159 The Viêtnamese Concept of the Human Souls and the Rituals of Birth and Death* Chánh Công Phan San Jose State University, USA. Introduction . The purpose of this paper is to examine three philosophical and ritual issues related to the dialectic of life and death as conceived in the Dao of Vietnamese Ancestral Worship (Dao The C6ng To Tien). They are the Ontology of Human Hbn (Souls), the Rituals of Birth and Death, and the Protective Divine Powers of Human Hbn. These three issues are very essential for understanding the daily life, philosophy, and folk religion of the Vietnamese people. They therefore deserve a new scholarly treatment which can help generate future field research in rural Viet-Nam so that certain theoretical reconstructions can be empirically tested. z Research sources The first kind of research sources for this paper are the Vietnamese popular beliefs regarding the existence of human souls and the conduct of the rituals of birth and death that I have experienced myself since childhood. The second kind of research sources are a number of important ethnological works such as Viet Nam Vdn H6a Sit Curnzg (An Outline History of Vietnamese Culture) by the encyclopaedian Dao
Asian Journal of Social Science – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1993
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