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Mandarins and MartyrsThe Church and the Nguyen Dynasty in Early Nineteenth-Century Vietnam$
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Jacob Ramsay

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756518

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756518.001.0001

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Restoration and the Mission

Restoration and the Mission

(p.14) One Restoration and the Mission
Mandarins and Martyrs
Stanford University Press

This chapter offers background on the developments within the Nguyễn state and the Missions Étrangères de Paris organization in the early decades of the century. The Nguyễn dynasty marked a watershed in Vietnamese history by ushering in an era of transformation and upheaval. The Catholic mission first established a foothold in Cochinchina in the early seventeenth century. The new Nguyễn dynasty's roots in late-eighteenth-century Gia Ðịnh are then discussed. Ðịnh was a vast, sparsely populated frontier of Vietnamese rule and settlement. Mission Catholicism provided a social structure and belief system that accorded well with the privations and challenges of frontier life. The Nguyễn produced new governing institutions from older existing ones and legitimized them by invoking their association with classical Chinese models or by linking them to the Nguyễn foundation myth of dynastic restoration.

Keywords:   dynastic restoration, Nguyễn, Missions Étrangères, Catholic mission, Cochinchina, Gia Ðịnh, Catholicism

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