Narrating women’s Catholic conversions in seventeenth-century Vietnam
in Conversions
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

This chapter examines the conversion of seventeenth-century Vietnamese women to Catholicism and the narration of their conversions in the accounts of European missionaries. In Annam (as early-modern Europeans called the two polities Tonkin and Cochinchina), missionaries from the Jesuit order and from the French Missions Étrangères de Paris converted tens of thousands of women and men during the seventeenth century and composed narratives of their most notable converts. In the accounts women stand out for two reasons: a number were from high ranking court families, including members of the royal families, and a number of the lower-ranking women converts suffered from demonic possession. The most spectacular conversion cases concerned women spirit-mediums, who played an important role in Annamese religious observances as oracles. The missionaries described them as possessed by demons. Once converted, these former spirit-mediums became miracle workers, and thus fit into another category recognizable to European readers. But the Catholic Reformation had ambivalent feelings at best about such women playing an important role in the evangelization campaign. Thus missionaries seeking credibility and narrating conversions by working with what Annamese culture offered them stretched the limits of what was acceptable to their audience at home.


Gender and religious change in early modern Europe



All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 47 26 3
Full Text Views 30 12 0
PDF Downloads 6 3 0