Ancestor Worship of Catholic in Southeast Asian (Case Study Vietnam)


  • Le Duc Hanh Vietnam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED)


Ancestor Worship, Catholic, Culture, Integration, Catholic Church, Rite


Ancestor worship is a tradition filial piety of Vietnamese people. The penetration of Catholicism into Vietnam (in 1553) dismissed ancestor worship, causing profound social conflict between Catholics and non-Catholics. Up to the present, the notion that Catholics abandoned ancestor worship still exists in Vietnamese society. This notion led to social consequences such as stigma, alienated Catholics; prohibiting marriage with Catholics...The paper focuses on the opinion and form of ancestor worship of Kinh Catholics. Basing on historical data and results of sociological surveys at three parishes (No Luc parish in Phu Tho province, Tu Ne parish in Bac Ninh province and Cai Mon parish in Ben Tre province), the paper exposes the ancestor worship of Catholics in Vietnam through certain activities such as funerals, weddings, Tet holidays... The paper describes the differences and similarities in matters of ancestor worship between Catholics and non-Catholics in Vietnam; the similarities between Vietnamese Catholic with China, the Philippines, Japan Catholic  so that the integration process of Catholism into native cultures can be seen more clearly.


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