carried out missionary task in Cambodia, France, German, China… That was why followers of Cao Dai (Cao Dai followers) lived in these countries in the early 1930s. After 1975 many people in the South emigrated to America, Australia. Many of them were Cao Dai followers. After their lives have been stabilized, they have gathered to build temples so Caodaism in foreign countries has developed strongly. The number of believers in foreign countries is about 50,000 believers. They have created connection with Cao Dai sects through many forms. In this article we mention three main contents: 1) Cao Dai followers in foreign countries: the process of establishment and development after 1975; 2) The administrative relation between Cao Dai followers in foreign countries and Cao Dai church in Vietnam; 3) Some remarks on the administrative relation. The information in this article has been completed with two research methods: in-depth interview and participate observation.
Thu Dau Mot University, Viet Nam
Honorary Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of the Editorial Board
Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Van Hiep
PhD. Trần Hạnh Minh Phương Thu Dau Mot University
Prof. Tran Van Doan Fujen University, Taiwan
Prof. Zafar Uddin Ahmed Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City
Prof.Dr. Phillip G.Cerny The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Prof. Ngo Van Le University of Social Sciences and Humanities (VNU-HCM)
Prof. Bui The Cuong Southern Institute of Social Sciences
Prof. Le Quang Tri Can Tho University
Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Van Duc Animal Husbandry Association of Vietnam
Assoc. Prof. Ted Yuchung Liu National Pingtung University, Taiwan
PhD. Anita Doraisami Economics Monash University, Australia
Prof. Dr. Andrew Seddon Asia Pacific University of Technology & innovation (APU)
Assoc. Prof. Le Tuan Anh Thu Dau Mot University
Prof. Abtar Darshan Singh Asia Pacific University, Malaysia
Prof.Dr. Ron W.Edwards The University of Melbourne, Australia
Assoc. Prof. Hoang Xuan Nien Thu Dau Mot University
PhD. Nguyen Duc Nghia Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City
PhD. Bao Dat Monash University (Australia)
PhD. Raqib Chowdhury Monash University (Australia)
PhD. Nguyen Hoang Tuan Thu Dau Mot University
PhD. Nguyen Thi Lien Thuong Thu Dau Mot University