52 students taking Caodaism course in 2013 at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

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A Four Year Bachelor of Arts Degree at the Department of World Religions and Culture of the University of Dhaka requires students to study 28 courses out of 38. These courses are distributed in eight semesters with an end in view to complete two semesters per year. As there are more than 28 courses in the syllabus, they need to be taught in a rotational manner. Therefore, the Academic Committee of the Department holds a meeting to make a selection from a number of alternatives every two years. This is a routine work of the Department to include the courses in and exclude them from the list after every two years so all of the courses are taught by rotation. Thus, the “Cao Dai Religious Tradition,” course code: WRC H 404 was excluded from the list in 2011 and it is included again in 2013 through the rotational process. In fact, no course is given priority over others. All courses are of equal value and taught with the same importance.
Students at the class taking Caodaism Course
The Cao Dai Religious Tradition is usually taught in the seventh semester. 52 students have enrolled for this course in the academic year 2013 while more students are expected to be enrolled for the course in 2014. Professor Dr. Kazi Nurul Islam, the Founding Chairman of the Department of World Religions and Culture, took the initiative to introduce Cao Dai religion and designed the course in 2005. This Caodai course, which started in academic year 2005-2006, could not be organized without the assistance of Rev. Canh Tran, a Caodai dignitary who is President of the Caodai Overseas Missionary stationed in California, USA. Two research students, Mohammad Jahangir Alam and Md. Shaikh Farid, received M.Phil degree in Cao Dai religion under the supervision of Dr. Islam and Canh Tran, respectively in 2009 and 2010. It should be noted that they are the first degree holders in Cao Dai religion in the history of the Department of World Religions and Culture of the University of Dhaka, as well as in Cao Dai history. Now both of them are Assistant Professors in World Religions and Culture who had been teaching the history and culture of Cao Dai religion since 2008.
Currently one of them, Assistant Professor Mohammad Jahangir Alam, is learning Vietnamese Language and studying Cao Dai Cultural Heritage under a grant from the Caodai Overseas Missionary, in collaboration with the Faculty of Vietnamese Studies of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, in order to conduct a field research in South Vietnam and Cambodia to complete his Ph D program.
Therefore, in absence of the two Assistant Professors Alam and Farid, a newly appointed Lecturer, Mr. Shafi Mustafa is conducting Cao Dai course under the direction of Dr. Kazi Nurul Islam. He attended classes on Cao Dai Religious Tradition in his Undergraduate program in 2008. His clear understanding of basic concepts of Cao Dai religion and a very good command on its history have made him to achieve the highest mark on Cao Dai Religious Tradition during final exams.
Mr. Shafi Mustafa as a promising teacher will gain more valuable experiences on Caodaism in preparing lectures and conducting classes. Therefore, the Academic Committee of the Department strongly recommended him for conducting Cao Dai course and appreciated his contribution to the Department.
For more information on the Department of World Religions and Culture and the Cao Dai course, please click this link :
Cao Dai Religious Tradition Syllabus
Title of the Course: The Cao Dai Religious Tradition
Course Code: WRC-H 404
Academic Year : 2013-2014
Course Outline
· This course is designed to enable students to have a clear understanding of Caodaism from its origin to the present: historical roots of Caodaism, and Caodaism in Vietnamese cultural milieu.
· Students will be expected to have a thorough knowledge of the religious beliefs and practices.
· Special emphasis will be given on Cao Dai theology and Philosophy: fundamental principles, ethics, concept of God, unity of mankind and unity of religion.
· Influences of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism on Cao Dai religion; and Caodaism in modern Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia and North America
Books Recommended
Blagov, Sergei
1999 The Cao Đài: A New Religious Movement, Moscow, The Institute of Oriental Studies.
2001 Caodaism: Vietnamese Traditionalism and its Leap into Modernity. New York: Nova Science Publishers
Bui, Dac Hum
1992 The Religious Constitution of Caodaism, Explained and commented by His Saintness Ho Phap Pham Cong Tac, Translation from Vietnamese. Redlands, CA: Chan tam
Gobron, Gabriel
1950 History and Philosophy of Caodaism, Saigon: Tu Hai Publisher.
Hồ Tài, Huệ-Tâm
1983 Millenarianism and Peasant Politics in Vietnam, Cambridge , Massachusetts and London, England, Harvard University Press.
1987 Religion in Vietnam; A World of Gods and Spirits. Vietnam Forum, no. 10, pp. 113-145.
1992 Radicalism and the Origins of the Vietnamese Revolution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Jammes, Jérémy
2006 “Le Caodaisme: Rituels médiumniques, oracles et exegeses, Approche ethnologique d’un mouvement religieux vietnamien et de ses réseaux” Thèse de Doctorat. Université Paris X Nanterre (French book)
Nguyễn Kim Hùng
The Book of Three Vehicles of Caodaism Doctrine, Religious Publishing House, 2008 (English translation from Vietnamese)
Oliver, Victor L.
1976 Caodai Spiritism; A Study of Religion in Vietnamese Society, Leiden, E.J.Brill.
Phạm Xuân Tín
1968 Some Major Religions of Vietnam, Unpublished M.A. Thesis, Chicago, Evangelical Theological Seminary.
Popkin, Samuel
1979 The Rational Peasant: The Political Economy of Rural Society in Vietnam, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, University of California Press.
Smith, Ralph B.
1968 Viet-Nam and the West. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
1970 "An Introduction to Caodaism 1. Origins and early History", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 33 (2): 335-349.
1970 "An Introduction to Caodaism 2. Beliefs and organization", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 33 (3): 573-589.
Tòa Thánh Tây Ninh (The Holy See of Caodaism)
1972 Thánh Ngôn Hiệp Tuyển (Official Selection of Spirit Messages). Translation into English by Hum Bui of many of these at www.caodai.vn
1972 Tân Luật (The New Religious Codes). Translated into English by Hùm Bùi in 1992. California: Xuất Bản Chân Tâm.
1972 Pháp Chánh Truyền (The Religious Constitution). Translated into English by Hùm Bùi in 2002. California: Xuất Bản Chân Tâm.
1975 Kinh Thiên Đạo và Thế Đạo (Prayers of the Celestial Pathway and the Secular Pathway). A selection of these is translated into English in Bùi, Beck and Bùi’s The Outline of Caodaism, Published by the Holy Mother Temple of San Jose, California, USA, 2002
Trần Mỹ-Vân
1996 “Japan and Vietnam’s Caodaists: A Wartime Relationship (1939-45)” in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies no. 1, vol 27, March 1996, 179-183.
1999 “Japan Through Vietnamese Eyes 1905 – 1945” in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies no. 1, vol. 30, 1999, 126-154.
2000 “Vietnam’s Caodaism, Independence and Peace: The Life and Times of Phạm Công Tắc (1890-1959)”. In Academia Sinica: Prosea ResearchPaper No. 38, p. 1-28.
2006 “A Vietnamese Royal Exile in Japan: Prince Cường Để 1882 –1950”. London and New York, Rutledge.
Trần Thu Dung
1996 Le Caodaisme et Victor Hugo. Thèse de Doctorat d’État, Université de Paris VII, UFR de Sciences des Textes de Documents. Directeur de Thèse: Guy Rosa. Paris.(French book)
Trần Quang Cảnh
1998 “Religious Persecution of the Cao Đài religion: Policy and measures aimed at the abolition of the Cao Đài religion by the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, conference paper CESNUR December 8, 1998.
Trần Quang Vinh
1962 Les Messages Spirites de la Troisième Amnistie de Dieu en Orient. Tây Ninh: Sainte Siège du Caodaisme. With a Preface by Gustave Meillon, Director Institut Franco Vietnamien and Professor of Oriental Languages, Paris.(French book)
1972 Hồi Ký Trần Quang Vinh và Lịch Sử Quân Đội Cao Đài. (Mémoir and History of the Caodai Militia). Maryland: Thánh Thất Vùng Hoa Thịnh Đốn,
1997 Reprint of 1972 manuscript (originally published by Tòa Thánh Tây Ninh,Vietnam). Washington D.C.: Cao Dai Overseas Mission.(Vietnamese book)
Werner, Jayne
1976 The Cao Đài: The Politics of a Vietnamese Syncretic Religious Movement. PhD thesis, Cornell University 1976.
1980 Vietnamese Communism and Vietnamese Sectarianism in Comparative Perspective, William Turley, ed, pp. 107-137. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
1981 Peasant Politics and Religious Sectarianism: Peasant and Priest in the Cao Đài in Vietnam, Yale University Southeast Asia Studies, New Haven 1981.
Statistics of the Result on Cao Dai Religious Tradition
Students of the Department of World Religions and Culture of the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh who enrolled for the course entitled Cao Dai Religious Tradition had left quite a good impression with the department. The following results earned by the students prove the importance of the objective study of Cao Dai religion.
First Batch (2005 - 2008)
Type of Examination: Annual
Title of the Course: Cao Dai Religious Tradition
Course No.: WRC H 304
Total marks: 50
Session 2005-2006, Third Year B.A. Honors (Graduate) in 2008
STATISTICS OF THE RESULT
ENROLMENT
PRESENT
ABSENT
PASSED
PERCENTAGE
35
35
Nil
35*
100
*Average Marks Scored by the students is in between 26-33 out of 50
GPA is in between B+ to A
Second Batch (2006 – 2009)
Type of Examination: Semester
Title of the Course: Cao Dai Religious Tradition Assistant Prof. Shafi Mustafa
Course No.: WRC H 304
Total marks: 100
Session 2006-2007, Third Year B.A. Honors (Graduate) in 2009
STATISTICS OF THE RESULT
ENROLMENT
PRESENT
ABSENT
PASSED
PERCENTAGE
38
38
Nil
38 *
100

*Average Marks Scored by the students is in between 65-75 out of 100
GPA is in between B+ to A
Third Batch (2007 – 2010)
Type of Examination: Semester
Title of the Course: Cao Dai Religious Tradition
Course No.: WRC H 304
Total marks: 100
Session 2007-2008, Third Year B.A. Honors (Graduate) in 2010
STATISTICS OF THE RESULT
ENROLMENT
PRESENT
ABSENT
PASSED
PERCENTAGE
42
42
Nil
42 *
100
* Average Marks Scored by the students is in between 65-80 out of 100 GPA is in between B+ to A+

Dhaka Feb 10, 2013 - Report on Cao Dai Religious Tradition

Md. Jahangir Alam (Feb.12, 2013)
Source: caodai.com.vn