Archeological professor Hà Văn Tấn and photographer Nguyễn Văn Kự have spent many years together on studying of Vietnamese temples and pagodas. They are co-writers of the book “Vietnamese pagoda” that its fifth edition has been widely circulated, and now co-writers of the book “Vietnamese Temple” revised for the third time.
The book consists of three parts: The first part is a general comment on Vietnamese temples by professor Hà Văn Tấn, with deep analyses on origin, building time, architecture, worshipping deities of “the communal house” in the locality.
The second part introduces 100 temples from the North to the South and from oldest temples built under Mac dynasty (in XVI century) to most recent ones. Readers will understand such old temples as Thuy Phieu (Ba Vi district of Hanoi City) built in 1531, Lo Hanh (Hoa Hiep district of BAc Giang province) constructed under Sung Khang reign (1566-1577), Tay Dang (Ba Vi district of Hanoi City) erected in XVI century…
Temples in Vietnam reflect the community’s life in villages, so the Vietnamese built temples as they went to new places in the South. The book by co-writers of Hà Văn Tấn and Nguyễn Văn Kự shows that most temples in the Central were built under Nguyen dynasty and those in the South were more likely constructed in XVII century when the Vietnamese emigrated to this Southern delta.
Apart from research on temples’ history, the book also shows different architectural and festive features of temples as determined by traditional customs in each region. With inclusion of references, this book by Archeological professor Hà Văn Tấn and photographer Nguyễn Văn Kự would bring readers with broad views.
The book “Vietnamese Temple” in Vietnamese - English bilingual language was first published in 1999. In 2001 it was published in French with the name Le Đình, Maison Comminale du Vietnam by The Gioi Publishers and French School of Asian Studies (École Française d'Extrême-Orient - EFEO). In these two editions the book introduced 62 temples in 35/63 provinces and cities throughout the country. The third part of the book in third edition is about additional temples that added up to 100 temples in 58 provinces and cities nationwide, and 1,070 temples classified as special national relics and national relics till December 31, 2013.
Historian Lê Văn Lan who joint the compilation and wrote the introduction on the book “Vietnamese Temple” said, with this book, the two writers Văn Tấn and Nguyễn Văn Kự “made great contribution to scientific studies and circulation” of most important values of Vietnam’s traditional culture.
The book containing 416 pages and 820 colored and black-and-white photos is issued by the Social Science Publishers.