This introduction situates the study in the context of existing historiography on Vietnamese Catholic history. It demonstrates how past writing on the subject, carried out in the charged political contexts of the colonial era, the Cold War, and Communist rule in Vietnam, has led to simplistic and opposing historical understandings of Vietnamese Catholics either as traitors to the national community or as martyrs to their faith. The introduction next provides a general overview of the book, which focuses on the transition from missionary Catholicism to national Catholicism and the political and cultural aspects of this religious transformation.
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