This research, in the first half, provides an outline of Confucian cultural practices as evidence of the promotion of Confucianism and national tradition in South Vietnam in 1955–1975, in the context of East Asian Confucianism from the 1950s to 1970s. The second half focuses on Nguyễn Đăng Thục, a leading scholar in South Vietnam, in order to investigate the motivation for his promotion of Confucianism as a national tradition of Vietnam. Influenced by the decolonization movement in Asian countries after World War II, and particularly by the 1947 Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi, Nguyễn Đăng Thục arguably assumed nationalistic and decolonizing approaches to his examination of Vietnamese culture and the traditional cultures of Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Asia as a whole. By analyzing his Confucian activities and research, this paper also argues that, to a certain extent, Nguyễn Đăng Thục should be labeled a “New Confucian” scholar of Vietnam.
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