The Role of Education Mobilities and Transnational Networks in the Building of a Modern Vietnamese Catholic Elite (1920s–1950s)
- Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 35, Number 2, July 2020
- pp. 243-270
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- Additional Information
This paper focuses on the education mobilities and transnational networks in the Vietnamese Catholic Church between the 1920s and 1950s, a period characterized by the emergence of an independent national Church and the first Vietnamese bishops during colonial rule. While it is widely known that the Vatican and the Western missionaries had a role in the promotion of educational mobilities, Vietnamese actors promoted higher education not only for clerics but also for members of the laity by creating their own national and transnational networks. The particular case of the 'Belgian connection' offered a new generation of Vietnamese Catholics other places for education besides the dominant sites of Rome and France. The experience they gained through these independent education networks allowed this handful of the new Catholic elite to obtain knowledge in the social sciences and humanities. In addition, their experiences in Catholic Action saw them come to deal with powerful emerging transnational ideologies such as communism.