Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Religious Reassemblage and Late Socialist Planning in Urban Vietnam

Philosophy News image
AbstractRecent examinations of religion in postreform Vietnam point to relationships between economic growth and increased ritual activity; some argue that new conditions of precarity have fed the explosion of popular beliefs and investments in a pantheon of spirit beings. Little of this research draws on urban theory, however, and most studies of rituals and festivals remain tied to rural geographies. This essay examines the nexus of urban growth and ritual practice—what I am calling “religious reassemblage”—to challenge the idea that socialist-built cities are rationalized spaces of secular modernity. Focusing on the city of Vinh in north central Vietnam, I show how urban expansion is entangled with the spirit world to reconfigure the model of functional urban planning developed during socialist reconstruction after the end of the air war. An analysis of two temples—one newly built by local authorities and another renovated through grassroots contributions—reveals ambiguity between. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: Journal of the American Academy of Religion Current Issue

blog comments powered by Disqus