Cao Dai

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A new synchretistic religious movement in Vietnam established in 1926 by Ngo Van Chieu (1878–1932). Cao Dai literally means ‘High Throne’, and refers to the highest God. Based on revelations that Ngo received beginning in 1919, the movement combined Buddhist, Taoist.and Confucian (see Confucianism) elements, and incorporated political as well as spiritual functions. Its organizational structure was inspired in part by Roman Catholicism, and its religious beliefs and rituals draw heavily on traditional Vietnamese popular beliefs. Followers believe that the Father God, Cao Dai, created the world in concert with the Mother Goddess, Duc Phat Mau, while also revering Jesus Christ and the Buddha as divine beings. Followers practise morality, of which one aspect is vegetarianism (see diet) and non-violence (see ahiṃsā) in order to bring about the harmony of the cosmos and the balance of yin and yang forces.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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