Nhung Tuyet Tran

Vietnamese Catholic identity in the early modern Era

Date & Time

22.6.2023, 10:30 AM CET


Trainee Centre Online


Drawing from decolonial methodologies, Nhung Tuyen Tran will show that Catholicism had become a Vietnamese religion by the seventeenth century. By making the teachings legible to their co-believers, circulating them in vernacular manuscripts and oral performance, paying for the establishment of the community, and demanding pastoral care from Rome, local believers articulated a Catholic identity which provided intergenerational care for the living and the dead. As they did so, they built one of the largest Catholic community outside of Europe, and sustained it existence across three centuries. All despite the Europeans who have dominated the discourses, not because of them.


Nhung Tuyet Tran is Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Familial Properties: Gender, State, & Society in Early Modern Vietnam (2018), co-editor of Vietnam: Borderless Histories (Wisconsin 2006), and “Releasing the Souls: Vietnamese Catholic Identity in the Early Modern Era,” a recently completed manuscript on the cultural history of Vietnamese Catholicism. Tran has begun a project on the transformation of Indigenous Cham women’s authority in the context of forced assimilation and Vietnamese settler colonialism in the 17th and 18th centuries. Tran works at the intersection of decolonial, feminist, legal, and religious studies. Formerly Canada Research Chair in Southeast Asian history, she has been had visiting fellowships at Kyoto University, the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Stanford, the University of Paris, and the National University of Singapore.