From Colonial Syncretism to Transpacific Diaspora. Re-Orienting Caodaism from Vietnam to California



This paper will explore two key concepts, which seem to relate quite differently to the spatialisation of religion: syncretism, the mixing and synthesizing of different religions to create a sense of unity in one place, and diaspora, the creation of a sense of unity across different places. Syncretism is often described as the “localization” or “indigenization” of world religions, while diaspora involves the sacralisation of an idea of home through the experience of exile and dispersal. One brings varied elements together in a single place, and describes a process of combination and re-configuration as the followers of different religious traditions interact. The other exports local visions or combinations to distant places, but continues to bind them through emotional and spiritual ties to the place of origin.
Download this research paper: DORISEA Working Paper 7 – Hoskins