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Updated 2023-10-17 08:06:17

News from Seoul, South Korea on October 7, 2023 - Reported by Thien An - Photos by Dinh Nhan and Quang Tien)
From October 4 to October 7, 2023, in the capital Seoul, Republic of Korea, under the sponsorship of the Daesoon Jinrihoe Academy of Science, the 3rd World SangSaeng Forum International Conference took place with the theme "How can Religions help the World solve Its Civilizational Crises?"
With special interest in Cao Dai religion and scholars who are passionate about researching the practical applications of Cao Dai religion as a salvation for humanity; Professor Bae Kyuhan, President of the Daesoon Jinrihoe Academy of Science, sent a special invitation to Professor Michael Wesch, Kansas State University, to attend and speak at the Conference. It should be noted that Professor Bae Kyuhan was invited by the Cao Dai Holy See of Tay Ninh to visit the Tay Ninh Holy See in 2018 and Professor Michael Wesch came to Tay Ninh many times to study and write a book about Cao Dai religion with the topic "Cosmology and Soul after Death according to Cao Dai doctrine."
After receiving the invitation, Professor Michael Wesch expressed his wish to invite Rev. Thượng Cảnh Thanh and some young Cao Dai followers to accompany him to attend the Conference and provide further guidance because of the close friendship between Daesoon Jinrihoe and Cao Dai, as well as being familiar with many speakers at the Conference.
The members invited by Professor Michael Wesch to accompany him include:
  • -Rev. Thượng Cảnh Thanh (Tran Quang Canh)
  • -Mr. Le Dinh Nhan - Assistance Vice President - Implementation Manager, Deutsche Bank AG, Ho Chi Minh City Branch
  • -Mr. Truong Vu Quang Tien - Former Economic Attache, Consulate General of the Netherlands and Israel in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • -Mr. Pham Lam Thien An - Product Development Manager, Operations and Services Department, FIDEN Service Joint Stock Company (Migola Travel).
This is an opportunity for young Cao Dai followers to learn and participate in the international conference, to experience reality and learn deeply about the presentations of many speakers from around the world, contributing to training human resources for the next generation of the Great Way in propagating the Way of the Supreme Being to the World.
According to the detailed program announced by the Daesoon Jinrihoe Academy of Science, the conference had a total of 7 sessions with 31 presentations taking place in 2 days of organizing the Conference. The number of participants was estimated at about 200. The speakers were professors from many universities from 12 different countries, such as: Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Australia, Vietnam, Poland, United States and Canada. Some of the speakers were scholars who were familiar with Cao Dai and had visited the Tay Ninh Holy See, such as:
  • -Professor Massimo Introvigne, Chairman of CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions),
  • -Professor Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, at Bordeaux University, France,
  • -Professor Livia Kohn, Boston University, USA
  • -Professor Eileen Barker, London School of Economics, UK
  • -Professor Holy Folk, Western Washington University, USA
  • -Professor Edward Irons, Hong Kong University of Culture, Commerce and Religion
  • -Professor Susan Palmer, McGill University, Canada
  • -Professor Hiromi Yano, Oomoto Religion, Japan
  • -Professor Lee Gyungwon, Daejin University, Korea
  • -Professor Ko Namsik, Daejin University, Korea
The speakers sent to the participants of the conference in-depth research papers on "The crisis of human civilization" that emerged in recent years, such as: wars between countries, famine, racial discrimination, the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI), the prominence of new religious movements in the world, and offered solutions in the current world situation.
In addition, there were also the presence of delegations from religions very close to Cao Dai such as Weixin Shengjiao (Taiwan) led by Professor Fiona Hsin-Fang Chang (Director, Weixin Shengjiao College, Taiwan); Oomoto Religion delegation (Japan) including Mayor Takahiro Katsuragawa of Kameoka City, Japan and Professor Hiromi Yano, former Director of International Relations of Oomoto Religion; Daesoon Jinrihoe delegation (Korea) with Director Lee Tae-Yeol and Jay Cha, and Wuri Shengmu Temple delegation (Taichung, Taiwan).
Especially noteworthy are the presentations of Professor Michael Wesch on Cao Dai religion and of two professors from the National University of Vietnam (in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi):
-Presentation by Professor Michael Wesch (Kansas State University, USA): "The Cao Dai Three-Fold Path of Self-Cultivation as a Response to Global Problems"
-Presentation by Associate Professor Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Tho (National University of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam): "Collective Memory and Sustainable Tourism Development: The New Religious Implementation and Its Consequences in Scenic Ba Den Mountain, Tay Ninh, Viet Nam"
-Presentation by Associate Professor Dr. Dinh Hong Hai (National University of Hanoi, Vietnam): "The Messianism in Civilization History: Transformation of the Buddhist Messiah via Maitreya Symbol"
The Cao Dai delegation and Professor Michael Wesch departed from Ho Chi Minh City to Seoul on October 3 to start the series of events to attend the Sangsaeng Conference.
The following are some notable reports of the trip:
  1. October 3 - Ho Chi Minh City - Seoul capital:
-At 07:00 (Vietnam time) The Cao Dai delegation and Professor Michael Wesch arrived at Tan Son Nhat airport, gathered to do the procedures for the flight to Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea.
