Bouddhisme Hòa Hảo, d’un royaume l’autre is the first comprehensive study of the early history of Hòa Hảo Buddhism in Vietnam. Its central concern is Hòa Hảo’s transformation from an expression of millenarianism into a religious community, a process that coincided with Vietnam’s seismic mid-twentieth century: colonial rule, Japanese occupation, revolution, anti-colonial resistance, civil war, and partition. Pascal Bourdeaux’s analytical starting point is that while Hòa Hảo’s early history is inseparable from this context, the religion also emerged and evolved according to sacred logics and temporalities that are not reducible to political history. His mastery of the autonomies, concordances, and conflicts of this history’s dueling religious and sociopolitical temporalities undergirds a magisterial work that is a landmark in the field.

The book is divided into three parts. Part 1 begins by situating Hoà Hảo’s origins in the deep religious and cultural history of the Mekong Delta, whose landscape, migration patterns,...

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