This essay examines Vietnamese tales of marvels [kỳ] and the uncanny [quái] composed in Literary Sinitic and offers close readings of four narratives through focusing on the theme of predestined love [duyên]. The essay shows that the discourse of duyên was embedded in both Confucian and Daoist voices and that this reflected a common cultural repertoire in which the discourse of social karma was a part of a shared moral metaphysics. The essay offers a theory and methodology for examining tales of marvels and the uncanny, arguing that heretofore scholars have read around the depictions of religious phenomena, rather than by means of them.
The Karma of Love: Buddhist Karmic Discourses in Confucian and Daoist Voices in Vietnamese Tales of the Marvelous and Uncanny
Cuong T. Mai is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Appalachian State University (Boone, North Carolina). Grants from the Board of Trustees and the University Research Center at Appalachian State University supported travel and archival research for this project.
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Cuong T. Mai; The Karma of Love: Buddhist Karmic Discourses in Confucian and Daoist Voices in Vietnamese Tales of the Marvelous and Uncanny. Journal of Vietnamese Studies 1 August 2021; 16 (3): 1–76. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/vs.2021.16.3.1
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