March 2, 2023

Luncheon talk with Dr. Cuong Mai about Defining Religion in Vietnam

March 2, 2023, 11:30 – 13:30, Classroom 103, Ground Floor, Fulbright University Vietnam

In the next episode of ‘Fulbright Speakers’ Series: The World Beyond a Book’, Fulbright University Vietnam cordially invites you to a luncheon talk with Dr. Cuong Mai about Defining Religion in Vietnam, in particular navigating Tôn Giáo (Religion), Tín Ngưỡng (Faith), Đạo (Way), and Triết Lý (Philosophy).

⏰Time: 11:30 AM – 01:00 PM on Thursday, March 2, 2023 (Vietnam time, GMT +7)

👉 Register at:

📍 Location: Classroom 103, Ground Floor, Fulbright University Vietnam

🌟 Lunch will be provided at the venue.

This talk will first survey the history of defining “religion” in Western scholarship, focusing on past and current definitional controversies in the discipline of Religious Studies. And, second, it will suggest how Religious Studies can help scholars navigate the Vietnamese discourses of tôn giáo (religion), tín ngưỡng (faith), đạo (way), and triết lý (philosophy). These native terms have their genealogies and history of application in both Vietnamese language popular usage and scholarly discourses, and attending to the continuing impact of their historical legacies will help us develop more useful definitions of “religion” in Vietnam.


Fulbright Speakers’ Series is a quest for knowledge and understanding with diverse incisive viewpoints of prominent authors, both in Vietnam and globally, venturing into a myriad of topics ranging from development history and current Vietnam in the context of globalization, to the importance of mental health in being a compassionate community member.

About the speaker:

Cuong T. Mai, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion, Appalachian State Univeristy, in Boone, North Carolina, USA. He specializes in premodern Chinese Buddhism and Vietnamese religions, and is currently working on a book project which uses narrative texts composed in Literary Sinitic to explore religion in medieval and early-modern Vietnam, from ca. 11th-19th centuries.