Wuhan Journal of Cultic Studies
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Volume 1, Issue 1: 2021
Divine Mother of Carramar: The Motivations, Construction, and Stylistics of Caodaism’s Second Sydney Temple
University of Sydney
In November of 2019, the Caodaists of Sydney opened their second temple – a Điện Thờ Phật Mẫu or Holy Mother Temple in the South-western Sydney suburb of Carramar. This is a remarkable achievement given the small size of the Caodaist community in New South Wales. This second temple was not constructed to accommodate new worshippers nor spread the presence of this religion further across the city but was dedicated wholly to another deity; Đức Phật Mẫu – or the Divine Mother. It is a temple to her alone and serves as a complimentary temple to the one built for her consort Đức Cao Đài or God the Father in the nearby suburb of Wiley Park. The need in Caodaism for separate divine mother and father temples is a consequence of this religion’s growth and development during the twentieth century. In this research I will outline this history as a background to a more theological explanation of this new building. I will also examine how this temple came to be built in Sydney, outline the ways in which it functions as a social hub for Vietnamese Australians, and finally consider how it operates as an Australian-Vietnamese religious space.