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Catholic Vietnam: A Church from Empire to Nation Hardcover – October 18, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 333 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (October 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520272471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520272477
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,515,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"An excellent book. The research is based on a solid command of the archival sources; it is well argued and loaded with insightful details."
(Patricia M. Pelley American Historical Review 2014-04-01)

"[Catholic Vietnam] adds a sophisticated voice to debates about the role of religion in the imperial project, giving an in-depth exploration of relations between government and church officials on the ground and demonstrating that religious, secular, imperial, and national discourses were co-constitutive."
(Contemporary French Civilization 2014-05-09)

From the Inside Flap

"In this richly documented and judiciously argued book, Charles Keith has crafted a engaging account of what it was like to be Catholic in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Vietnam. He provides what no other scholar has: a nuanced and complex history of the political discord, social uncertainties, and spiritual aspirations that shaped Catholicism for millions of Vietnamese from the beginning of French colonial rule to the first years of national independence. Intelligent, detailed, and compelling, Catholic Vietnam is an important book." —J. P. Daughton, author of An Empire Divided: Religion, Republicanism, and the Making of French Colonialism, 1880-1914

"In Catholic Vietnam, Charles Keith challenges a deeply entrenched body of flawed conventional wisdom about the modern history of Vietnamese Catholicism. Free from the biases and tendentious assumptions that distorted scholarship on the topic during the Vietnam War era and armed with a massive arsenal of difficult-to-access primary sources in French and Vietnamese, Keith provides the most thorough and even-handed historical treatment currently available of the Vietnamese Catholic community under French rule, while telling a gripping story about a fascinating but neglected political and cultural process that he calls Catholic ‘decolonization.’ Beautifully written, exhaustively researched, and persuasively argued, Catholic Vietnam sets a new standard within the field." —Peter Zinoman, author of The Colonial Bastille: A History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940

“In this nuanced, wide-ranging, and lively account, Charles Keith establishes how Vietnamese Catholics positioned themselves and were perceived over time. Challenging binary and orthodox narratives, Keith’s meticulously researched book successfully interrogates and ultimately debunks notions of Catholicism’s inherent foreignness to Vietnam. Catholic Vietnam provides very important and timely contributions to the histories of Vietnam, of religion, and of French colonialism.” —Eric T. Jennings, author of Imperial Heights: Dalat and the Making and Undoing of French Indochina

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Dutton on June 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an extremely well-constructed, well-written, and illuminating history of the evolution of the Catholic church in Vietnam from the nineteenth century to the last years of French colonialism. The author has pulled together an impressive range of sources and used them to great effect to tell the story of the transformation of Vietnamese Catholicism into a religion with distinctly local political dimensions that resisted domination by French clerics as Vietnamese religious leaders emerged in their own right. This is a major contribution to the history of French colonialism in Vietnam, and an extremely important contribution to the history of Catholicism in Asia more broadly.
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Catholic Vietnam: A Church from Empire to Nation
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