Goddess on the Rise: Pilgrimage and Popular Religion in Vietnam

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University of Hawaii Press, 2004 - Religion - 332 pages

Since the early 1990s, the shrine of Ba Chua Xu, the Lady of the Realm, has become the most visited religious site in southern Vietnam, receiving more than a million visitors annually. Mother, benevolent creditor, healer, relationship advisor, business consultant, the Lady of the Realm is one of a group of goddesses whose shrines attract devotees from all corners of rural and urban society. Goddess on the Rise follows these pilgrims' pathways, taking readers on a journey through a cultural landscape of popular rites, beliefs, and exegesis into a world where female deities reign supreme.

Philip Taylor's in-depth study of pilgrimage introduces readers to the practical expectations, passions, and controversies that surround the goddesses, bringing to life the effervescence, creativity, and flux of modern Vietnamese religion. He offers important insights into people's everyday experience of the profound economic, cultural, and social transformations underway in this socialist country.

 

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Contents

Spiritualizing the Borders
23
The Ethnicity of Efficacy
57
Embodying Market Relations
83
Reinscribing Rural Religion
111
Familiar Journeys
135
The Experience of Festival
165
Magical Fame and Symbolic Ambiguity
193
The Lady and the Buddha
223
Goddess of Freedom
251
On Pilgrimages and Freedom in LateSocialist Vietnam
284
Notes
295
Bibliography
309
Index
327
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Page 22 - Morinis has reiterated this point in his discussion of West Bengali Hindu pilgrimages, commenting that 'the unique character of a place of pilgrimage emerges as the creation of the local forces of religion, history, economics, politics and geography'.

About the author (2004)

Philip Taylor is Senior Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the Australian National University.

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