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Political Religious Movements in Southern Vietnam during 1926 – 1956: Case Study of the Cao Dai Religion

Advisor : 蔡錫勳


在越南現代歷史裏,二十世紀的前半段是個政治狀況嚴峻的時期,在法國的殖民統治下,全國被分割分三大塊。一連串從南到北,反抗法國的起義事件,各顯神通,有的是武裝攻擊,有的是政治直衝擊。不同的外國強權割據,各地冒出政治的及武裝的勢力,相互爭奪以取得影響力。造成全國危機,越南人在政治、經濟、文化、社會及精神上都陷入危境。 高臺教在此危境中誕生,起初是純宗教運動,然後在越南的南部成為實力團體,在1930s 到 1950s約三十年間威脅到法國的統治政府。 採用了質化研究法,社會變遷理論,二個Hestrom的模型,考慮到社會文化,精神,歷史,政治的事實。本篇研究結果顯示: (1) 高臺教:起初是純宗教運動,然後意外的及有意的涉入政治。(2) 高臺教有五個特色。(3) 道高臺的政治參與,滋養了國家主義者的活動,在招募兵馬人才上,扮演一個模範角色。並且在越南現代史上i最危急、最動盪的時期做出了貢獻----分散了法國人的力量,用到其他的社會運動上,而且也為高臺教自己爭取到成長的空間。

Parallel abstracts

The political context of Vietnam in the first half of the twentieth century underwent a so-called “critical period” in the modern history of Vietnam when the whole nation was divided into three territories under the French Colonization. A series of uprisings against the French colonists took place from North to South in various forms from direct political confrontation to armed collisions. The occupation by different foreign forces and the emergence of a variety of political and armed forces fighting against each other for their political influence left the whole country in a deep crisis in all areas: politics, economics, culture and social and spiritual life of all Vietnamese people. Amidst the chaos, an originally purely religious movement called Caodaism emerged and later became a true power in Southern Vietnam, threatening the ruling French government in Indochina and other political or armed forces during the three decades from 1930s to 1950s. By taking a qualitative approach within the framework of social change theory and using the two Hestrom’s theoretical models with regard to socio-cultural, spiritual, historical and political facts, this research result has revealed that (1) Caodaism, a pure religion by origin was both accidentally and by purpose politically involved; (2) Caodaism had its own five distinguished characteristics from other political forces, and (3) the Caodaists’ political engagement did nurture the spirit of the Nationalist movement, played a good example of how to recruit forces and contributed to disperse the French forces, enabling other movements to have space to develop during the most critical and dynamic period in the modern Vietnamese history.


Primary Sources
Blagov, S. (2016). Cao Đài. New York: Nova Science, Inc.
Hieu, H. (1925). Đạo Sử: Quyển 1- Đạo sử xây bàn (History of the Great Way: Book 1 - Diaries of spiritist séances through tapping table). California, USA: Mekong Printing.
Hong, N. V. (2012). Thanh Ngon Suu Tap - Toan Tap [I - IV] - At Suu [1925] - Tan Hoi [1971] (Collections of Divine Messages -Episodes I-IV - From the Year of the Buffalo [1925] to the Year of the Pig [1971]). California: Daocaodai.info.
Hum, B. D., & Hong, B. T. (2015). Collection of Selected Cao Dai Holy Messages. USA: Createspace.