Trúc Lâm Buddhism in Vietnam: Its History, Development, and Legacy

In the thirteenth century, King-Monk Trần Nhân Tông founded the Trúc Lâm Thiền (Chan/Zen) sect. During the Golden Age in Vietnamese Buddhist history, the sect flourished under three patriarchs with renowned Thiền masters. Unfortunately, the Trúc Lâm sect faded over the following centuries, and Thiền Buddhism in Vietnam, for the most part, disappeared.

In the late twentieth century, a growing new religious movement led by Thích Thanh Từ, a Pure Land monk, called for a restoration of Trúc Lâm Thiền Buddhism. Who is Thích Thanh Từ? How and why did he choose to revive this particular sect and its emancipation practices? Trúc Lâm currently boasts hundreds of monasteries and thousands of monks and nuns in Vietnam and beyond, but how have the forces of modernity influenced its original traditions?

Through existing literature and extensive onsite fieldwork, this book analyzes the history and revival of a forgotten Buddhist sect and examines the movement’s reform.


Laura Thuy-Loan Nguyen received her PhD in Religious Studies from the University of the West, USA, in 2019 and her research interests are in Buddhism in Vietnam, Vietnamese Buddhism in America, and Buddhist modernism. She is the recipient of the University of the West’s Lotus Scholarship and the International Buddhist Education Foundation (IBEF) Scholarship. She has completed all Pali courses for Sutra translation and was awarded the President’s Award for her contributions to research on Maritime Buddhism in the “Oc Eo” port in Funan.

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ISBN: 1-5275-6285-9

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-6285-1

Release Date: 18th January 2021

Pages: 181

Price: £58.99

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