Self Assignment: Non-Western in the West

Today I kicked off a self-assignment that I’ve been planning for a while: an ongoing study of what can be considered to be “non-mainstream” religions existing and thriving in the midst of an overwhelmingly Christian American society.

I am not a religious person myself, but I have always been interested in the history of religion and the effects it has had on the human race.

Christianity is shoved down the throats of Americans on a daily basis, whether it be in the pledge that our children recite at school, on the currency we handle, or on any one of hundreds of bumper stickers that feature various combinations of the American Flag and the word “God”.

Yet there are many established “non-western” religions that exist and strive in American society.

Here is part one of who-knows how many parts: Vietnamese Cao Dai services that I photographed this morning in San Antonio. These photos should be viewed full size if you look at them.

BTW, it’s situations like this where rangefinders really come in handy. All photos made with an Epson R-D1 rangefinder and Voigtlander Nokton 50/1.5 or 35/1.2 ASPH lenses.

Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Prayer ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Prayer ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
Cao Dai Temple ©Darren Abate
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~ by peakaction on May 4, 2008.

2 Responses to “Self Assignment: Non-Western in the West”

  1. that cool and This blog is pretty interesting, will add a bookmark, thanks.

  2. hey, I’m Vietnamese. Nice to read this post.
    The most interesting about this religion as you can see in the 1st image: despite source from Vietnam, they have 3 saints including: Sun Yat-sen, founder of Republic of China; Victor Hugo; Nguyen Binh Khiem, a Vietnamese scholar, a future teller. Even Vietnamese don’t know why.

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