-At 09:25 (Vietnam time) The flight took off
-At 16:25 (Korean time) The flight landed at Incheon International Airport.
  1. October 4 - Seoul capital:
-At 08:30 (Korean time) The Cao Dai delegation and Professor Michael Wesch were welcomed by the reception committee of the Daesoon Jinrihoe Academy of Science at the Lotte World Hotel & Resort to attend the opening ceremony for the 3rd World SangSaeng Forum International Conference.
-At 09:00 (Korean time) Professor Bae Kyuhan gave a welcome speech and opened the Conference.
After the opening speech, the Conference spent the morning time to listen and share many topics of speeches by scholars.
-After lunch, Professor Michael Wesch with a white ao dai dress gave his presentation. The presentation had content about the path of cultivation of Cao Dai religion to help humanity solve the crisis of human civilization. The whole Conference listened attentively and gave a lot of positive feedback to Professor Michael Wesch as well as the Cao Dai delegation. Especially in the presentation, Professor Michael quoted a passage from the sacred teaching and read fluently in Vietnamese the sentence: "Thầy là các con, các con là Thầy" (I am you, you are me), very impressive, bringing surprise to the whole Conference.
-At 19:00, the first day of the conference ended successfully, all participants took souvenir photos and were treated to dinner by the Daesoon Jinrihoe Academy of Science at the restaurant of Lotte World Hotel & Resort.
  1. October 5 - Seoul – Yeoju
-At 07:00, the Daesoon Jinrihoe delegation escorted all members of the delegation attending the 3rd World SangSaeng Forum Conference to visit and worship the Temple and Museum & Library of Daesoon Jinrihoe - which has just been inaugurated and opened for visitors to learn about history, doctrine and cosmology of Daesoon Jinrihoe.
-Exactly at 18:00, the closing dinner of the 3rd World SangSaeng Forum Conference was chaired by Mr. Yun Eun-do, Chairman of Daesoon Jinrihoe (Daesoon Jinrihoe) at the reception hall, floor 1 of Daesoon Jinrihoe Museum & Library building. The dinner took place in a cheerful and successful atmosphere after the workshop. Scholars had the opportunity to chat and discuss more deeply about each other's presentations. At the same time, it was a moment to strengthen further friendship between Cao Dai religion, Daesoon Jinrihoe, Weixin Shengjiao and Oomoto religion.
  1. October 6 - Yeoju – Seoul
-At 07:00, the Daesoon Jinrihoe delegation took all members back to Seoul.
-The remaining time, members attending the Conference were guided to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace - a symbol of history, culture and architecture of Korea.
  1. October 7 - Seoul capital - Ho Chi Minh City
In the morning, the Cao Dai delegation and Professor Michael Wesch concluded their participation in the 3rd World SangSaeng Forum Conference and returned home.
Here are some photos of the trip.
Cao Dai team (from left standing : Quang Tien - Michael - Thien An - Dinh Nhan
and Rev Canh Tran
Prof. Michael Wesch - Rev. Canh Tran - Massimo Introvigne (CESNUR)
Michael Wesch and Abbot Kuo-Nan Cheng
(from left) Thien An - Dinh Nhan - Prof. Nguyen Ngoc Tho and Quang Tien
Caodai Team with Prof. Dinh Hong Hai
Rev. Canh Tran with Bernadette Rigal-Cellard (orange sweater) and Livia Kohn
Dr. Bye Kyu-Han gave the opening speech
Presentation of Prof.  Michael Wesch
Director of Weixin College Fiona Hsin-Fang Chang
Prof Edward Irons from Hong Kong Institute
Prof. Hiromi Yano from Oomoto Religion
Caodai Youth Thien An listening to presentation
Caodai Youth Quang Tien asking a question to the presenter
Group photo for souvenir
Caodai Team with Chairman Bae Kyuhan
Rev. Canh Tran presents a gift to Chairman Yun Eun-Do
Rev. Canh Tran with Daesoon Jinrihoe Chairman Yun Eun-Do
Rev. Canh Tran with Fiona Hsin-Fan Chang of Weixin Shengjiao
Rev. Canh Tran delivers a Thank You speech
Fiona Hsin-Fan Chang - Rev. Canh Tran- Chairman Bae Kyuhan
Caodai Team with Chairman Yun Eun-Do
With Weixin Shengjiao team
Rev. Canh Tran with Hon. Lee Chong Woo
Rev. Canh Tran with Hon Takahiro Katsuragawa, Mayor of Kameoka City, Japan
Mayor Katsuragawa - Rev. Canh Tran - Hiromi Yano
Fiona Hsin-Fan Chang - Rev. Canh Tran - Ed Irons
Rev Canh Tran with Director Lee Tae-Yeol of Daesoon Jinrihoe
Thien An - Pastor Jason Greenberger - Quang Tien
At the Gyeongbokgung Palace
Rev. Canh Tran with Prof. Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, University of Bordeaux, France
Rev. Canh Tran with Prof. Eileen Barker, London School of Economics
At the SAN Museum
Visit Daesoon Jinrihoe newly-inaugurated Museum