• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Caodaism, or the “third great way of salvation,” is an indigenous religion of Vietnam that reflects a singular sociocultural and historical environment—Cochin China of the 1920s and the French colonial presence. Inspired by Chinese spirit mediumship and divination and also by Western spiritualism and Theosophy, a group of Vietnamese civil servants entered into communication with local, Chinese, and European spirits. The first oracles quickly constituted a canon, rituals, and a strong hierarchy inspired by Catholicism, from which Caodaism intended to differentiate itself, becoming its main competitor on Vietnamese soil.

Theologically, the “Master [residing in] the high tower” (thay Cao Dai)—an avatar of the Chinese Jade Emperor—augured a renovation of Buddhism and, more broadly, a codified unification of the Sino-Vietnamese Three Teachings (Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism). Moreover, ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles