The Title of Hau Phat in Eighteenth Century Hanoi: a Monographic Study of Vietnamese Popular Buddhism through a Corpus of 43 Stelae


The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Early Career Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies




This research project focuses on a typically Vietnamese Buddhist title— the Hau Phat. It means “The person whose worship comes after the worship of the Buddha” and the title gave the right to funeral ceremonies in honor of the person who bore it. In the eighteenth century, this title spread in Vietnamese society. In Hanoi, ink-squeeze reproductions of 43 stelae commemorate the stories of people instituted Hau Phat, but these have not yet been studied. This project considers the identity of 56 Hau Phat, the ceremonies, offerings, and prayers planned for them, the beliefs of the time about Buddhism, and the economic links between the sanctuaries and the locals, including donations to the sanctuaries. This project’s objective is to identify the main characteristics of this still little-known Vietnamese popular Buddhism.